May Day In COVID-19


The Indian working class must uphold Proletarian Internationalism while rededicating itself to the struggle for People’s Democracy and Socialism in the country

This May Day comes at a time when the entire world is struggling against the pandemic unleashed by the Covid 19 virus over the last 4 months.

It is a fact that this pandemic is of a scale never seen before in the last 100 years. As of today it has affected more than 30 lakh  people all over the world and taken a toll of more than 2,20,000 people. These numbers are still growing and the pandemic continues to rage. Most of the countries of the world have declared a lockdown in various forms and to various degrees to stop the spread of this disease and break the chain of its transmission. While the pandemic has been halted in some countries, it continues to rage elsewhere.

It is the Chinese medical professionals and scientists who were the first to identify the spread of this new disease in the background of its outbreak in Wuhan city of China.  They informed the WHO promptly of this outbreak, analyzed and mapped the genome of this novel virus in a short time, confirmed the human to human transmission of this virus and shared these details with the WHO and the international scientific community. With no cure or vaccine available for this entirely new disease, they took decisive steps to stop the progression of the outbreak in its tracks.

Simultaneously they also started efforts on a war-footing for medicines to cure this disease and for vaccines to prevent this disease. These efforts have resulted in bringing the pandemic under complete control in Wuhan and the rest of China, step by step normalization of life and work in the entire country. Their efforts for vaccines are progressing at a rapid pace bringing hopes for an effective vaccine sooner than later. While taking steps to prevent a second wave of the pandemic in their country through people coming from outside, they have stepped up their efforts at collaboration with the WHO and the international community to stop the global spread of the pandemic as well as to speed up the international efforts to develop vaccines and drugs.

They have extended self-less help to about 80 countries around the world to fight the spread of this disease and are still continuing this effort while their country and people are still recovering from the ravages of the pandemic. The CPC has been saying for a long time that humanity is a community of shared destiny. Starting from this premise, the CPC, the Chinese Government and the Chinese people have displayed great internationalism and self-less humanitarian spirit.

As a contrast, we can see the callous, selfish and chaotic reaction of the US super power in the face of this pandemic. It did nothing to help either China or the rest of the world which was caught early in the pandemic. Nor did it take any measures worth the while to shield itself from this pandemic. The leader of this super power was and still is engrossed with furthering his prospects in the coming Presidential elections to pay any serious attention to these tasks.  His statements on various occasions about the pandemic and the danger it posed to the USA show that he had no understanding of these problems nor was he worried about the fate of people and the country. Finally, when the pandemic struck the country with a great ferocity and made it the epicenter of the pandemic in the entire world (as of this day, the US recorded more than 10 lakh infections and 60,000 deaths i.e., nearly 1\3 of the total infections and deaths, in the world) he was forced to impose lockdowns in the country. But they turned out to be half-hearted measures and are being diluted now to satisfy the big corporations and the Wall Street. On the other hand, he stepped up his anti-China crusade, blaming the pandemic and the aftermath on China in a desperate attempt to cover up his miserable failure to stop and control the spread of the pandemic in his country.

The performance of the major European imperialist powers is no less pathetic. As of this day, they account for more than half of the total cases of infections (nearly 16 lakhs out of 32 lakh cases) and of deaths (more than 1, 14 000 out of more than 2,28,000 deaths) in the world.  This gross failure of the US and the major European countries in the face of this pandemic has happened inspite of having huge medical, health, scientific and technical resources. An utter lack of concern for the well-being of their people, ignorance about the nature of the pandemic and refusal to learn from the experience of countries like China which successfully faced the problem, refusing to heed the countless warnings and instructions from the WHO has brought them to this sorry pass. The conceit of these countries about their ‘developed country’ status has blinded them to the lurking dangers of the pandemic.

The US has taken one step ahead and has been attacking China and the WHO for their alleged failure to warn the world in time. It has stopped the funds it was giving to the WHO. We need not add that this is a campaign of white lies and is meant to cover  up its miserable failures. It is in line with its brazen pursuit of world hegemony in utter disregard for multilateral, global institutions like the WHO and other UN bodies. It should be noted that the rest of the world to which the pandemic has spread, which consists of about 200 countries around the world is facing the pandemic in line with the instructions of the WHO and with the help of China. As a result they are doing far better than these so-called ‘developed countries’.

The government of our country, led by Mr. Modi of the BJP is in a peculiar plight. It is pursuing a foreign policy of hunting with the hound and running with the hare under the name of having relations with all major powers. It is in essence a pro-US foreign policy while claiming to have good relations with other major powers of the world. It is no wonder that he was busy in his dalliance with the leader of the US super power while China, a neighbouring country, was battling the outbreak of Covid 19 on its territory. In addition, he was busy stoking the communal fires in the country under the name of giving citizenship to some refugees from some neighbouring countries, while denying it to other refugees belonging to the Muslim religion. Meanwhile the pandemic had spread in the country and his government resorted to the country-wide lockdown from March 23 to May 3. Though the pandemic could be slowed down, it caused and is causing untold suffering to the most down trodden segments of our people. The plight of the lakhs of migrant workers left in the lurch was there for all the world to see in full glare. These workers were and are living and toiling in sub-human conditions in the slums of major cities of our country. Their plight worsened due to the lockdown as the few doles handed out by the Central and State governments did not reach large sections of these workers. Doctors and other health care workers, sanitation workers and even security personnel enforcing the lockdown had no proper protective gear like masks, gloves, personal protective equipment and goggles. Many of them contracted the corona infection and some of them even lost their lives. The Modi government had two full months to prepare for the lockdown as well as to provide these bare essentials to the ‘corona warriors’ as he calls them. But other than some grand but empty propaganda exercises nothing much was done. The government has nowhere to go to get these essential medical supplies except China and the ambassador to China works with the Chinese authorities to get them. Meanwhile, the anti-China lobby and its media agencies in the country echo the poisonous and shrill anti-China campaign of the US agencies in the country.

In one of his recent monologues to the people, the Prime Minister Mr. Modi raised the question of self-reliance. He said it is the greatest lesson which this pandemic has taught Indians. He explained that this self-reliance was needed at the village, district, State levels as well as at the level of the country. He added that the crisis shows that we cannot afford to be reliant on other countries. Indian ruling classes have always been talking of self-reliance but always kept the country dependent on imperialism, particularly on the major super powers of the day. Mr. Modi’s Party, the BJP, and the regimes it headed are part of them. His party has been in power at the Centre for more than 12 years during the Janata regime, the regime of Vajpayee and presently of Mr. Modi in addition to long stints of power in various States. All the while they have been mouthing slogans of Swadeshi and now of Make in India. But it has not saved the country from dependence on imperialism and the super powers, particularly the US super power. All the while they have been at loggerheads with China and Pakistan citing the border disputes, Kashmir etc., but in reality to seek regional hegemony and to suppress revolutionary and democratic forces within our country. The present slogan for self reliance from Mr. Modi takes cue from the clamour of the US super power for economic decoupling from China in order to isolate and weaken it. The pro-US lobby and the media have been echoing this tune saying that this is a ‘historic opportunity’ for India to replace China’s position in the world. We need not add that this is a mirage peddled by the reactionary US super power to pit India against China in order to realize its dream of global domination. This strategy has been practiced by the Indian ruling classes for not less than six decades ever since 1960 and has only reduced Indian politically to a camp-follower of imperialism and the US super power and made it an economic weakling dependent on these reactionary forces. Six years of Mr. Modi’s reign reinforces this conclusion. India can achieve real self-reliance only by ending dependence on the US super power and imperialism, shunning regional hegemony and developing healthy relations on this basis with all neighbours including China and developing relations based on equality with all major powers and all other countries of the world.

The pandemic is far from having run its course in our country. The number of infections keeps rising by the day. The government’s policy of testing is very limited inspite of the WHO’s call for vigorous testing to isolate and quarantine those infected. This can be implemented fully for all those living in  the red zones and over the country and for all the contacts of those infected in the yellow or orange zones (as they are named) in order to stop the further spread of this disease by those who are infected but show no symptoms.

The US super power has been carrying on an anti-China tirade particularly in the last ten years to stem the rise of China as a major power. The regime of Donald Trump has stepped up this campaign presently to shift the blame for its failure to curb the pandemic in its own country. The main points of its campaign are: China is responsible for the creation and spread of this virus, China suppressed news of outbreak in Wuhan, China must be made to pay, an international enquiry must be instituted into China’s handling of the outbreak of the disease in Wuhan etc. etc. The central point of this campaign is that China is responsible for the creation and spread of the virus. But the overwhelming body of scientists all over the world has rejected the theory of this virus being created in a lab and thus the theory of China creating the virus or being responsible for it. They have clearly stated that scientific evidence clearly shows the virus has natural origin which has to be further investigated to know its details like the place and manner of origin. The team of WHO experts and Chinese experts which visited China and Wuhan extensively in February (February 16-24) has published a detailed report on all aspects of the outbreak and its handling by the Chinese authorities. It has praised the Chinese handling and cited it as a model for all countries of the world. Thus the basic premise of the drumbeat of the US super power and its demands collapses, making the whole thing a futile but toxic propaganda of a handful of reactionary forces to divert attention from their miserable failure to control the pandemic. The same applies to the propaganda unleashed in the media of our country by the reactionary anti-China lobby. The working class, peasantry and all the people of the country, particularly the revolutionary and democratic forces of our country must be on guard against this deceptive propaganda of  white lies and reject it with all the contempt it deserves.

The pandemic has worsened the economic downturn which was already being experienced by the imperialist countries and turned it into massive depression of global proportions. As it happens in all such crises, the ruling classes throw the brunt of the burden on the working class and the toilers, while reserving huge concessions to the ruling classes to tide over their losses. We are witnessing the same in our country where the ruling classes receive huge concessions while the working class and toilers are handed out wage cuts, job losses and doles for survival. They must struggle to protect their just rights and refuse to resign to their fate while fighting for survival from the pandemic.

Four months of this pandemic has brought several important issues to the fore.

Socialist China, led by the Chinese Communist Party has shown the world how to stop an outbreak of a major pandemic in its tracks and save its people and the country. It has also shown how a socialist country led by a Communist Party which bases itself on Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought, and is guided by Proletarian Internationalism, can help the entire world fight the pandemic not only by setting an example but by the self less help it renders to the worldwide struggle.

The pandemic has also demonstrated how a reactionary super power like the US can invite mayhem to its own country and distract the entire world from its task of facing a global pandemic in its pursuit of global hegemony.

It has shown the world how the ruling classes of imperialist countries can lead the people of even a well-developed country into a nightmare in their single minded pursuit of super profits.

Crores of working class and toilers in our country are living like refugees in the vastslums of our major cities and towns. The pandemic and the steps taken by the Central and State governments have only worsened their plight. The rural poor of our country are groaning under the exploitation and oppression of the landlord class in the country. Under these conditions the working class can emancipate itself only by leading the struggle for People’s Democratic Revolution and Socialism in the country. As a part of this struggle it should reject the vicious slander, white lies and distortions against socialist China unleashed by the reactionary circles of the US super power and its hirelings all over the world including in our own country. This is how the working class must uphold Proletarian Internationalism while rededicating itself to the struggle for people’s democracy and socialism in the country   on the occasion of the May Day.

Workers of all countries unite

Long live Marxism Leninism –Mao Zedong Thought

Victory to People’s Democratic Revolution in our country

(May Day 2020 Editorial of The Proletarian Line, magazine published from Hyderabad. Telugu version of this article is being distributed on May Day digitally across Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.)




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