Below we publish the CPI(M) message of greetings to the 14th Congress of the South African Communist Party. MA Baby, Polit Bureau member and head of the International Department of CPI(M) has attended the Congress which was held from July 10-15, 2017 in Pretoria.
We are today staring at a world where imperialism is intervening in all regions around the globe and even inciting regional wars. Venezuela in Latin America is the latest example where the US is encouraging the opposition oligarchic forces to destabilise the country by inciting violence. In West Asia/North Africa it is continuing with its military interventions, bombing innocent citizens in order to control the region and exploit its rich natural resources. It also has its eye on the Asia-Pacific region with the US moving its warships in the South China Sea and near the Korean peninsula. Imperialism considers war, military interventions as one of the options to come out of the deep rooted global economic crisis that is now almost a decade old.
The current economic crisis, a reflection of the crisis ridden capitalist system, is increasing the inequalities among people. The IMF World Economic Outlook 2017 shows that between 1991 and 2014 the labour share declined in 29 of the largest 50 economies which accounted for two-thirds of the world GDP in 2014. Across industries, labour income shares have declined in seven of the ten major industries. This confirms the fact that capitalism always seeks to emerge from a crisis by intensifying exploitation of the people.
Another facet of the increasing attacks on the people is on their hard won rights. Democratic rights like right to organise are sought to be curtailed. In spite of all these efforts by the ruling classes to stifle dissent, people are protesting in large numbers. The ruling classes are trying their best to divide the unity of the working class and other toiling sections of the people by fostering divisions among them in the name of race, ethnicity, religion, region, etc. The recent spurt in the activities of the right-wing forces and parties are all part of this evil design. We should understand the class basis of these developments and counter them by building class unity against all sorts of exploitation. It is upon us, Communists, to channelise the popular discontent in the correct direction of class struggle.
We in India are also facing many similar challenges. As you all might be aware, our country is now governed by a right-wing government led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Abandoning India’s nonaligned foreign policy, it is increasingly moving towards a strategic alliance with the US. Recently the visit of prime minister Narendra Modi to Israel, which was castigated by one of the UN agencies report as pursuing apartheid policies, clearly demonstrates this shift.
Indian government is unabashedly pursuing neoliberal economic policies. Decisions were taken to open vital sectors of the economy like defence, agriculture and banking to the predatory exploitation of foreign capital. Further burdens are imposed on people in the name of demonetisation and new tax laws. Labour laws are being amended in many provinces, curtailing the rights of the working class. Land is forcefully being acquired to serve corporate interests. Agrarian distress has led to more than 300,000 peasants committing suicides since the implementation of neo-liberal policies. This number had increased by nearly 26 per cent in the past three years under the BJP rule. Widening inequalities, unemployment, crony capitalism and corruption are the disastrous results of these economic policies.
Peasants, working class are protesting these attacks on their livelihood by organising various kinds of protests. Recent protests by the peasants saw the brutal face of State repression, which resulted in the death of five, who were shot dead by the police. Student protests against the curtailment of freedom of expression and other academic rights are met with brutal repression in various universities and higher educational institutions. The ruling right-wing party is trying to break the unity of the people by inciting religious strife, national chauvinism and casteist violence. Attempts are on to restrict democratic rights. Increasing authoritarian trends are visible in the country.
The CPI(M) is trying to bring together all the Left and democratic forces in the country to build a Left democratic alternative to counter the ruling class offensive. Trade unions, peasant organisations and various other mass organisations are joining forces to organise resistance to the government policies. Recently large number of youth, women, cultural activists, intellectuals and students have come together in ‘Not in My Name’ protests against the lynching of dalits and Muslims. Efforts are on to coordinate all such protests and build a true democratic, peoples’ alternative.
The CPI(M) is leading Left democratic governments in two provinces in the country – Kerala and Tripura. We are trying to provide relief to the people to whatever extent possible within the confines of the capitalist system. The ruling classes have intensified their attacks on these governments and the Party to strangle the spread of alternative narrative that we are offering through these governments.
In the first half of next year, the CPI(M) is going to organise its 22nd Party Congress, for which preparations are about to start shortly. In this Congress, we will not only plan our future strategy to intensify the struggles against this right-wing offensive, but also on the ways and means to strengthen our Party and the Left and democratic alliance.
We are watching with interest the developments in South Africa because of our shared history and legacy of struggle against colonialism. We are following with interest the efforts of the SACP to ‘reconnect itself and the alliance’ with the people and ‘create a new platform for renewal’. We take this opportunity to wish your efforts all success. As fraternal parties working in two of the most important developing economies of the world we have an important role to play.
Once again, we wish the 14th Congress of the SACP all success and thank the leadership for inviting us to be part of this historic Congress. We assure you of our wholehearted solidarity with all your struggles for the cause of working class and other toiling sections of the society. We hope that your Congress, guided by the correct principles of Marxism-Leninism, will lay out a correct path of struggle for the success of National Democratic Revolution and in the establishment of socialism. Fully aware that this is not an easy task, we assure you of our complete solidarity in this long and arduous journey.
Communist Party of India (Marxist)