Oppose Warmongering; Support Resolution of Border Dispute through Dialogue Maintaining Peace at the Border
Modi’s Statement in the All Party Meeting on June 19 relating to the incident of clash between Indian and Chinese soldiers on June 15, burst the bubble of the jingoist propaganda unleashed by the RSS machinery and aided by other ruling class outfits and corporate media. The whole propaganda was built around a clash in which 20 Indian soldiers including an officer of the rank of Colonel had died, 10 army men including a Lt. Colonel and three majors were captured by the Chinese and 85 Army personnel have been reportedly hospitalized. According to media reports supported by the spokesperson of Ministry of External Affairs, Chinese entered Indian side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and attacked the Indian military personnel resulting in the above casualties. The incident report was later modified to stating that Indian Army patrol had gone to check implementation of an agreement to disengage reached between Army commanders of the two sides, when they were attacked. The main point of the propaganda was that Chinese had intruded into Indian side of the LAC and attacked Indian army men resulting in this high level of casualties.
PM Modi told the leaders of the opposition parties that nobody had intruded into Indian Territory and no Indian post had been taken over. This was stated clearly to the leaders of the parliamentary parties and widely reportedly in the media. This begot the question that if Chinese had not intruded into Indian territory where had this clash taken place? According to the statement of Modi it implicitly occurred on the territory on Chinese side of LAC. Incidentally this was reported thus in Chinese media. Modi statement lent credence to the Chinese version. Obviously it invited condemnation by the opposition parties who targeted Modi Govt. for ‘surrendering’ to China. Prime Minister Office (PMO) issued a clarification a day later but that rather than clarifying, further obfuscated the issue. Without retracting the clear language of Modi’s statement or even mentioning it, it was asserted that PM was describing the situation after the clash. This meant that Indian Army had repulsed the Chinese which was totally at variance with whatever Indian Army and Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had stated till then.
Faux Pas of Modi Govt. notwithstanding, the border clash raises a number of questions with regard to the drive of RSS-BJP Govt. as well as conduct of Indian ruling classes with neighbouring countries since their coming to power in 1947. Indian ruling classes have negated all attempts to settle border issues with neighbouring countries and have tried to enforce the British colonial rulers’ unilateral acts of border demarcation. What colonial moving finger writ, ruling classes sought to enforce. Recent heightened tension with Nepal in relation to Kalapani area is also a pointer that Indian ruling classes are trying to ride roughshod over neighbouring countries.
Indian ruling classes have repeatedly rebuffed attempts at demarcating the border with China ever since the two Asian giants emerged after the Second World War, China through a revolution and India through transfer of power and communal partition. A number of commentators have brought out the fact that Nehru led Indian Govt. had spurned the Chinese efforts to settle the border dispute between India and China. China had then showed eagerness to settle the dispute in a friendly manner and also to frustrate imperialist designs to rope India into anti-China alliance. Those imperialist conspiracies had become sinister when revisionist rulers of the then Soviet Union sought to use Indian rulers in their dispute with the leaders of the then socialist China. Indian Govt. assumed that with the backing of US and Soviet Union, India need not reckon with Chinese position and could dictate to China. It was with this assumption that Nehru Govt. ordered Indian Army to evict China from the areas claimed by India known as ‘Forward Policy’. Indian ruling classes have brushed under the carpet the real events of 1962 War and sought to use that conflict for its anti-Communist tirade. Till now, the report submitted by Lt. General Henderson Brooks and Brigadier Bhagat has not been published. Indian ruling classes have not come to terms with history and have only postponed the reckoning to a day when India becomes strong.
CPI(ML)-New Democracy demands that all facts regarding Galwan clash in particular and border dispute generally including Handersen Brooks-Bhagat Report be made public.
Subservience of Indian rulers to imperialism was brought into sharp focus in this incident as well. In fact Indian ruling classes have allowed their attitude to neighbouring countries, particularly China, to be dictated by imperialist powers. There has been a growing clamour among the Indian elite of taking advantage of growing contradiction between USA and China. It ranges from trying to lure companies of US and its allies from China to being more assertive on the border issue. There is also a repeated claim in the ruling class media that India of 2020 is not India of 1962. This is obviously true but China of 2020 is also not China of 1962. China has increased its GDP as well as its military expenditure at a much faster pace than India. Indian ruling classes’ hope that US will come to direct aid of India in its military conflict with China is also misplaced, besides being against the interest of the people of this country. US wants to contain Chinese influence from the perspective of checking the rise of a rival power, and would like to harness India to its strategy of containing China. But their attitude is of fighting China to the last drop of Indian blood. In the present stand off too Trump immediately jumped to offer his services for mediation.
Of particular significance has been the role of Russia who made it clear that it wants India and China to settle their dispute peacefully and through dialogue. While apparently sounding neutral, Russia took initiative to diffuse the situation. Russia scheduled RIC (Russia, India & China) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting. Indian Govt.’s acceptance to participate in that meeting was the first indication that stand-off will be diffused. In fact Indian ruling classes are aware that both Russia and China are imperialist powers in the region and would not like to antagonize both. Hence Modi’s statement and Foreign Minister’s statement after talking to his Chinese counterpart have only demonstrated imperialist influence over the foreign policy of the country in line with the influence wielded by imperialist capital in the economy.
Indian Govt., disregarding the interests of the people of the country and of the peace in the region, has aligned itself with US imperialism in its strategy against China. India became part of Quad i.e. US, Japan, Australia and India during UPA-II period. This alliance is directed against China and has been upgraded to Minister level during Modi Govt. As a commentator pointed out all the agreements with China on border tranquility and Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) were based on principles of neutrality i.e. not becoming part of hostile alliance. This had important influence on heating up of border tensions, both build up and reaction on both sides. With the increasing contradictions between US imperialism and Chinese social-imperialism Indian Govt. is increasingly aligning itself with US camp and hopes to emerge as a dominant regional power under western imperialist power.
CPI(ML)-New Democracy calls upon the people to raise their voice against the imperialist influence over the country including on its relations with neighbouring countries.
The present stand-off had been building over the past two months. Since April 2020, there has been a talk of building of infrastructure in this area. First clash in this build up was reported in the first week of May 2020. After statements blaming each other, Commander level discussions were held on June 6 in which agreement on disengagement was reached. The present clash came amid expectations of disengagement. Modi’s statement falsifies the claims in Indian media that the clash occurred on the Indian side of LAC. It must however be borne in mind that India has only a Line of Actual Control whose alignment is not agreed by the two sides. This LAC exists in the territory where borders between the two countries are not demarcated. In fact the agreements between India and China to maintain tranquility on the border do not have any attached map of LAC. In fact such agreements beginning with the one in 1993 provide for setting up joint commissions for demarcation of LAC but the same has not been done. Indian Govt. including Prime Ministers has been talking of differing perceptions of the LAC in describing such conflicts on LAC as was done by Manmohan Singh in 2013 and Modi in 2018. The fact is that LAC itself is undefined at several points which is admitted by the Govt. Further, the border issue itself is unresolved between the two countries despite 73 years of transfer of power in India and 71 years of revolution in China. In the situation of increasing tensions the building of military infrastructure at LAC may well increase tensions as both sides have accused each other of this.
CPI(ML)-New Democracy demands that Govts. of two countries should expedite the demarcation of LAC and settling of border issue on the basis of historical facts and interests of two countries with the spirit of mutual accommodation. People of the two countries demand that the Govts. should settle the border dispute without further delay. We condemn the resort to use of force in settling borders between countries and favour peace among countries irrespective of their socio-economic and political systems.
Opposition parties of ruling classes have jumped on the band wagon of war hysteria even if with the intent of cornering Modi Govt. This shows deep seated chauvinism in the ruling class politics in the country. One would recall how such clamouring on Kargil had handed over advantage to NDA-I Govt. which returned to power with majority. It is not that they do not know, it is that they share this vision. As far as corporate media goes they would fashion it to serve the interests of the ruling classes, would fashion it to fight the pro-people forces, would stifle dissent even further. The day Modi made this statement the corporate media shifted its focus back to Pakistan bashing. It should be understood that while Pakistan is the definitional target of Indian ruling classes, particularly its reactionary Hindu Rashtra proponents, who define India in opposition to Pakistan, China is their aspirational taget i.e. enemy in becoming the dominant power in the region i.e. perceived as main obstacle to their delusional campaign of Vishwa Vijay. While Modi Govt. should be exposed for its handling of the situation and deterioration of relations with neighbouring countries, competitive jingoism will only play into the hands of reactionaries.
As soon as the news of clash at the border leading to unfortunate deaths of Army personnel, RSS-BJP machinery launched a campaign for boycott of the Chinese goods. Ruling class commentators went on a high pitch on channels and in newspapers advocating hitting China economically. It should be clear that it has little to do with fighting the foreign influence on Indian economic life including retail trade and agriculture. There is no talk of fighting Amazon, Walmart & Flipcart and Modi Govt. waiving the requirement of procuring at least 30% of their sales from the domestic producers. There is no opposition to those Indian big capitalists who are collaborating with these foreign companies. These are important enemies of Indian retail trade and of the employment generated by this sector. A number of trader bodies traditionally aligned to RSS-BJP have taken up this campaign but are silent on western companies. In fact Modi’s Atmnirbhar Bharat is built on increasing reliance on western countries while targeting China. This was obvious in the five tranches announced by the Finance Minister in mid-May. Before that Indian Govt. had announced that investments from China will need prior approval of the Govt. The RSS-BJP have no intention of fighting the imperialist control, rather they are their compradors, but are only using it to whip up pseudo-nationalist frenzy targeting China and in service of western powers.
Recognizing the influence of imperialist capital on different sectors and its harmful effects on economy and employment, CPI(ML)-New Democracy demands that such influence be eradicated from all sectors and should apply to capital and goods from all imperialist countries. By explaining to the people and organizing campaign for domestic producers in industry and agriculture, against favours to foreign companies including changes in labour laws and in agriculture like contract farming and finishing off of MSP.
That this flare up has occurred at a time when both the countries are facing a formidable challenge of fighting Corona pandemic is not accidental. Performance of Indian Govt. on this front has been pathetic. In fact the RSS-BJP Govt. has not paid attention to the issue. They claim non-existent successes. The whole conduct of RSS-BJP Govt. is of criminal neglect in fighting Corona pandemic. They should be made to answer for this. On the other hand they have been trying to distract the attention of the people from this issue. It may not be accidental that relations with neighbouring countries have deteriorated in this period while the whole attention of the Govt. should have been focused on fighting the pandemic. In fact it has used Corona pandemic to crush dissent, and in particular target the activists of anti-CAA movement in Delhi. Corona pandemic scare and inhuman lockdown imposed for two months ostensibly to control it, has been used to implicate and imprison the students, youth and activists to punish them for the movement and attempt to pre-empt its re-emergence. This lockdown on protests has been used to make anti-worker changes in labour laws and anti-peasant measures in agriculture besides increasing selling off of the natural resources.
RSS-BJP fascist drive will have to negotiate this bend in the road. Since Modi Govt. has returned to power, the Govt. vigorously pursued its fascist project in service of imperialism and domestic reactionaries. It has waged an all round offensive against democratic rights including those enshrined in the Constitution, in fact it has launched a war against the very Constitution. It has waged a war against all sections of oppressed, with Muslims being the main target. RSS-BJP has changed the status of J&K of which Ladakh had been a part, against express provisions of the Constitution. It has adopted aggressive postures against neighbouring countries. It could not pull off this heightened conflict with a bigger power i.e. China. However, aggression against other countries is not integral part of fascism in backward countries i.e. in semi-colonial semi-feudal India. Ruling classes need fascist offensive and hence will use other issues to launch attacks against the people, the main target of their fascist drive. All struggling forces must be mobilized against this offensive.
Fight for Peace among Countries!
Fight Against the Fascist Attacks!
June 20, 2020