CPI-ML New Democracy, Democratic Rights

Forty Five Years of Emergency Declaration

Build a United and Vigorous Movement Against Fascist Attacks

Forty five years ago, in the night of June 25/26, 1975 Mrs. Indira Gandhi Govt. imposed Internal Emergency in the country. This signified all round attack on the total opposition including opposition sections of ruling classes. Country was allegedly in danger from the anti-national forces out to destabilize Indira’s rule which was ostensibly equivalent to India then. Emergency had not dropped from the sky. It was gradually building up of authoritarian regime through suppression of communist revolutionary movement (Naxalites) to the suppression of workers’ strike struggles and student movements to the total suppression of dissent. Mrs. Gandhi enjoyed huge majorities in both houses of Parliament, had fashioned a ‘committed’ judiciary and top echelons of executive were under her control. With proclamation of Emergency, newspaper censorship was imposed, opposition leaders and activists were arrested, total ban on dissent and opposition activities was imposed and communist revolutionary organizations were outlawed. India, long used to fascist repression on revolutionary movement, had its brush with fascist rule.

This year this infamous day has come when people of the country are facing fascist attacks. An organization with fascist ideology and grass root network, Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), through its electoral wing BJP, is in full control of Executive power since last six years and since its return to power last year has extended control over all branches of the state. After assuming such complete sway RSS-BJP have moved to consolidate its power through ushering in fascist rule. It launched full scale attack on the Constitutional framework to make it fall in line with its Hindu Rashtra. The aspects relating to anti-colonialism, secularism, democracy, social justice and federalism which had crystallized in the course of anti-colonial movement and to the extent these are embodied in the Constitution are under special attack. RSS Hindu Rashtra is fascist rule of the ruling classes, the big capitalists and big landlords subservient to imperialism. RSS-BJP’s Hindutva disrupts and crushes all opposition to this rule. Obviously it was brought to power by the ruling classes facing challenges to their social and economic domination in the period of deepening economic crisis and rising struggles of the people. They have found this reactionary outfit necessary to maximize their profits and control over socio-economic life.

Today there is an all round attack on democratic rights of the people and people’s movements. Even the Corona pandemic is being used to totally suppress the political activities. Though there is no formal declaration of Emergency, but there is wholesome attack on the people and on their constitutional rights. In fact, Constitutional framework has been distorted to unrecognizable extent. It has been rendered as a mechanism to validate the fascist Hindutva project and not the anvil to judge legislative and executive actions; has been rendered into purely a formal mechanism rather than a living testament; the contradictions inherent in the Constitution, reflecting the contradictions in the society with its caveat for their reformist resolution, have been fashioned into negation of what it was forced to concede to popular aspirations. It only reaffirms that rights without political power are illusions, at best concessions at the mercy or due to compulsions of the classes wielding political power.

The unbridled power enjoyed by the RSS-BJP is due to large support it enjoys and corporate i.e. both foreign companies as well as domestic big capitalists. It explains the near total support given to it by the corporate controlled electronic and print media, even those sections which even give some space to critical voices, police and administrative machinery taking care of discordant voices. Second, it enjoys overwhelming support among the socially dominant sections i.e. Hindu upper castes who dominate the countryside as well dominate the state, its different wings- top echelons of bureaucracy, army, police and intelligence agencies and higher judiciary. These sections seem to feel they enjoy unbridled power which they should preserve at all costs. Rest is accounted for by the babu culture, ‘when asked to bend they choose to crawl’. What RSS-BJP lack in popular support they more than make up in the support extended by these sections. Though Mrs. Gandhi had enjoyed more administrative control but did not enjoy such overwhelming support from these sections.

This support is reflected in the higher judiciary abdicating its responsibility to safeguard Constitutional and legal rights going to the extent of showing this is no time for rights. The top echelons of bureaucracy, army & security forces and intelligence agencies brought under unified command of National Security Council. With the state machinery under control, rule of lawless laws has been ushered in. Dissolution of the state of J&K, enactment of Citizenship Amendment Act, Babri Masjid verdict and plethora of judgments undermining the rights which had been won by the people through their struggles.

While Corona scare was created and utilized to suppress anti-CAA-NPR-NRC protests, the lockdown period has been abused for the witch-hunt of the activists associated with these protests. Many of them have been framed and arrested under draconian UAPA and incarcerated in prisons. Student and youth activists who participated in these protests have been special targets. The investigation has followed by now well practiced and well known pattern of Bhima Koregaon – the real miscreants are protected while those who fight for democratic rights and constitutional percepts are hounded. In Bhima Koregaon, the Sangh activists who organized violence against Dalits in which some were even killed, are being glorified and protected and a witch-hunt of activists associated with democratic rights of oppressed people are being targeted; NIA coming in handy to frame whom the Govt. wants and keep the process of law at bay. In East Delhi, where RSS organized communal violence killed scores of people, nearly two thirds of them Muslims, a conspiracy case has been foisted framing activists associated with anti-CAA protests while main organizers of violence are being protected. Investigation has turned into inquisition while miscarriage of justice is masquerading as judicial process.

The large scale arrests under The Epidemic Diseases Act have been one up on the colonial rulers who had framed this anti-people law putting the blame of epidemics on the people themselves. Even feudal rulers in India did not do that. RSS-BJP have enforced a total lockdown on political protests, even supporting the migrant labourers whose plight has become the abiding symbol of the lockdown, inviting the wrath of these fascist rulers. RSS-BJP Govt. has only used Corona; did nothing to stop its spread rather facilitate it by deliberate anti-people policies; did nothing to help the people during lockdown; spending pittance to meet the needs of health services and for reviving the economy while their corporate friends have made a killing in this period. While RSS-BJP had had the initial laugh, Corona pandemic is becoming uncomfortable for the rulers.

RSS-BJP anti-democratic drive is built on jingoist frenzy directed against neighbouring countries. Chauvinist propaganda is unleashed against the neighbouring countries showing how a strong ‘nationalist’ RSS is achieving what earlier rulers could not i.e. browbeating the neighbours till their jingoist frenzy hit the Chinese Wall. True to the character of the social classes they represent i.e. of beating the weaker and licking the stronger, sense quickly dawned on them. RSS-BJP fascist drive is facing hurdles of two Cs- Corona and China.

On this anniversary of 1975 Emergency, it is a reminder that rulers in India do not need even formal declaration of Emergency to crush the democratic rights. Only propaganda of emergency situation of any kind would do, rest being taken care of by the anti-people state; a colonial state with its colonial legal framework inherited by Indian rulers who fashioned it to safeguard their anti-people rule. This state machinery is today crushing the people. The repression today is much more thoroughgoing though more focused and targeted.

On this anniversary let us pledge to break this political lockdown taking up the issues of the people, to unite all the struggling forces against fascist attacks, to build a broad-based movement for democratic rights. Utilize all possible means and platforms to rally the people. Unite to support those targeted by the Govt. Let us see not the differences with that negation of democracy but focus on the similarities. Rise to defend democratic rights to beat back fascist offensive of rulers.

Central Committee,

CPI (ML)-New Democracy

June 24, 2020