India

Today and tomorrow, workers across India will take part in a general strike, which the trade union leaders anticipate could involve over 200 million people. Demands include improved conditions and wages for workers, farmers and the poor; universal social security cover for informal workers; a halt to privatisations; and the scrapping of reactionary new labour laws.

The banning of the hijab by the BJP government in Karnataka state, southern India, is a continuation of the vile policy of the ruling class of India to divide the people on the basis of religion. This is a legacy of British imperialism’s method of ‘divide and rule’, which spread religious hatred across the whole region, and which the Modi regime has taken to a new extreme. During Congress’, it too used the same tactic to ensure the continuation of the rule of capital in this country. Modi’s regime only represents the brutal face of the ruling class, which has been exposed in this epoch in which it faces a deep crisis. The veil of democracy, the rule of law and freedom of expression is

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After a year-long battle, India’s farmers have at last defeated the right-wing Modi government and its capitalist masters, forcing a repeal of their three reactionary farm laws. This is a big victory for the farmers that has been achieved through a courageous struggle, which has been tenaciously maintained since September 2020.

COVID-19 is ravaging India with a brutal second wave, which Modi is using as a pretext to cut across on-going farmer and worker struggles, despite failing to undertake effective measures to protect people from the virus. The battle against Modi’s reactionary anti-farmer and worker laws must be combined with a struggle for a people’s lockdown: providing adequate support and resources to millions of households crushed by poverty, disease and death. Worker and farmer solidarity is the only answer to Modi’s rotten regime! For a joint struggle to win a decent existence! Build for an indefinite general strike!

The ongoing elections in five Indian states, with a total population of close to 250 million, provide a snapshot of the situation facing the working class across India. A common feature is the weakness of the left and its insistence on forming alliances with various bourgeois parties. The Indian working class is thus denied an independent voice. The various Communist parties should break with their ideas of class collaboration and build a united front of the Indian workers.

We have received the shocking news that Datar Singh, a renowned farmer leader and a real class fighter, has passed away. According to sources, he travelled from the Delhi sit-in to Amritsar to speak at a rally organised by the farmer activists. In his last speech, he stood firm in his opposition to Modi’s agricultural laws and argued for farmers’ and workers' joint struggle to bring down the government. When he ended his speech and took a seat, he suffered a cardiac arrest which proved to be fatal. He left behind a daughter and a son and millions of farmers organised under his genuine leadership. He was the President of the

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Farmers in India observed a national lockdown on 8 December – also called a Bharat Bandh – a day ahead of the scheduled sixth round of talks with the government, with five million taking part across 20,000 locations. Farmers blocked major roads from 11am to 3pm, predominantly in the agricultural states of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. All commercial centres were closed. Protestors blocked railway tracks in West Bengal, Bihar and Odisha. Many shops and commercial areas were also closed in Delhi in solidarity with the striking farmers. Despite a massive blockade of Delhi’s main highways, farmers are still receiving solidarity from the people living there.

On November 26, nearly 250 million workers participated in a strike in urban and rural areas all over India. The strike, called by the ten central trade unions, was the fifth in the six years since Modi ascended to power.