Mainstream, VOL LV No 6 New Delhi January 28, 2017
Socialist Party’s Political Agenda in the Present Setting
Tuesday 31 January 2017
The following is the Political Resolution of the Socialist Party (India) adopted at the party’s Fourth National Convention (Lucknow, November 14-15, 2016).
Most of the established parties do all sorts of things to grab power during State and Central elections. False promises, personal allegations and counter-allegations, communal tension, casteism, regionalism, lingualism, individualism, dynasty politics, money and muscle power, conspiracy and all such tactics are used shamelessly. Superficial sympathy is shown towards the deprived sections of society to mislead the poor and working class in order to bring them into the respective parties’ fold. The media, following the maxim of ‘people buy what they see’, serves this anti-people politics 24X7. In the midst of all this cacophony, there’s no space for meaningful debate on fundamental issues like poverty, the complexities of the chasm between the rich and the poor, unemployment, illiteracy, malnutrition, suicides by lakhs of farmers, suppression of civil rights, the increasing vulnerability of tribals, Dalits, women, minorities and environmental destruction. Actually, all mainstream parties are in union since the beginning of the nineties on imple-menting the policies of liberalisation, privati-sation, globalisation, consumerism, centralism and jingoistic nationalism. These parties frame their policies to enable the profiteering of national and multinational corporates, in turn with the dictates of the World Bank, IMF, WTO and other such organisations which propagate corporate capitalism. Thus, the mainstream political parties have become agents for the sell-off of natural resources—water, forest and land—to the big corporate houses at throwaway prices.
The neoliberal capitalist era has wreaked havoc at the global level too. The powerful and so-called civilised nations have pushed many countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Egypt, Sudan, Congo, Mali, Mozambique etc. into long-term civil war or armed conflict with the sole purpose of selling arms, gaining contracts and getting access to these countries’ oil, gas and mineral resources for their corporates. These nations ensure the supply of funds and ammunitions to terrorist organi-sations like the Taliban, ISIS, Al Shabab, Hizbul Mujahideen even though incidents of terror are taking place in European countries and America as well. Due to all this, millions of men-women-children are condemned to live in refugee camps for many years. During the past years many thousands of people setting out for Europe via the Mediterranean Sea have drowned in it. The human traffic and drug mafia network throughout the world is extorting money from war-ridden nations in Asia and Africa and channeling it back to Europe. It is also forcing women into prostitution and youngsters into debilitating addiction on a large scale. The black money of politicians, industrialists, bureaucrats, brokers of all countries is stored from Swiss banks to offshore tax heavens. The United Nations, UN Security Council, European Union etc. have not been able to find solutions to these human civilisation-threatening problems so far.
Through this National Convention the Socialist Party calls upon like-minded people and organi-sations in India and the world to reject this capitalist-consumerist model of development based upon indiscriminate plundering of natural resources by powerful nations and corporate houses. They must think of an alternative model of development based on preserving environ-ment, equality, simplicity, decentralisation and co-operative planning to discard the inhumanity inherent in the vicious cycle of violence and oppression.
In our State Assemblies and Parliament, three-fourths of the elected members are millionaires winning elections with money-power, having nothing to do with the issues of poor and working class people. It is obvious that there is a need for fundamental reforms in the election system too. The Socialist Party demands that electoral expenses of parties should be added to the expenses of respective party candidates. All political parties should be brought under the ambit of the Right to Information (RTI) Act for their property and income-expenditures. Instead of declaring the candidate with the highest number of votes as the winner, the proportional representational system based on the ratio of votes should be implemented.
Since the beginning of neo-liberal policies, anti-labourer and pro-industrialist changes have been introduced in the labour sector. The Socialist Party demands that original labour laws should be strictly and completely implemented. If there is need of pro-labour changes in labour laws then trade union representatives should be taken into confidence. The Socialist Party supports the 12-point demand charter submitted by the Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS) along with other trade unions.
The present government has ignited a debate on Uniform Civil Code targeting the Muslim community. The Socialist Party believes that in a country like India, consisting of various minorities, a uniform civil code is neither possible nor necessary. The sensitivity of each religious group has to be respected and the religious group constituting the majority has no right to foist its own practices on the minorities. Even amongst the majority, that is, Hindus, different practices prevail. Thus in the North marriage between uncle (mama) and niece is unimaginable, while in the South this practice is quite prevalent.
The question of Triple Talaaq is being heard before the Supreme Court and has no relevance to the question of Uniform Civil Code, which falls in a separate category.
The question of discrimination against women is the real question on this subject. The fact is that many Muslim countries, including Pakistan and Bangladesh, do not have instant Talaaq in their law, and many Muslim scholars in India have openly said that under Islam Triple Talaaq, as practised in India, is not sanctioned. Even Pakistan and Bangladesh do not allow instant Triple Talaaq. It may be noted that in Bangladesh the Hindu minority is still following the Hindu Law of the pre-1947 period and has opposed any reforms on the lines of those enacted since 1956 in India. The Socialist Party condemns the mala fide intention of the RSS and other communal bodies to heighten tension amongst the minorities on this subject.
The Socialist Party views with great concern the continuous deterioration of Human Rights in Jammu and Kashmir: schools are closed under directive from the Hurriyat, children have been arrested under the Public Safety Act, the killings by the security forces even of small children and blinding by pellet guns are grave matters of daily pain and suffering. The Socialist Party demands that the children should be imme-diately released and all efforts should be made to reopen schools through of process of peaceful dialogue.
The party calls upon the Central Government to immediately initiate dialogue with all parties, groups, and the Hurriyat. There should be no precondition for talks either from the govern-ment, the Hurriyat or other groups. The Central Government should withdraw the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) which has been a long-standing demand of all human rights bodies. At the same time the people of Kashmir should be assured by the Central Government that Article 370 of the Constitution will be strictly maintained and that there will be no dilution of it.
Ever since the BJP has come to power communal tensions have increased in society. Minority Muslims, Dalits and tribals have been violently and even fatally attacked. Communal hysteria was whipped up first in the name of ‘love jihad’ and then ‘goraksha’, which has left the minorities and Dalits feeling very vulnerable and insecure. The RSS and allied organisations are doing all these acts. They have undeclared support of the BJP Government and the Prime Minister. All this is being done as a strategy to manipulate the majority Hindu vote-bank. This government has not even spared the national flag and Army for electoral gains. The RSS, which worked for British rule during the freedom struggle, is now self-proclaiming to be nationalist and blaming other political parties and dissenting organisations and people as anti-nationals. It does not appear that the govern-ment believes in the Constitution of India to run the country. The Prime Minster and his team have brought most of the mainstream media into their fold using state and corporate power.
This government has handed over the economy to the corporate houses and the society to the hooligans of the RSS. The government, with its intentions of implementing the agenda of the RSS, has not only intervened in the working of schools, higher education and research institutions, but has also harassed Dalit and weaker sections’ students. The BJP has many leaders from the Dalit, backward and Muslim background, who are not associated with the RSS; but they are silent. The Congress and other regional party leaders and governments are not working effectively to curb the activities of the RSS that aim to sabotage the constitutional set-up of India. In Uttar Pradesh, the Samajwadi Party’s government has not taken effective actions against criminal acts sponsored by the RSS. The Socialist Party through this National Convention wants to alert the people of India that they should seriously look into the intentions and actions of the RSS/BJP of dividing the society and oppose them.
The Socialist Party, inspired by the inheri-tance of great leaders and thinkers like Acharya Narendra Deva, Gandhi, Dr Ambedkar, Bhagat Singh, JP, Dr Lohia, S.M. Joshi, Yusuf Meherally, Achyut Patwardhan, Kamaladevi Chattopa-dhyaya, Sarojini Naidu, Karpoori Thakur, Madhu Limaye, Kishan Patnaik, reaffirms its faith in the fundamental principles of socialism and pledges to establish a socialist order uprooting neo-liberal order in solidarity with the working class.
Thus stands the Socialist Party upholding Brotherhood and Equality.