India

The recent elections in India have been hailed by the bourgeois media as a turn a way from the left. This is not the case at all. What is true is that the policies of the two main Communist parties have been such that the masses could not identify in them a clear alternative to Congress. The Communist parties paid a dear price for this. Now the task is to learn from this experience and break with class-collaborationist policies.

Twenty five years have passed since more than 3000 innocent people of the minority Sikh community were brutally massacred, their properties burnt down, ransacked and looted and their women gang raped by the mob in Delhi and elsewhere in India, during the anti-Sikh pogrom of November 1984. Many of those responsible still hold important political positions. The tactic of "Divide and Rule" is still kept in reserve by the Indian ruling class, as this case shows.

The throwing of shoes at political leaders has become very fashionable lately as this report reveals. In some cases so concerned have the organisers of rallies become that they have forced the participants to remove their shoes and leave them outside!

An incredible case of repeated gang rape of female students in Indian colleges was revealed last year, eventually leading to the culprits being sentenced to life imprisonment. But this was no ordinary case of rape; it involved an attempt at a cover-up that led right to the top of the national government itself. It was only the courageous action of the female students, a female teacher and then the families of the victims that eventually achieved justice. The case has brought out the terrible suffering that ordinary working people in India have to bear.

Today elections are being held in India. The CPI and CPI(M) leaders have come up with another version of class collaborationist politics, the so-called “Third Front”. It is presented as an alternative to both the BJP and Congress, but in reality it is an alliance with smaller bourgeois formations. It is time for the leaders of the Indian Communist Parties to break with this kind of policy and offer the workers of India a United Front of workers’ organisations.

The BJP has always been known as an extremely reactionary chauvinist party, but in its recent backing of Varun Gandhi it has fallen to even lower depths, a clear sign that it is preparing to foment communal conflict, pitting poor against poor, in order to divert attention away from the real social and economic problems.

At the end of March a young girl in New Delhi, the youngest of four siblings in the family, was desperate for a job, which, in spite of a degree obtained in England, she had not been able to find for several months due to the employment crunch and was thus led to committing suicide in a state of depression.

Bhagat Singh was an outstanding figure in the struggle for Indian independence, and paid dearly for his ideals by being hanged by the British colonialists of the time. Attempts have been made to distort what he really stood for, but what is clear from some of his writings is that he rejected the idea of two-stage revolution and saw the workers and peasants as the only truly revolutionary forces upon which the revolution could be based.

A scandalous case of recycling of syringes in Gujarat hospitals and clinics has led to the death of 65 people, with more than 200 still struggling for their lives. The callous attitude of the government is clear for all to see.

Last week the world was stunned by the bloody scenes of carnage in the aftermath of the terrorist onslaught across Mumbai (formerly Bombay). The attack, which began late Wednesday night extended over ten different sites in India's financial capital. It struck Mumbai's two best-known luxury hotels and other landmarks in the city of 18 million.

Here we provide a day-by-day chronology of how the dispute at Graziano Trasmissioni started and developed over a period of months. What emerges the brutal treatment of workers and the terrible wages and working conditions they have had to suffer. This report is based on an interview with two workers at Graziano Trasmissioni.

The news that a manager at Graziano, an Italian multinational company, had been lynched recently made the rounds of the world media. Here we provide the facts as provided by the workers in India themselves, which shows that the workers were not responsible. They are being blamed as a tactic to break the workers’ struggle. They need the support and solidarity of workers of all countries.

The new edition of the Asian Marxist Review is about to come out and here we provide the Editorial statement that concentrates mainly on the situation in India.

The Economic and Political Weekly, the most academic magazine in India, has published a review of Lal Khan's book, "Partition - can it be undone?", written by Ranabir Samaddar. He gives a positive appraisal of the book and asks a pertinent question at the end: "But are the official communists listening to all these?"

West Bengal has been governed for many years by the Left Front, whose main component is the CPI(M), one of India’s main Communist Parties. Their past is one of support for Stalinism. Today the leaders of this party have transferred their allegiance to so-called “neo-liberal” capitalism, to the degree that they have actively organised brutal attacks on peasants defending their land from being taken from them.

The dalits, the “untouchables”, of India are not one homogenous bloc. Within them a bourgeois layer has risen and aspires to be a part of the bourgeois class as a whole. With this aim in mind they promote the idea that the dalits as a caste need their own “dalit party”. To do this they try to isolate the dalit proletariat from the rest of the Indian working class to promote their own selfish interests. Here Rajesh Tyagi explains that what is needed is proletarian unity across the caste barriers.

In the 1940s the Communist Party of India (CPI) was a prisoner of the policies imposed by Stalin on the international communist movement. In backward and colonial countries, Stalin decreed, the movement had to go through two stages - democracy, then socialism. This proved disastrous for the workers of the whole of the Indian subcontinent.

Today marks the 60th anniversary of Indian independence from British rule. In reality, the partition of India in 1947 cut through the living body of whole communities, leading to untold death and misery. This was all part of the tried and tested method of “divide and rule” and behind it lay the interests of privileged ruling elites, not those of the poor masses.