August 15 is the 75th anniversary of the Independence of India which the ruling class is celebrating with pomp and ceremony, but not in the spirit of the people.
Seventy-five years ago, after 200 years of struggle and sacrifice by millions of people, the British were forced to leave India. Their struggle was an integral part of the fight of the world’s peoples to destroy the old colonial order once and for all, along with the defeat of German Nazism, Japanese militarism and Italian fascism. In India, more than 10 million people were killed by the British in the aftermath of the great revolt of 1857. But the struggles and aspirations of the peoples of India continued for the affirmation of their national, social, cultural rights and Right to Be, for which they shed torrents of blood.
August 15, 1947 did not fulfill the aspirations of the toilers of India for freedom from hunger, want and misery and for a life of dignity and justice. The morchas (demonstrations) of the farmers who are celebrating today as Kisan Mazdoor Azadi Sangram Diwas (Farmers and Workers Day of Struggle for Liberation), reflect the peoples’ indomitable spirit and the fight for their aspirations.
As for the British and Indian ruling class, in order to continue the colonial rule without the British, their collaborators set up the Congress Party, the Muslim League and other organizations to impose the transfer of power onto the peoples of the subcontinent by state-organized communal carnage that killed millions of people in Punjab, Bengal, Kashmir and other places. People continue to fight to keep body and soul together. Bhagat Singh’s words have proven prophetic that this struggle will continue until a new order comes into being in which people control their own destiny; the producers and toilers must control what they produce.
Since the transfer of power 75 years ago, one attack after another has been launched on the people by the Indian ruling elite, their state, the various party governments and parties “in waiting.” It is estimated that more than 30 million people have been displaced by the “development projects” of the monopolies such as Tata, Birla, Ambani, Adani, Mittal and others. Government sources point out that each year 500,000 children die because of lack of clean drinking water. This means that the ruling elite has killed more than 35 million children in the last 75 years. Just like under the British, land theft and genocide continue.
Today estimates put the number of people in India who have died of COVID-19 at more than 10 million. This is the result of the criminal negligence of the central government.
Further, the Indian Union continues to be a prison of all nations, nationalities and peoples as established by British India. The military occupation of Kashmir, Nagaland and Punjab in the ’80s and ’90s and the massacres of hundreds of thousands of people continue without let-up.
Atrocities against Dalits continue unabated. Every year thousands of crimes against Dalits are committed, especially against Dalit women and girls. Many more crimes go unreported because the police refuse to register complaints of abuse.
The land, water and air all over India have been poisoned to enrich a handful of monopolies, who have accumulated massive assets at the expense of nature and 90 per cent of the population over the last 75 years.
It is time to reflect on how to put an end to the rule of the global financial oligarchy over India. How much longer will they continue to turn India into an arena of death, destruction, devastation, anarchy and violence? Anti-Muslim calls at the Jantar Mantar by affiliates of the ruling party do not bode well for the immediate future. Are the Ambanis, Adanis, Tatas, Birlas and others planning another genocide in order to keep their control?
All of this and more require our attention at this time.
It is a time for reflection by all women and men of conscience. How to break with this past, bring reforms and renewal that will affirm the people’s Right to Be? How to harmonize relations between humans and humans and humans and nature and resolve the crisis in which India is mired in a manner which favours the people? How to harmonize the interests of the individual and their collectives and of individuals and their collectives with the general interests of society?
It is a time to reflect on all the questions the morchas of the farmers and the Kisan Sansad — Farmers’ Parliament — are raising.
The Last Reform: Breaking With the Past
– Hardial Bains –