Statement of Solidarity for Indian Workers
Passed by the SPUSA National Action Committee - February 2, 2021
In the wake of years of governmental deregulation and privatization, the Modi regime has sought to centralize its command over India’s agricultural sector with the goal of streamlining the corporate acquisition of farmers’ produce. This culminated with the ratification of the 2020 Indian Agricultural Acts, which enables major corporations to have effectively unrestricted access to the entirety of India’s agricultural markets. While this pattern of corporate empowerment is not unexpected, the rapid decline of farmers’ bargaining ability as a result of these policies corresponds with the precipitous erosion of their material conditions. Modi and his administration, unwilling to acknowledge the plight of the rural working class, have forcibly suppressed their demonstrations of protest. The farmers, realizing that hopes of an amicable resolution were becoming increasingly quixotic, finally called on one another to take decisive, collective action. In December, a coalition of ten trade unions mobilized some 250 million workers, staging what has become the largest general strike in human history. The western media has been largely silent on the strikes.
The overwhelming popular support of the uprising, and the workers’ openness with which they support socialism, has caused the capitalist press to be reticent even so much as to show images of the demonstrations. Supporters of working people around the globe are charged with amplifying the strikers’ message.
We support the striking workers of India, who make the following demands of the Modi administration:
● The withdrawal of all “anti-farmer laws and anti-worker labour codes”.
● The payment of 7,500 rupees in the accounts of each non-tax paying family.
● Monthly supply of 10 kg of food to needy families.
● The expansion of the MGNREGS (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act of 2005) to include 200 work days each year, higher wages, and the Act’s extension to urban industries.
● Stop the “privatisation of the public sector, including the financial sector, and stop corporatisation of government-run manufacturing and service entities like railways, ordnance factories, ports, etc.’’
● The withdrawal of the “draconian forced premature retirement of government and PSU (public sector) employees”.
● Pensions for all, the scrapping of the National Pension System and the reimposition of the earlier pension plan with amendments.
(Source: Joint Union Statement, as quoted in TimesNowNews.com. Link)
The Socialist Party USA recognizes that the only force powerful enough to defeat the oppressors of the world is the unity of the oppressed, consolidated and organized to demand their emancipation. We stand in enthusiastic solidarity with the Indian working class, and we look forward to news of their success.