Debabrata Biswas, General Secretary, AIFB
The outcome of some bye-poll Assembly and Parliament elections across the country are blowing anti-BJP wave due to consolidated votes of opposition parties. Regional parties and their leaders became more vocal towards present BJP regime. Some of them where with NDA but few of them have parted their ways away from NDA like Chandrababu Naidu, and K.C.R. Some senior leaders of the oppositions are confused, some become more hypothetical and some become extra energetic. Discussions for third front, federal fronts or some other coalitions are started. Front with Congress or without Congress is being debated. Politics of electoral balance has become more important and once again leaving all prominent issues behind.
Any coalition or front is not in debate concerning anti neo-liberal policies. Even in intellectuals or scholars the debate on new economic policies is absent and in political arena neo-liberal policies are accepted as the only economic policy without debate and without assessing its lethal effects. Distressed agriculture sector, large number of entrenchment, jobless growth, privatisation of public sectors, education, health and energy are the route to satiate greedy followers of neo-liberal policies.
History is replete with instances in which a plethora of regional parties, along with the left parties, have enthusiastically touted the idea of forging an alternative to Congress and the BJP at the national level. Reports of numerous leaders of regional outfits exhibiting unusual bonhomie with each other and holding frequent parleys to reach a political common ground, have become a familiar spectacle in the Indian political stage ahead of every national election. But the outcome of such grandiose gestures has been less than impressive or meaningless pursuit.
Any debate on agrarian policies, FDI, education, health etc. may surface in statements of few leaders but no one seems serious in such vital issues. The origin of disease without being diagnose, only oral therapy will be a futile exercise.
Who will counter neo-liberal policies within and outside the country? In true sense to oppose neo-liberal means to follow socialism and left oriented programmes. Neo-liberalism is the most powerful economic weapon of cruel imperialist forces. Both mainstream bourgeois parties, the Congress and the BJP, and in due course alliances led by them and regional parties of different characters playing in the hands of petty bourgeois are deluding Indian masses in consecutive general elections in Parliament and Assemblies. They are expert in vote polarisation based on religion, caste, creed and other powerful whims. In the name of public mandate with incumbency factor gain power and the multi faced role of imperialist forces are continued to rob countries most valuable resources mercilessly decade after decade. Since the incidence of ‘Transfer of Power’ no any ruling class firmly dedicated for the masses. The problems related literacy, health, transport, energy, population growth etc. continuously being ignored due to the absence of strong will and power.
In this country thousands of people sacrifice their jobs, careers, lives for the sake of motherland with the spirited dream to build modern India. But that was never achieved. Long reign of Congress throughout the country is responsible to choose the compromising character with imperialist forces. The liberal democracy adopted with mixed economy having superficial tilt towards socialism got totally reversed and surrendered its little bit autonomy to imperialist forces. Rise of communalism, disruption of social and cultural harmony, riots, continuous rise of cost of essential commodities with tendency to increase privatisation with several attractive mass appealing slogans is the way to shatter the long cherished dream of our forefathers.
The Neo-Liberal Policies represents capitalism in its most naked, ruthless form and this is where the worst scenario of the Neo-Liberal Policy is coming from. It is necessary that the only way to change the conditions in India as well as other third world countries is to completely eradicate Neo-Liberal Policies.
Control of society’s resources by big business, unregulated growth, exploitation of labour, income inequality and ecological devastation cannot belong to the same set in which socially coordinated wealth creation, equality, solidarity, popular democracy and satisfaction of needs belong. Therefore, the intellectual and political project must have a larger goal of theoretically and practically transcending the conditions which produce the objectionable inhuman scenes of neoliberalism itself.
On the other hand, the New Liberal Policies has heaped unspeakable miseries on the general people, the proletarians and semi-proletarians and vast numbers of small-scale business/landowners. New Liberal Policies has produced a massive amount of economic inequality, insecurity, unemployment and under-employment, casualization, informalisation, heightened level of labour exploitation and lax or non-implementation of labour acts.
Neo Liberal Policies led by the IMF, World Bank and main developed countries of the US, Japan, Canada and Western Europe, the 1950s, 1960s and even the 1970s saw the publication of numerous reports, studies and also whole books promoting FDI into developing countries. However, most of this documentation was in the nature of exhortation and “drum-beating” rather than empirically-based, well-researched analysis. The data used was skimpy and anecdotal.
New battle grounds are prepared and one-by-one battle is being won by imperialist forces such as fast privatisation of public sectors, sharp rise of NPA in nationalised banks, destroying old poor but alive infrastructure in higher education and health sector to corporates. Every thing is going smoothly with the change of rulers. Like wise, FDI adds to the low domestic savings rates in the economies of the developing countries bringing such rates to appreciable levels; secondly, FDI leads to the transfer to the developing countries of something called the “state of the art technologies” which are so sophisticated and tightly held that the foreign owners of such technologies would never “part with those technologies to developing countries’ companies” on the basis of the so-called “arms length” technology transfer unless such transfer was accompanied by FDI, that is, part of not full ownership of the developing country’s concerned company; and thirdly, that FDI leads to large-scale exports of both raw materials and manufactured products, not just to other developing countries but also to the industrialised countries as well-something foreign companies can do because of their having global marketing chains.
In poor countries such as India, a specific form of neoliberalism is dominant in agriculture sector that is known as agrarian neoliberalism. Agrarian neoliberalism represents an internally contradictory logic: enhancing the value of rural areas as an arena for big business activities; and reducing state investment in rural areas, whether for promoting rural economic development or social welfare. Rural areas have become an arena of capitalist accumulation in newer ways: buying peasants’ land at dirt cheap prices; contract farming; cultivation of capital-intensive high-value farm products such as flowers and shrimps in a country where millions even do not have access to rice or wheat or a glass of safe water to drink; agribusiness sale of seeds, etc. to peasants; and patenting of indigenous knowledge of peasants. In terms of the state neglect of rural areas, rural development expenditure as a percentage of the net national product has been decreasing. Government subsidies for fertilisers, electricity and other farm inputs and investment in irrigation have been slashed. Access to cheap loans to farmers has been limited. Price support to farmers has been reduced, and the Public Distribution System has been destroyed.
Peasants are losing land to capitalist industrialisation and land speculation. Land ceiling laws are reversed because these are considered to be constraints on capital flows into farming. Peasants are being forced to leave their land because farming is not viable: costs of cultivation are going up due to shrinking government support. Highly indebted, many are driven to distress sales of their products. They are also affected by the import of subsidised foreign farm goods.
The history of coalition governments against the authoritarian ruling class had thrown enough light on our political system. Experiments of Janta Party, national front and some third front government with the support of the Congress Party are just the replacement of rulers. There is no improvement in primary or secondary sectors are seen and by the ascent of economic liberalisation the concept of welfare state has been vanished. The poor and toiling masses are thrown on the mercy of market economy while people are fragmented on communal, caste and regional lines without any unity among workers and lower middle class, youths and other each and every sufferers the political leaders are busy to calculate vote banks to defeat their counter parts. This dirty game of neo-liberal policies is so wide spread that it has gripped several leaders of Left leaning, socialist and thus we are observing them either in confusion are inaction to trace the right path. Socialism is the only way of emancipation and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose had firmly waged the uncompromising war against imperialist forces and it’s touts in his life time with full vigour and we are following the ideals and political vision provided by him in the form of political party All India Forward Bloc. Hence we reiterate that election may be the most coveted function of democracy but in coming months it must be celebrated in different way, the way to consolidate all big or small social political and individual efforts with socialists, left and democratic forces opposing dreadful neo-liberal policies.