Background

Though India have a huge history of people’s struggle from Left, Adivasi, Dalit, Bahujan, Workers, Peasants, Women, LGBT, Kashmir, North East, Linguistic, Environment organizations/groups these have not evolved into a united alliance of people’s front to challenge the ruling classes for transformation of the Indian society. One of the main reason is the lack of genuine mass empowerment through these struggles over a long period of time – masses mostly remained as masses as followers in rallies and mass programs but not beyond to a leadership level, there was always a gap between leadership and masses of all these different political organizations – in some the gap might be more, some it will be less, there will be period this gap is less and period gap is more. Lack of Intellectual and Political leadership coming on a wide scale from within the Masses through these political struggles has ensured the dominant Brahmanical-Imeprialist-Feudalistic held hegemony among them too.

To add on to this a real Marxist analysis (concrete analysis of concrete conditions through a dialectical approach) has not yet evolved in understanding Indian society and there are key aspects which Dalit politics raise and from the Kashmir, North East struggles we can learn about Indian Nationalism, gender and sexuality from Women and LGBT movements –  these are still lacking in Left analysis. The outcome of this lack which resulted in theoretical and practical mistakes have ensured the oppressed, marginalized and exploited masses are divided and many times consider ruling class political parties as hope for some minimal reliefs.

Hence a strategy for basic democratic revolution involving organizing and political/intellectual empowerment of basic masses is still lacking. Sang Parivar is able to entrench among the working class and peasantry and other marginalized communities despite their politics being antagonistic to their very existence and able to overcome even somethings like demonetization which could have brought down a Govt. They have both entrenched among the masses as well as the major State machinery like bureaucracy, police, judiciary and even military and intelligence. Probably a century long patient, disciplined work seizing key opportunities in history and coming in forefront of struggles, and whenever get chance to advance their ideological hegemony through state apparatus as well as mass ideological work by falsifying history plus conspiracies which are yet to be unhidden, all these ensured the probably did the most concrete analysis of concrete conditions and used it for their long term grand political plan. Any hope for a New India requires a democratic revolution where the oppressed, marginalized, exploited sections are in the forefront politically, ideologically and organizationally through effective parliamentary and non-parliamentary people’s mass struggles. Hence more important is building a Program for a New Organization or alliances of existing organizations in building such a People’s Democratic Revolutionary Mass front.

Only after or during the heights of such a revolutionary struggle, can a Manifesto of New India can be more concretely discussed, however some of these aspects can be used as alternatives or for campaigns as part of the struggle itself and try to implement wherever possible even if in a Panchayat ward or as an Alternative People’s Movement.

Few Key Pointers

  • Breaking out of the Imperialist Chain
    • To cancel all Imperialist treaties or agreements or policies got into the last 30 years
    • To revive agricultural sector by cancelling the treaties which are anti-farmer
    • To bring strict labour laws in both organized and unorganized sector
    • To come out of the relationships with Imperialist and pro-Imperialist countries
    • To build new relations with anti-Imperialist countries and take initiative in building a new International alliance which undertook in Latin America before the rightist turn
    • To build fraternal relations with all the neighboring countries and initiate a new relation
  • Organizing of Unorganized Sector workforce

Unorganized sector workforce should be brought into the responsibility of the State. The basic idea is (i) how to Collectivize the massive yet unorganized manual working class,  (ii)  How to utilize the National Economic Surplus directly to create stable employment and raise living standards of unorganized manual working class which is essential for their participation in working class movement, (iii) To bring open the question of the huge reserve army of working class which is the crux of Capitalism to the forefront and force the State to a crisis which could throw the possibilities of radicalizing the entire Working Class movement which is weakened currently.

Rough Concept

  1. A New Labour Consultancy body constituted under the Labour Department of State Government with a Budgeted Fund including both State and Centre Share as well as provision for a special fund-raising mechanism as a flagship program.
  2. Any citizen from the unorganized work force (the occupational categories to be defined but broadly Manual Scavenging Workers, Construction and Other Infrastructural Workers, Domestic Workers, Agricultural Labourers, Anganwadi/Mid day meal/ASHA workers, Corporation/Municipality/Panchayat sweepers, Railway cleaners etc.) can enroll to this body with a minimal fee, once enrolled they become salaried work force of Govt. The employees can be classified under one specific category or under multiple categories. Each Employee will have a fixed salary along with other labour benefits and rights of other Govt Employees, Health insurance, Transport cards.
  • Any govt enterprise or private enterprise or individual can establish a contract with this body for any type of works – domestic work, construction and other infrastructural work, agricultural work, Sanitation work, Anganwadi etc. This could remove many consultancies, contractors and other middle men from the business with a small commission going to this centralized body.
  1. Also skilled training can be provided to the workers under this body and also small scale production can be tried out which can be Govt branded products either through a centralized State level enterprise or in the form of Kudumbashree.
  2. The labour body should have district centres which will be handling the registration, supply and demand of labour force.
  3. There should be a Labour Union which should be democratically elected, and which should involve in the management at the State level and district levels. There should be reservation for SC/ST/OBC, Women, LGBT, Migrant workers in the Union. Number of politically affiliated unions can be part in this enterprise and contest for elections.
  • Radical Land Distribution
  • The illegally held land by foreign multi national companies, Indian Landorld Capitalist classes should be fast tracked and taken by State for distribution to the agricultural workers, poor/marginal farmers, other landless sections among Adivasi, Dalit, Bahujans
  • Land ceiling law to be gradually taken away and agricultural land (including converted lands where owner of the land is not involved in productive agriculture but just as a Capitalist landlord) to be taken by State for distribution to the actual agricultural workers.
  • Though land distribution can be for individuals or a collective based on need and peculiarity of the regions, agriculture should be encouraged to do in co-operative/collective methods where State should provide subsidies for agricultural inputs, mechanization, subsidized loans and specialized training. There should be State owned agro-based Industries with direct supply chain linkage with these co-operatives or collectives, and such Industries should be run with democratically elected workers’ management
  • There should be specific machinery developed for increasing productivity and lessening human labour. Also State should invest sufficiently in agricultural research to develop best practices and new technologies, with environmental sustainability also.
  • Change in Labour Policies
    • The numerous demands which have been raised by various Left trade unions including minimum wage calculation for skilled, semi-skilled, un-skilled workers and hourly wage for unorganized workers like domestic workers to be implemented with the new and changed situations
    • Work time should be strictly restricted to 8 hours and 5 days a week for all workers and any overtime should get labour department clearance with additional overtime pay
    • Work time for all manual workers in Unorganized and Industrial sector (barring IT) which requires strenuous physical labour should be reduced to 7 hours and 5 days a week and any overtime should get labour department clearance with additional overtime pay
    • Also during summer seasons there should be a reduction in the 7 hour work for manual workers with strict restriction of no work during the most hot hours typically 12 to 3pm and based on various regions with very high temperatures more strict measures to be implemented
    • Democratically elected workers representation should be there in all Management in all companies
    • There should not be any restriction to the functioning of trade unions
    • Agricultural workers and other unorganized sector workers should also come under the labour laws undergoing above mentioned stipulations
  • Mandatory Reservation in all sectors
    • Reservation should be mandatory in all sectors in public and private sectors (including IT, School Education, Media, Sports, Cultural Fields etc.)
    • Reservation should be mandatory in promotion in both public and private sectors
    • Reservation to Adivasi, Dalit, MBCs, Migrant workers, Ethnic/linguistic minorities from all religions
  • Resolution of Kashmir issue
    • Withdrawal of Military unconditionally and initiate legal procedures to bring justice to decades of military and police injustice
    • Bring into confidence all Azadi groups armed and non-armed to a discussion table to discuss on the peaceful proceedings for a plebiscite
    • Irrespective of the outcome of the plebiscite, include Pakistan also as far as possible in ensuring a safe, peaceful and independent life to all Kashmiris
    • Bring justice to decades of military and police injustice
  • Resolution and Rehabilitation of all Militancy
    • Withdrawal of all Military unconditionally and initiate legal procedures to bring justice to decades of military and police injustice in North East and Adivasi -Maoist demarcated regions
    • Call for discussions with the militants, and plan for suitable rehabilitation packages including integration into military, police, education institutes
    • There should be a complete autonomous and self-government systems in the lines of a better version of the autonomous hill councils with less intereference from State or Central Governments and special packages for their independent development
  • Cultural Revolution
    • There should be enough State sponsored and supported initiatives of inter-caste marriages, inter-dining, cultural programs/festivals which promote anti-brahmanical, anti-patriarchal, pro-working class-adivasi-bahujan values and communal harmony
    • State sponsorship and support for artistic and mass-oriented movies, serials which promote egalitarian, anti-brahmanical, anti-patriarchal, pro-working class-adivasi-bahujan values and communal harmony concepts. Also, on science, history.
    • Holidays and National festivals should include the key resistance movements from history from Buddhism till date of heroic struggles of the marginalized, oppressed and exploited against the ruling classes in all regions
    • Hindi should no longer be a State or National language and all languages should be given equal priority including discussions in National People’s councils
  • Complete revamp of Education system
    • Education should be imparted in vernacular languages especially in Government schools including the minority languages like that of Adivasis or other minority languages. Academic books and system to be changed accordingly including teacher training
    • Expenditure of Govt schools should be sufficiently increased to pay good salaries and benefits to teachers, and sufficiently building qualitative infrastructure and new innovative teaching methodologies. There should be reservation for tecahers from Adivasi, Dalit, Bahujans from all religions.
    • No child should be denied admission in Govt schools and free and qualitative education provided till 12th standard
    • Mode of education should be innovative and visual so that children feel interested as well as connect education to the things around in their environment and raising curiosities. Accessment of children should be purely to measure their understanding of theoretical and practical aspects rather than mere mugging
    • The ideology of education itself should be radically changed. The ruling class ideas ingrained in education system should be thrown away and given way to a democratic, liberative, universal and egalitarian system including unlearning and destroying biased/racist/casteist/sexist views. History should be taught in a real historic and dialectic manner with respect to all processes happened in history including why history has a connection now
    • There should be a unified syllabus with customizations based on cultural diversity of different regions and sub-regions
    • Education to be provided to all adults who are illiterate involving students, teachers and specialized programs – not just basic literacy but more on basic concepts of science, history, maths, engineering, sociology etc
  • Combination of Proportional Representation System (PRS), People’s Councils System (PCS), Separate Electorates

The existing parliamentary system doesn’t truly represent the aspirations or choices of the masses. Hence there should be a combination of Proportional Representation System, People’s Councils system and Separate Electorates – the exact forms of these systems to be arrived at after analyzing the historic experiences and the existing reality in India with all its diversities. The marginalized and oppressed to have double or triple votes (for eg: a Dalit worker, or a LGBT Dalit worker). PCS should be implemented at different levels – horizontally and vertically. Horizontally it should have councils based on various marginalized and exploited categories – class, caste, gender, ethnicity, minority etc. There should also be separate electorates for Adivasis, Dalits, and Most oppressed Bahujan Communities of all religions. This system should ensure proper democratic process not just in election but even in nomination of representatives with right to recall. There should also be monitoring committees to monitor the work of elected bodies.

Nidhin Sowjanya is an IT professional


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