Polit Bureau Communique
THE Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) which met in New Delhi on September 18 & 19 has issued the following statement.
MOUNTING ATTACKS ON INDIA’S CONSTITUTIONAL ORDER
This Modi-II government has been mounting multiple attacks on the constitutional order of the Indian Republic. Apart from the manner in which Jammu & Kashmir was deprived of its statehood, the consequent implications constitute a serious attack on India’s constitutional guarantees. The isolation of the state, prohibition of all communication avenues, no public transport functioning, shops and schools remaining closed, is causing a great deal of hardships and disrupted normal life, particularly in the Kashmir valley. Despite declaring that there is normalcy, the ground realities are completely contradictory as reported by international and sections of the domestic media.
The union home minister continues to make statements that violate the fundamental features of our constitution. His comments on one nation, one language, have created widespread opposition, forcing him to retract the statement. He is now questioning the need for a multi-party system in India. Thus, the attacks on democracy, secularism, federalism, human rights and civil liberties continue to mount.
The chief ministers of various BJP ruled states have demanded a National Register of Citizens (NRC) in their states. The NRC was part of the Assam Accord and was specific to the state of Assam. It was under the direction of the Supreme Court that this process was conducted. Nearly 20 lakh people have been left out of the NRC in Assam. No genuine Indian citizen can be excluded. All the appeals by those excluded must be considered and adjudicated by a judicial authority without any discrimination.
This government has revived the preparation of the National Population Register (NPR). A gazette notification has announced that a house-to-house enumeration will be done from April 2020 to September 30, 2020. The NPR was initiated during the time of the Vajpayee government, 2003, by amending the Citizenship Act and Rules. This was proceeded even after a change in the government. But when the issue of Aadhaar came up and its implementation began, the NPR was abandoned since it was a duplication. Strangely, it has now been revived. This is being done in preparation for an all India NRC on the basis of this NPR.
Simultaneously, the Election Commission has announced Elector Verification Process (EVP) by asking voters to register online. This would be impossible in many parts of rural and interior India and will lead to a process of exclusion. There is already a photo identity electoral rolls along with EPIC card issued to all voters. This exercise of the EVP appears once again motivated for specific targeting.
Concurrently, the home minister announced that the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) will be passed by the next session of parliament. He thus assures the non-Muslims who do not figure in the NRC list that they would be granted citizenship while denying the Muslims even if they are genuine citizens born and living in our country for generations.
All these four processes put together are clearly an indication that it is meant to sharpen polarisation by targeting certain sections of the people. Granting citizenship on the basis of religion violates the fundamental foundations of the Indian constitution which guarantees not only citizenship but also fundamental rights “irrespective of caste, creed or sex”.
All these exercises are unnecessary as the Aadhaar cards have been universalised in the country. The EPIC with the photo identity electoral rolls has the list of all voters of the country, which is routinely revised every year. When all these already exist, the simultaneous talk of extending the NRC beyond Assam, enumeration of the NPR, duplication of the electoral rolls by the EVP and the assurance of passing the CAB all indicate the efforts to sharpen polarisation in the country in order to consolidate the RSS’s communal vote bank.
As the existing mechanisms of Aadhaar, EPIC etc are already in place, these new processes initiated by this government are unnecessary duplication costing thousands of crores of expenditures which the country can ill afford at a time of economic recession. These must be halted.
INCREASE FOODGRAIN ALLOCATION AT SUBSIDISED RATES
The stock of foodgrains in government godowns, according to reports on August 19, 2019 stood at a record high of 713 lakh tonnes. All reports indicate a fall in real incomes and growing malnutrition, when India ranks at 103 amongst 119 countries in the Global Hunger Index 2018. It is clear that a large number of people are going hungry.
The Polit Bureau demands that foodgrain allocation at subsidised prices for at least a minimum of 35 kgs per family must be announced by the government.
IMPLEMENT THE FOREST RIGHTS ACT
The threat of eviction of over 23 lakh adivasi families hangs in the ongoing Supreme Court proceedings. But this government has not taken the case of protecting the declared rights of these adivasis, by not sending a senior representative to argue the case in the courts.
The Polit Bureau demands that the Forests Rights Act must be implemented without any dilution.
PROTECTING LAW VIOLATORS
In cases of lynching and murder of innocent people, this government and its agencies have been instrumental in getting the culprits off the hook. Those accused of violence against women including gang rapes are being protected. Atrocities against women are growing as are the attacks on Dalits and minorities in an unprecedented manner. Since 2016, the government has not released any data on the crimes against women.
The Polit Bureau demands that the guilty must be punished in accordance with law. This Modi government should stop patronising such criminals.
INCREASING ECONOMIC BURDENS ON THE PEOPLE
The unprecedented economic slowdown in the country bordering on a recession, the large scale loss of jobs and lakhs being retrenched, the continuing agrarian distress are all imposing greater misery on the people.
To organise all India protests and demand relief, the Left parties have called an all India convention at New Delhi on September 20. The CPI(M), CPI, CPI(ML)-Liberation, RSP and AIFB will issue a joint call for an all India joint programme at this convention.
REVIEW OF IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DECISIONS OF THE KOLKATA PLENUM
As decided by the Central Committee, the Polit Bureau, on the basis of the reports sent by all the states has discussed a report on the implementation of the decisions of the organisational plenum, Kolkata, December 2015. On the basis of these discussions, the Polit Bureau will prepare a report which will be considered and adopted by the Party’s Central Committee which is meeting from October 2 to 4, 2019 at New Delhi.