Volume 7, No. 4, April. 2006

May Day 2006:

Crisis, War, Fascist Terror & Great Revolutionary Opportunities

On the occasion of May Day we take stock of the present situation in the world and our country to assess the fast changing situation and the growing potential for the revolutionary forces. It is these changes that have to be assessed to evolve effective tactics in the present situation of great volatility, within the framework of the general strategy.
International and domestic events are developing rapidly. Both are in a deep flux. Development never takes place in a straight line; there are numerous twists and turns. Over the past year this is to be clearly seen. Ofcourse, this is taking place within the general framework of the present period marked by the massive attacks of finance capital worldwide — economic, political, social, cultural, and even military —going under the signboard of ‘globalisation’. Particularly since 2001 and the 9/11 attacks, it is manifested by: a growing economic and political crisis worldwide; increasing war-like policies of the number one imperialist, US imperialism, and greater unilateralism; greater and more ruthless attacks (economic and also military) by the imperialists, particularly the US imperialists, on the backward countries of the world; increased impoverisation of the working class in the developed countries and mass scale destitution in the backward countries; and greater fascisation of the state in all countries of the world in the name of fighting the ‘war on terror’.
Though the above trend continues in general let us assess the concrete situation which throws up great challenges to the proletariat on this May Day of 2006. First we shall look at the international situation and then that in our country.

International Situation
In this we shall first look at the changing economic scenario; then the situation in the enemy camp of imperialism and their lackeys; then we shall look at that of the people’s forces worldwide and the potentials for advancing the revolutionary movements.

Fragile Economy & Growing Crisis
Though there has been a partial recovery since the severe downturn in the world economy in 2001, this has been faltering, weak and exceedingly fragile. Many an economist are predicting another crash, notwithstanding the high growth rates shown by official data for the US. Besides, this halting recovery has been accompanied by jobless growth, leading to further impoverisation of the masses worldwide. Also much of the so-called growth is illusory as it is not due to dynamism in the economies of the developed countries but the high growth rates recorded in the backward countries, most of which are based not on a sound economy but on imperialist induced artificial booms accompanied to a large extent by speculative capital.
If we look at the major economies things do not look that bright. The stagnation in the Japanese economy continued to be acute for the 15th year running. Though the growth rate in the last year picked up a bit, after having shrunk 0.5% in 2004, still it cannot be said that Japan is on its feet again. For the euro zone area the growth rate was a bare 1.5% last year after recording a 1% growth in 2004. French bankruptcies reached a 7-year high and the auto industry (the major export earner) registered a staggering decline of 11%. Its fourth quarter growth rate in 2005 was down to 0.2%. In Germany it has reached an all-time high of 11.5%. Unemployment in Europe continued at 10% with no sign of declining. Japan witnessed the crash of its fifth largest bank, Resona, and had to be bailed out with the government spending $17 billion. Basically these two major imperialist blocks — the EU and Japan — continue to be in economic sluggishness in virtual recessionary conditions.
In the US the official growth rate in the GDP recorded was 3.5%. Much of this has been linked to the housing/real-estate boom, which is expected to burst any day. Besides, its economy is exceedingly fragile, with mountains of debt and deficits. After gigantic budget and current account (i.e. the trade deficit + service imports/exports) deficits in 2004 it has gone up even higher last year. Last year the budget deficit was $ 400 billion and the current account deficit $780 billion (India’s total budget is just $104 billion). In addition the dollar value continued to decline vis-à-vis other major currencies, particularly the euro. The confidence in the dollar as the only international currency is on the decline and governments have already started investing their reserves in other currencies. The US must get investments at the rate of $ 2 billion per day to cover its trade deficit. If governments start investing their reserves in euros or other currencies the economy will be pushed to a crisis. At present foreign creditors hold about $11 trillion in US bonds or 43% of the superpower’s privately held national debt. If even a part of this was to be withdrawn it would precipitate a crisis; such is the fragility of the US economy. Besides, the benefits of the so-called high growth rates have only gone to the elite. In the last two years a huge 1.1 million more people live below the poverty line than two years back — taking the figure of those below the poverty line in the US to a massive 37 million. The horrifying impact of the Katrina hurricane has gone to show the extent of impoverisation amongst a section of Americans, particularly the Afro-Americans. It is only the rich who have gained from the policies of globalization. Since 1973 the average income of the top 1% has doubled and the top 0.1% has tripled.
The main growth areas have been Russia, particularly due to the sky-rocketing oil prices, and a continuation of the growth cycle of the Chinese economy. Russia is once again seeking to establish its imperialist muscle, at least in its backyard. By 2004 Russia became the second largest oil exporter in the world and the largest gas exporter. With sky-rocketing oil prices this has not only given Russia renewed economic clout but greater control over the most important energy source in the world. The rise of Putin and the take-over of the biggest Russian oil company, Yukos, in 2002, signaled the return of Russia assertion. Yukos had planned to sell 44% of its stake to US oil giant ExxonMobil, when the owner was imprisoned and his assets taken over by the government.
China too has become assertive all over the globe with its growing economic power. Chinese goods now not only have swamped Asian markets they have also deeply penetrated the US. It is heavily investing throughout the world in oil companies. It continues with its growth rate of between 8 and 9%. The extreme levels of exploitation of labour in China, with no labour laws, have made it a hunting ground for all imperialist companies and cheap goods internationally.
If we turn then to the backward countries, the situation is getting worse each day due to the continuous increase in the imperialist/comprador loot. Not only do the imperialists siphon off the loot form these countries abroad so do the compradors destroying the local economies. So, for example, according to the Guardian, 50% of the cash holdings of rich individuals in Latin America is now held abroad and that some 30% of the GDP of sub-Saharan Africa disappeared abroad in the second half of the 1990s. The situation in the Middle East and North Africa is even worse. The same will be the situation in the countries of Asia. Over $ 5 trillion has been corruptly removed from the world’s poorest countries and lodged in the rich countries or tax havens by these compradors. This is over and above the imperialist loot anyhow going on. So the compradors have ganged-up with the imperialist to siphon off the countries wealth. So whatever may be the high growth rates shown its benefits do not reach the mass of people and is entirely focused on the elite? So also for example in India, according to a study by Technopak (Economic Times Feb. 22 06), there are one million consumers (households) for luxury goods who spend roughly Rs.4 lakhs per year on luxury items per household. This itself is a market bigger than many countries. This number is growing at 14% per year and the goal is to increase this number to three million by 2010. Africa is virtually in a state of chaos with western robber barons looting its natural resources, while Latin America is just coming out of one of the worst crisis it has ever faced.
And in this situation of crisis has also come the new oil shock, which is further threatening to destabalise the economies of the world (ofcourse giving advantage to the oil producers). With oil prices hovering between $60 and $70 a barrel and expected to go up to $100 (it was $22 a barrel two years back and at the time of the oil shock of the 1970s it was at the equivalent of $75-80 per barrel after taking account for inflation) the situation is threatening to go out of control. This is becoming a catalytic factor to push the world economy, into an even deeper crisis. It is hitting the oil-importing countries the worst — i.e. all the developed countries except Russia.
Yet in this period with the vicious attacks of finance capital on the people’s standard of living (in every way possible) there has been a gigantic leap in the profits of major big companies. Those that are being pushed to bankruptcy are being taken over in a new wave of Mergers and Acquisitions which reached a record level of $2.7 trillion last year. . So the Fortune 500 top MNCs of the world saw net profits rise a massive 15.2% in 2004 to $513 billion; in India the profits of the largest 1000 companies surged 49% in the quarter ending June 2005. To sustain this massive loot the governments are resorting to even more exploitative measures and increased fascist policies to crush all discontent, in the name of fighting ‘terror’.
With the US dominating the world economy (it accounts for a quarter of the world market for commodities), the fragility of its economy can have world wide repercussions. As the only superpower, it continues to be the number one gendarme of the world. But, it realizes that in the given economic scenario, with the rise of Europe, Japan and Russia, and the challenge from China, it can sustain its economic clout only though saber-rattling and aggressive wars of conquest. It continues to be the number one enemy of the world people. But, it is getting caught in a deeper and deeper quagmire.

US headaches & Imperialist Geo-politics
As the Marxist teachers have taught, politics is the concentrated expression of economics; and war is the continuation of politics by other means. The fragility of the US economy entails that it continue its political policies of unilateralism and war-mongering to upstage rival imperialist powers and further its neo-colonial loot of the backward countries of the world. In all multilateral forums — whether it is the UN, IMF/World Bank, WTO, Kyoto Protocol, IAEA, etc — it continues to act arbitrarily, making others buckle to its wishes or carrying on regardless. It is the Bush clique, backed by the US military-industrial-financial complex, which call the shots.
The US administration in order to pursue its imperial ambitions amidst its exceedingly fragile economy, it is resorting to fascist terror at home and war abroad. This can just be seen by its massive expenditure on defence. The defence budget proposed for the current year is a massive $ 524 billion — a 71% increase over 2001.
It has whipped up and depended on the ultra-reactionary Christian fundamenta-lists for its major support base. It is increas-ingly racist against the Afro-American population and Muslims. With the growing impoverisation of the people of the country, Bush has initiated an attack on civil liberties unparalleled in the history of the USA. The “Patriotic Act” gives the authorities the power to obtain medical records, book-buying and library records, the right to break into houses without informing the owner, etc. And now, for the first time ever, the government has the power to incarcerate anybody, indefinitely and without charge. To this, has been added massive doses of Christian fundamentalism, and the fanatic attacks on blacks, Muslims, abortion clinics, etc. All judicial and other type of employments are done on ideological grounds after detailed enquiries into the antecedents of the individual — anyone with liberal views are kicked out. It is an Orwelian-type scenario with Big Brother watching everyone. Homeland Security is the added weapon of state terror. It has continuously built up its terror apparatus at home with not only the so-called Homeland Security but in December 2004 it passed a new Bill, introducing sweeping reforms to the intelligence network. Through this Bill it set up the DNI which is a super secret service coordinating all other secret services in the country.
Abroad it is gearing up for more wars of aggression by continuously enhancing its defence budget/expenditure. Not surprisingly each successive year has seen massive increases in the defence budget of the USA. In the current year the Bush administration has requested another huge $120 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, bringing the total cost of these two wars to $ 440 billion; nearly equaling the $ 500 billion spent in the 13-years of war in Vietnam. Its aggressive posturing on Iran is an indication of its policies for the future which flows from the Bush dictum “either you are with us or against us”. The more the US economy goes into crisis, the more aggressive and ferocious it will have to be for two reasons:

First, as it will not be able to effectively counter the other imperialists through peaceful economic competition, it will use its military might for that purpose — particularly in grabbing or holding on to markets and sources of raw materials in the third world countries. Second, the more severe the crisis the more the need to extract more and more from the backward countries; the more and more becomes its insatiable appetite for super-profits which it will extract through greater pressure tactics, arm-twisting and, where necessary, wars of aggression. So today it is the worlds super-cop, super terrorist and superpower — the number one enemy of the world’s people.
But its advance has been far from smooth; in fact in the last year it has had to face setback after setback in many parts of the world. Its only advantage has been that its main contender, the EU, has been relatively more silent in challenging the US’s domination compared to the time of the initiation of the Iraq war.

(i) Imperialist Contention
Let us take the second point first — i.e. is the E.U.’s temporary lethargy in challenging the US. This is for two reasons — the US agreeing to share part of the loot; second, the EU’s own serious problems. As soon as Bush took power for the second term his first task was a high profile trip to Europe; here, instead of his earlier aggressive posture he took on a more conciliatory role and gave to France and Germany a part of the contracts earlier denied. But more importantly it is the EU’s own crisis that has prevented assertion against its main economic rival. It not only faced a second year of stagnation in its economy, its attempt to consolidate the EU failed when two of the major countries — France and The Netherlands — voted against the new EU Constitution. The divisions were further aggravated with the coming to power in Germany of a more pro-US Chancellor (Christian Democrat). So temporarily the contention between these two major imperialist centres has somewhat subdued, though conflicts in the sphere of trade continue to be as acute.
But the situation with the other imperialist power — Russia — is exactly the opposite. With its economy reviving and its wielding of oil/gas power, it has sought a new assertion, particularly against the US and its ambitions in its backyard in the erstwhile Soviet countries. In Central Asia the US has faced a set-back over the last year with Russia (together with China) re-asserting its influence in the region. In spite of it huge efforts in fomenting “velvet revolutions” (in Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgystan) through massive amounts of NGO funds pumped in, it is now on the retreat. Ironically after 9/11 US sought to oust Russia from the region utilising the services of Karimov of Uzbekistan, it is now he, at Russian behest, who is leading the offensive to throw the US out of the region. After 9/11 the US formed the CACO (Central Asian Cooperation Organisation) with four countries led by Uzbekistan and in just the one year of 2002 the US pumped in $1 billion into the region. In a further bid to isolate Russia it formed the GUUAM alliance of five Central Asian countries.
But the process began to be reversed during the last year or two. In April 2005 Uzbekistan withdrew from GUUAM. Though the seeds for this reversal began in about 2003 itself, it has taken a serious turn during 2005. In addition, to counter the US backed Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, Russia signed a $677 million deal with Bulgaria and Greece to build a trans-Balkan pipeline to take 35 mt of Russian and Kazakh oil to the Mediterranean. In June 05 Karimov (president of Uzbekistan) accused the US of stirring trouble in the region and in the same month he signed a defence pact with Russia. On July 29th Uzbekistan told the US to get rid of its airbase within 180 days. Earlier, on July 2nd the Presidents of Russia and China at their Summit in Moscow, issued a declaration on the “World Order in the 21st Century”. Three days after the Summit, at a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, leaders of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan joined the two in rejecting “attempts at monopoly and domination in international affairs”. The SCO called on the US to set a deadline for the withdrawal of its bases from the region “now that the anti-terror campaign in Afghanistan is coming to an end”. On August 18th Russia and China began the first ever military exercise involving 10,000 troops from the navy, air force, army and paratroopers. This was watched over by the defence ministers of both countries.
Putin’s pro-active policy in Central Asia helped Moscow consolidate its hold over oil and gas flows in the region — which was eagerly sought by the US. Gazprom sealed a mega deal with Turkmeinistan to buy all its gas exports. LUKoil signed a $930 million deal to develop 250 billion cu meters gas field in Uzbekistan and Gazprom signed a $1.5 billion 45-year deal to exploit the gas of Uzbekistan. As much as 70% of the oil of Kazakhstan is pumped through Russia. Besides, Europe is to a large extent dependent for its energy sources on Russia. 36% of Western Europe and 50% of Central Europe is dependent on Russian Gas. Over and above this, in Sept.05 Gazprom and Germany signed a mega $ 5 billion deal for a gas pipeline to Germany. The route of the pipeline bypasses the pro-US countries of Ukraine and Poland.
Russia has also returned as a key player in West Asia. Also, Russia is making gains in the Arab world. On 30th June 05 Russia was unanimously accepted as an observer state to the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC). This was granted as an exception to OIC rules and not granted to any other country. In recent years Russia has built close relations with Israel while continuing its relations with the Arab world. It has also re-built extensive ties with Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Not surprisingly both Russia and China have deep economic ties with Iran — Russia in the development of its nuclear energy and China in its oil and gas production!!! This has implications on the geo-politics of the Middle East.
Recently Russia and China have built closer ties in their international contention with the other imperialist powers. Russian imperialism is once again becoming an important contender in the imperialist scramble. The boom in oil prices has to some extent facilitated this, given its huge reserves. It has also used this as a weapon, as when it cut off the supplies to the Ukraine and asked the country to quadruple the price overnight.
Meanwhile the US is seeking to consolidate the Eurasia block. In December last year it signed a “historic military access agreement” with Romania to establish four military bases in the Black Sea area. In the same month it also floated the new regional grouping entitled Community for Democratic Choice (CDC). This comprises nine countries from the Balkans, Baltic and the Black sea regions. The conclave on Dec 2 05 at Kiev was attended by the presidents of the Ukraine, Georgia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Romania, Moldova, Slovenia and Macedo-nia, apart from delegations from Azerbaijan, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland, and observers from the US. Its main plank is anti-Russia and interestingly both Germany and Turkey have been kept out.
So, contention proceeds apace amongst the imperialist powers. Of course, as yet, none are willing or able to stand up when the US flexes its military muscle.

(ii) Bogged Down in West Asia
In the Middle East & Afghanistan the US is stuck in the quagmire of the Iraq and Afghan wars. The resistance to US occupation continues to intensify and the number of body-bags returning home from Iraq continues to increase. There is increas-ing opposition to the war in the US itself, which took a quantum leap with the mother of a killed soldier going on a dharna against Bush. In Afghanistan US control does not extend beyond Kabul, making pipeline transport of oil and gas from Central Asia a near impossible task. Of course Israel continues to act as its front-paw of the US in the Middle-East region and the so-called withdrawal of settlers from the Gaza strip was nothing but a ruse to entrench itself even further in the region. Gaza, that has a population of 1.4 million Palestinians, and the 8,000 settlers (there are 4 lakh settlers in the West Bank) was expensive to sustain, so a pull out was more feasible — each settler has been re-settled at a huge cost of $ 1 million per family and Gaza turned into a Bantustan encircled in every way by the Israelis. A media hoax was enacted to give the impression of resistance from those settlers. But, here too from seeking a total puppet to run the PA (Palestinian Authority), it has resulted in the Hamas coming to power. The US and Israel is threatening all and sundry to not recognise the new government; but even the servile Egypt government refused to bow to US dictates on this question. To make them bend Israel cut off giving the tax payments amounting to $50 million per month to, starve the PA into compliance; but the EU made a special payment to the PA to tide them over the next month (March 2006), after which the Hamas is supposed to take power. Ofcourse, their aim is to pacify the Hamas and bring them into the peaceful ‘mainstream’.
Iran has become the new flash point in West Asia. A missile attack on Iran, without commitment of ground troops has been an important US plan since the last two years. In Jan 2003 itself Bush signed the CONPLAN 8022-02, which envisages the use of air power and does not preclude the deployment of earth penetrating “mini nukes” to target underground sites. In the summer of 2005 Rumsfeld approved a top secret “Interim Global Strike Alert Order” under which the US Strategic Command, which at one time focused on nuclear forces alone, has been ordered to maintain round-the-clock readiness. Though the EU-3 were first negotiating with Iran, it now is totally following the US dictat. In the latest vote to refer it to the UN Security Council even Russia and China hesitantly fell in line. But action will not be that easy as not only Russia and China are heavily involved in Iran, but also Japan has huge investments there and gets a large part of its oil supplies from Iran. Besides, an attack on Iran will further push up oil prices which will hit the world economy badly.
So the US is getting more and more bogged down in West Asia which is becoming a noose around its neck.

(iii) Being Eased Out of Latin America
In its very backyard of Latin America the Free Trade Area of Americas (FTAA) which was to materialize on Jan 1, 05 embracing 30 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, has failed to materialize due to Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay refusing to lift trade barriers. Not only that, Chavez of Venezuela has gone on an anti-US offensive suggesting a Latin American alternative — A Bolivarian Alternative of Americas. He has already floated two projects — the Petrosur and the Telesur. The Petrosur will bring together all state run oil companies of the region (Venezuela is the 5th largest oil-producing country in the world). Also Venezuela, Uruguay, Argentina, and Cuba have joined hands to set up a TV station, Telesur. This will have a strategic alliance with Al Jazeera and have on its board European big-wigs like Le Monde Diplomatique editor (France), Tariq Ali (Britain) and others. Venezuela also struck huge oil deals with China in August 2005.
Frustrated in its attempts to form the FTAA the US finally formed a pathetic CAFTA (Central American Free trade Agreement) in June this year with the five tiny banana republics of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.
Already, in recent elections anti-US governments (to varying degrees) have been voted to powering country after country; particularly Venezuela (besides Cuba) has been taking an openly hostile approach to the Bush regime. Bolivia too elected a candidate who has been anti-US. More than that, for the first time in the history of the OAS (Organisation of American States) — a virtual CIA outfit, 60% of whose fund come from the US — has elected a secretary general against US wishes. The victor, Isulza from Chile, has been an outspoken critique of the US war in Iraq. The OAS has been an instrument of implementing the infamous Monroe Doctrine under which the US maintained the right to interfere in the affairs of the neighbouring countries.
The US is therefore facing serious problems in its once safe backyard.

(iv) Africa — land of Carpetbaggers
In Africa the scramble for control of the rich resources is getting more intense. The so called writing off the dept of the poorest 18 countries at the last G-8 meeting is said to be the signal for a new scramble for control of Africa as it comes with strict measures of economic reforms to be monitored by the World Bank under its new megalomaniac president, Paul Wolfowitz. In this scramble China too has got involved. China effectively entered the new scramble for Africa in 1996 - 1997, when it signed a major oil agreement with the government of Sudan. China accelerated the scramble game in December 2003 when it cancelled all the debts owed it by the neo-colonial regimes of Africa. This unilateral move, plus other promises issued by the Chinese regime to open its markets to preferential trade with 34 African countries, combined with the pressure exerted from the reparations and debt relief movements forced the western imperialists to make this public relations manoeuvre and restructure Africa’s debts.
Africa continues to be a land of the carpetbaggers with business mafia plundering it as in the dark ages. In this there are various militia factions backed by European and US powers fighting for

control and domination over its rich mineral resources. Most countries of the continent continue to be ravaged in this way through internecine wars.

(v) Asia : The China Obsession
In Asia the US is growing more paranoiac of China’s growing influence. Here, the US has won some diplomatic gain with the drawing in of India deeper into their geo-political axis. In this region the US has a number of faithfuls in Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Philippines, Pakistan and now a deepening strategic partnership with India. India is not only a very important market for its goods, it is also an important economic base for its markets in the entire region. Also given its size it has become a key aspect of the US geo-political plans in the region of domination and a counter to China. With China it has a love-hate relation. On the one hand, in the immediate sense, the huge Chinese market is of great importance for the US in this period of crisis. On the other the Chinese economic growth is threatening US markets throughout the world. The bid of the Chinese oil company to take over the key US oil manufacturer, Unocol, in June 05, is an indication of Chinese growing economic clout. Unocol has been a key player in all the troublespots of the world dealing with the Burmese junta, the Taliban, etc. A Unocol consultant, Zalmay Khalilzad, was the US ambassador to Afghanistan for 18 months and is now ambassador to Iraq. Not surprisingly the US government blocked the deal, though China was the highest bidder. In US imperialism’s geo-political strategy for Asia, India will have an important role, particularly given its servile ruling classes. But here too China is giving it a strong fight.

(vi) US imperialism’s fractured claws draws Blood
So, all over the world, though the US seeks domination it is facing serious problems. The more it is pushed to the wall, the more fierce and aggressive it gets. The appointment of leading neo-conservatives to international bodies, in the face of massive opposition, is an indication of its aggressive plans for the future. The US deputy secretary of defence and one of the chief architects of the wars of extermination in Iraq, Afghanistan, etc and aggressively pro-Israel, Paul Wolfowitz, has been made President of the World Bank. And John Bolton, a rabid UN-basher, has been made the US’s permanent representative to the UN, inspite of vehement opposition from the US senate itself. His first job has been to propose the total rehauling of the UN to make it more servile to US interests.
It is clear from all the above that the US’s war-mongering and aggressive policies will become more ruthless, desperate and arbitrary in the future. The more it is pushed to the wall, the more vicious it will become. And as the crisis deepens the contention between the imperialist powers is bound to grow, particularly amongst the US, Russia and Europe. In the coming year major re-alignments will take place in the relation of the reactionary forces the world over, with the US stumbling along on new military adventures. Meanwhile fascist forces are growing in all countries actively being promoted by the ruling classes. The new flash point is Iran.
But the people of the world are not taking this lightly and there has been a rise in the mass movements throughout the world.

People’s Resistance
Though the anti-war and anti-globalisation movement which peaked in 2003 has been at a lower level due to the politics of the social democrats and the NGOs that lead it, it has not died out. The militant street clashes in Australia last year during an imperialist meet against the involvement of the Australian government in the Iraq war are an indication of the continuing resentment. Such outbursts are taking place regularly throughout most countries of the world, though on a smaller scale. In the US the sentiments for the withdrawal of troops from Iraq has reached levels seen during the Vietnam War. Now the majority of the people are against the war in Iraq.
Besides this there was an upsurge in the working class movements, particularly in Europe, Russia and even in rural China.
In the developed countries the biggest conflagration was in France which burned for nearly a month. Pent up anger of the black immigrants exploded in over 20 days of violence, resulting in the burning of 10,000 vehicles and destruction of a large number of public buildings. Never, since 1968 has France seen such an outburst of people’s protest as occurred in October 2005. But this is not all; in the earlier part of the year France witnessed massive workers and student actions. In February last year a strike wave swept entire France. Over three lakh workers demonstrated against the government’s plan to extend the working hour week. In total 3,21,000 people joined 140 demonstrations across France. On February 5, some 500,000 people demonstrated across France, workers and students held industrial actions and protests earlier that week in the run-up to the general strike. On 8th March, between 165,000 to 200,000 students held nationwide demonstrations, protesting against the reforms to the curriculum at universities and secondary schools. In Paris police used tear gas against students in an attempt to disperse the protest. So, it was an all embracing strike. Same could be said about the strike in France on 14th May 2003 which witnessed the greatest workers’ mobilisation since the mass strike movement of 1995.
In Germany the massive strikes at the Opel (General Motors) plant last October was accompanied by working class strikes in a number of other MNC companies. In March 2005 there was the march on Berlin. During the last couple of years people of Italy have been in the forefront not only in the anti-war movement but also in taking direct working class actions. There were a number of strikes in different sectors like textile, steel etc. but the most important one was the nation-wide strike on 18-03-05 in which millions of public service workers took part. Reports mentioned that members of the General Confederation of the Labour Union paraded their flags in Rome. This solid action forced the negotiations to start, and finally in May 05, a pay increase of 5.01% was agreed upon. Britain witnessed massive strike activity last year throughout February and March against the huge cuts in pensions. In the USA tens of thousands of workers have either threatened to go on strike or have gone on strike. This is because the corporations have tried to reduce the impact of the current economic crisis by firing workers, reducing salaries and benefits, freezing wages or outsourcing jobs to other countries.
In January last year militant demonstrations struck Russia after the government’s new legislations to cut welfare measures particularly of pensioners and government employees. Road and rail blocks, occupation of government buildings were accompanied by student protests and tacit support from sections of the army and police. In China too the last two years have witnessed growing unrest, on a scale not yet seen in the country. The Chinese government itself admitted that there were 74,000 mass demonstrations and riots during 2004. There have also been incidences of people openly calling for the restoration of the earliest Maoist system and condemning the present capitalist rulers as betrayers of Mao. They have boldly faced prison sentences.
In the backward countries there has particularly been a surge of anti-imperialist movements throughout Latin America, particularly targeted at US imperialism. As they do not have any revolutionary focus these movements have only led to the displacement of one government after another, with anti-US governments in power in six countries. Particularly strong have been the movements in Bolivia, Venezuela, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and the continuing armed struggle in Columbia. Also the extreme marginalization of the populace in most countries has resulted in a strong anti-imperialist Muslim backlash all around the world. They have been the focus of Christian and Hindu fundamentalist, as also racist/communal attacks and humiliation throughout the world. Due to the lack of a militant communist alternative the masses have turned to those in the battle against the oppressors — the fundamentalists. This type of opposition is also convenient for the imperialists and reactionaries as it is easily contained and it helps them fuel their own fascist and racist propaganda.
But, at the forefront of the anti-imperialist movement of the world have been those led by the Maoists in Nepal, Philippines, India, Turkey and Peru. In spite of brutal attacks they continue to survive and grow. In the forefront of these movements is the people’s war in Nepal. With a powerful people’s army the Maoists of Nepal have been hitting consistent blows on the monarchy. Today, around 70% of the country is in the hands of the Maoists of Nepal. In India the merger of the two major Maoist forces has led to a quantum leap in their striking capacity which has been witnessed in the course of the past one-and-a-half years, since the merger.
So, though the movements against imperialism and reaction worldwide are growing, the one serious and continuing weakness in the prevailing excellent situation is the weakness of the genuine proletarian forces. Though there has been a small growth in Maoist forces this has been insignificant, relative to the potential. In most of the developed countries the Maoist forces are miniscule and many in a right reformist tendency. In most of Latin America and Africa the Maoist forces are yet to regain their initiative. Only in Asia (that too only Nepal, Philippines and India) there has been some growth, and here too the historic movements of Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Burma, Bangladesh, etc are yet to revive.
A revival of the genuine communist forces of the world will lead to a qualitative leap in the forces aligned against imperialism worldwide. While intensifying the anti-imperialist struggle worldwide it is the revival of the genuine communist forces in the world which alone will be able to effectively lead the masses against the oncoming vicious fascist and brutal repression.

Domestic Situation
Two facts stand out in the two years of UPA rule: first the blinding speed of implementation of the polices of opening up to imperialism, particularly the US; second, increasing fascist terror on all dissent, while particularly targeting the Maoists. Both are, of course complimen-tary, as opening up the economy requires brutal attacks on the people’s living standards, and the resulting discontent has to be pacified to make India a profitable hunting ground for the imperialist sharks and their comprador hangers on. Both these are nothing but a continuation of the policies of the earlier NDA government. In this there is basically no difference between the two, notwithstanding the presence of the CPI/CPM in the present government. The CPM’s main role as Congress collaborator, is to diffuse anger by a show of mock dissent against UPA policies and to rush to hot-spots (as Rajasthan, Gurgaon, Gohana, withdrawal of the airport/railway strikes, etc) to somehow pacify the people, divert their attention, diffuse their militancy and, as a by-product, seek some more votes.
All the ruling class parties have a common approach of falling at the feet of the imperialists, particularly the US, implement the policies they dictate, no matter how horrifying its impact on the lives of the people, and suppress by brute force and fascist measures the people’s discontent. Only in the latter the methods they adopt may slightly differ — the BJP gang use the Hindutva communal card with crude and open terror; the Congress, with its decades of experience in ruling the country, is more sophisticated in using the instruments of terror, which are often even more cruel; and the CPM covers its terror tactics in ‘progressive’ rhetoric Bengal style. Also in choosing their imperialist masters the CPI/CPM tilt a bit towards the other imperialist powers like Russia, Europe and Japan, while balancing with the US. But the central policy is of greater and greater capitulation to imperialism, and particularly the US. The Manmohan Singh’s govern-ment military agreements with the US, its deepening economic and political ties, its greater pro-US role in international forums as on the IAEA vote against Iran, etc are all indications of the Indian rulers licking the US geo-political boot. Besides, the major comprador big bourgeois houses, like Reliance, Tata, Birla, etc, the bulk of the powerful NRI gang and the entire InfoTech sector, are deeply tied to the US/British bandwagon.
What we find is therefore a tightening imperialist noose around the country’s necks having a disastrous impact on the lives of the masses. The country’s growth pattern is geared to the fattening of the top one percent of the country’s population (about 10 million) which itself is larger than most countries of the world. The rest are totally expendable even if they starve and die, the existing system could not care as they are not a significant part of their market calculations. According to their own calculation (a survey done by Technopak and reported in the Economic Times on Feb.20 2006) there are 1.6 million households who spend a minimum of Rs.4 lakhs per annum on luxury items (not including expenditure on services like hotels, tourism, travel, etc) — i.e. a minimum of Rs.64,000 crores (or $ 15 billion) per year; and if one includes services it would be to the tune of Rs.1 lakh crores ($ 22 billion) per year — and this number they plan to

double by the year 2010. This 1.6 million households or population of about 8 million is less than 1% of the population of the country and just their expenditure on luxury goods and services amounts to over 5% of the country’s GDP.
So the entire ruling class’s policy is to increase the purchasing power of this section (and increasing their numbers) by increased impoverishment of the country. So cut subsidies and welfare measures for the poor and middle classes, raise taxes on the middle classes, reduce expenditure on rural development, etc, while at the same time increase subsidies and tax cuts for the rich and big business. In just one budget of 2002 Rs.11,000 crores was gifted in this way to the rich. The same policies are followed in every budget including the latest. And as the imperialist stranglehold on the country tightens such polices become more fierce, more blatant, more crude; and any attempt to oppose it is crushed by brute force.
The result of such policies can be seen by the extent of the imperialist control that already exists.

The Imperialist Onslaught
Hardly a day passes when there is not a report of a takeover of some company or the other by foreign capital. This takeover is taking place in two ways: Firstly it is through FIIs (Foreign Institutional Investments), where these FIIs are systematically buying up the companies by purchasing their share capital. This is being facilitated by the government relaxing the laws to allow the open entry of FIIs in all sectors. The second is by the direct MNC penetration through the FDI (Fixed Direct Investment) route. These giants themselves buy up companies, either by purchasing existing ones, or by ousting their partner in joint ventures. In addition new MNC investments come in on a large scale like Enron and now the giant steel plant Posco and in other spheres of the infrastructure.
The extent of FII penetration has reached such levels that today the FIIs have displaced the FIs (Indian Financial Institutions like UTI, LIC, IDBI, etc) in the quantum of capital they control in industry. While FIIs hold 18% of the share capital the FIs hold a mere 7% today {Economic Times May 11, 05}. And the FII rate of increase is rapid, particularly in some sectors like the banks. Normally a 26% stake is sufficient to be in control of the company. All government and RBI rules are being changed to facilitate these takeovers. A host of big companies already have well over this 26% foreign capital — like HDFC, Satyam Computers, Infosys, ICICI Bank, Zee, NIIT, Gujarat Ambujam Cement, etc — where the imperialists dictate the terms.
Besides this the MNC takeovers are proceeding at breakneck speed, facilitated by government policy and encouragement at both Central and State level. Here too not a day passes without some MNC or the other either ousting their Indian partner or increasing their stake in the joint venture. In this way the entire cement industry has been virtually taken over in just the last year. A similar situation is to be seen in mining, electricity, pharmaceuticals, infrastructure and nearly all sectors of the economy — and this is not just in consumer products which is already near-fully in MNC hands. Now the UPA government is pushing for the takeover of Indian banks, telecom, real estate, airports, retail business at a fast pace. Already 74% foreign capital has been allowed into banks, telecom, construction and it is a matter of time before they allow it in the other sectors. The PM said recently there is need to take bold steps. And CPM chief of West Bengal said that we cannot stay in the old time-warp. Both sing the same tune. No wonder there has been a spate of what are called Mergers and Acquisitions in the period of UPA rule — in India these are mostly acquisitions by foreign companies of local ones. The value of these acquisitions in the year 2004 nearly doubled over the previous year to $ 7.5 billion and in the last year it has increased even further.
Besides all this the most pernicious onslaught in the past year or two is in the sphere of mining. Just the three states of Orissa, Jharkhand and Chhathisgarh have signed MoUs of about Rs.4 lakh crores (about $ 90 billion) for iron ore mining and steel production. Huge contracts have also been signed for bauxite. The companies involved are primarily the big compradors — Tatas, Jindals, Ruias, etc — and MNCs. This is set to create mass displacement of forest dwellers, primarily tribals.
In fact today the entire economy is being geared to dependence on imperialism by making it import-export oriented. Not only is this detrimental to the indigenous growth and overall health of the economy, but it has been generating huge trade deficits, as exports far exceed imports. Last year the trade deficit (excess of imports over exports) has been growing at the rate of about $4 billion per month, which amounted to a gigantic figure of roughly $ 50 billion by the end of the year. This huge Rs. 2 lakh crores of a trade deficit, can at any time lead to a balance of payment crisis (where there is no foreign exchange to pay interest on the foreign debt) as the external debt has itself risen by as much as 10% last year to a gigantic $123 billion, entailing ever-increasing interest payments. The large foreign exchange reserves are nothing but hot money of the foreign investors and the NRIs that can be taken out at a moment’s notice.
To facilitate the tightening imperialist grip on the economy the UPA government is changing the basic laws of the land at the dictates of their masters. VAT was brought in for this purpose earlier this year. Then the New Patents Act was brought in on Jan.1 05 as per WTO instructions. Then came the Seed Bill. Now there is the Special Economic Zone Bill, 2005 which treats such zones as outside the territorial jurisdiction of Indian Customs and grants exemption from all central taxes and labour laws. There is not a single sphere of the economy that is remaining untouched with the state governments acting in similar fashion to the Centre. Particularly in this year there has been a huge jump in the sale of raw material wealth to the imperialists with the signing of contracts for iron ore, steel, aluminum (bauxite), coal, and many other mineral resources of the country. Not only this even the country’s water is being sold to them at a rapid pace as indicated by the fraudulent deals by the Delhi Chief Minister to sell the assets of the Delhi Jal Board cheap.
While all imperialists are competing for a cut in the Indian cake it is the US that are in the lead. Ofcourse others like Russia, France, Japan, etc are all making a grab and competing. The visit of the French president just a few days before the Bush visit is an indication of the intense scramble for the Indian market. Particularly the rush for the new multi-billion dollar nuclear market being opened up is stiffly competed for by the US, France and Russia. Russia continues to have large military deals with India. Over the last three decades the EU has given over Rs. 10,000 crores for economic and developmental projects in India. The EU is working with about 120 NGOs in sectors like health and education in a big way involving 65 million euro. And in spite of a lot of arm-twisting by the US in favour of Boeing the govt. signed a huge deal for 43 aircraft for IA worth $2.2 billion; while signing an even bigger deal with Boeing. Many deals have also been struck with France, particularly in defence. The Iran pipeline issue has also become a major focus of contention with the pro-Moscow section of the rulers pushing for it and the US vigorously opposing it. So, contention continues, but it is the US that has the upper-hand.
Over the last few months the US has significantly tightened its grip over the economics, politics and the military of the country. This process took a gigantic leap with the visit of the defence minister, Pranab Mukherjee to the US in end June last year and immediately followed by that of the Prime Minister in mid-July.
The Defence agreement is for a period of 10 years and binds the Indian armed forces in various ways to US military interests. It acts to facilitate US military intervention within the country (to supposedly combat terrorism) and utilize the Indian armed forces as cannon fodder for the US’s geo-political interests throughout the world, and particularly in Asia. The US openly states that US military officials are “candid in their plans to eventually seek access to Indian bases and military infrastructure.”
Then, during Manmohan Singh’s visit the agreements signed were all-encompassing. They covered such strategic areas as nuclear and geo-political, as also in industry and finance, agriculture and even education. In Manmohan Singh’s high-flying visit he was not only accompanied by most top ministers but also chiefs of business houses and top bureaucrats. For the first time ever top business houses were part of the official delegation of the PM comprising the major chiefs of the comprador big bourgeois houses like, Ambani, Tata, Narayan Murty, Premji, Birla, etc. For the first time ever a CEO (the heads of these business empires are called Chief Executive Officers) Forum has been formed comprising ten CEOs from Indian and US big business each. The purpose of this Forum is clear: to facilitate the greater flow of US investment in India and tightening the stranglehold of US finance capital over the Indian economy. After this visit US companies in India have got over-active, with the US Chamber of Commerce demanding further liberalization of the FDI regime to increase US FDI in India from the present $16 billion to $50 billion.
The Bush visit (see article in issue) further pushed the Indian ruling classes into the US strategic plans through the signing a host of agreements. Particularly the humiliating nuclear agreement was pushed through after a lot of arm-twisting of the top brass of the atomic scientific community by the PMO. Besides important agreements were signed on defence, energy agriculture, science and technology, etc throwing open the country to even greater loot by the US multinationals. To help this process Bush was accompanied by 50 heads of US TNCs. With the high-level CEO Forum comprising heads of Indian big business (chaired by Tata) and US TNCs the compradors of the country have been more tightly bound by to the US bandwagon. Not only that during this visit the servile Indian rulers agreed to further US strategic interests worldwide (as in Iran pr the WTO) in the name of promoting ‘democracy’ worldwide and prising open other markets for US interests. Whether Vajpayee or Manmohan in India, or Clinton or Bush in the US the policies have been the same. This time the snub meted out to Pakistan by Bush was even more humiliating than the when Clinton went there. India is slowly developing into the Israel of Asia, with the aim of using it to push US interests in the region, use it as a militarist power to crush revolutionary and nationality movements, and with the long-term aim of containing China.
Besides the Indian rulers, with US backing, are pushing their expansionist ambitions in the region. India is the launching pad for most imperialist countries from where it seeks to conquer the entire South Asian market. India’s comprador big bourgeoisie also has always had its dirty eye on entire South Asia. So the two’s interests tie up. In fact during the past year most MNCs have begun appointing CEOs not merely to look after Indian operations, as in the past, but for entire South Asia. Besides the US is very much seeking to tie India into its military ambitions in the region, particularly as a potential counter to China. For that reason in order to flex its expansionist muscles in the region the Indian government has been on a spree for purchase of weapons.
In 2004 India became the largest importer of arms in the world. This amounted to a huge $ 6 billion worth of arms. Massive deals were struck particularly with Russia (for the $1.5 billion Aircraft Carrier), with Europe for the $1.8 billion 66 Advanced Jet Trainers and with Israel of $2.2 billion which included the unmanned spy jets (Phalcon). And on top of all this it has now, Sept 05, gone and signed a massive $3 billion deal with France for submarines. Such massive purchase of sophisticated weaponry is only to serve its expansionist needs particularly in South Asia. It is also becoming more involved internationally as a tool of the imperialists (particularly US) to suppress people’s movements and act as cannon fodder for imperialist interests. In South Asia it has already taken Sri Lanka in its grip through numerous humiliating trade agreements and military ‘assistance’. It utilized the Tsunami tragedy to further tighten this grip over the country. It has supplied the government with huge quantities of arms. In Bangla Desh it has assumed an aggressive posture, provoking border clashes and dadagiri to make it give a part of its large gas resources to India. And against Pakistan it keeps blowing hot and cold to get it to its knees in order to force it to open up its markets to Indian goods. Bhutan is virtually made into another state of India and is forced to sell it large hydroelectric resources cheap to India.
So, in a word it can be said that the imperialist onslaught on the country, particularly that of the US, continues apace with ever-fastening speed. The servile Indian comprador ruling classes are bending over backwards to welcome these gangsters into the country.

Growing People’s Movements & Govt. Onslaught
Never before in post-1947 India have the Indian masses been so pauperized as they have been by the present imperialist-dictated polices of successive govern-ments. In the new dispensation the

government’s total neglect of agriculture is creating conditions similar to that which existed during British rule. It has cut investments to a fraction of what limited amount was spent earlier; it has reduce bank credit pushing the rural population deeper into the arms of the moneylender; it has de facto scrapped the PDS stopping cheap grain to the poorest; it is virtually scrapping procurement pushing the peasants into the arms of the trading sharks; it is cutting expenditure on health pushing lakhs to their death; it is raising prices of water, electricity, and all basic necessities impoverishing the masses even further. And now, over and above this, major plans are there to evict lakhs from their habitat, with little compensation. It amounts to a virtual cold-blooded massacre of the already impoverished. In the urban slums the situation is no better with employment opportunities getting less and less — except of course for the English-speaking computer-savy upper middle classes.
The rulers have turned the entire countryside and urban ghettos into a hell hole where lakhs are dying of sickness and hunger and thousands are committing suicide out of desperation. Never before in the history of our country have suicides reached such epidemic levels. Such policies are not merely callous, they are criminal, genocidal and inhuman — they are no less than the actions of war criminals and the underworld mafia dons. In fact they are far worse and require of punishment equal to the magnitude of their crimes against humanity. On top of this these criminals are butchering in the most brutal way any who dare to resist. Arrest, torture, disap-pearances and killing in fake encounters has become routine. Even ordinary trade union struggles are crushed by brute force. The judiciary has become of late into a virtual extension of the police/magistrate gang. Forget the thousands involved in the butchery of Muslims in broad day light in Gujarat (except the nine recently convicted), even ordinary criminal actions go Scott free if they involve the powerful as in the Jessica Lal case and hundreds more. In this system even the limited democratic space has ceased to exist, and peaceful resistance cannot win it back as proposed by many liberals and the NGOs.
What is more, though fascist Hindutva is temporarily at a lower level the age old caste divisions and discrimination continue as part of this oppressive system, with attack on dalits being intensified. Upper caste domination and elitism has been magnified in this period of globalization which marginalizes the oppressed even more while pampering the elite. Dalit assertion is being brutally put down by the elite upper caste hierarchy with overt support form the state machinery.
But the people are not taking this all lying down; they are fighting back, though the level of the struggle is no where near what the situation calls for. Not only is there need to intensify the struggle to the level to be able to reverse the policies but also to be able to successfully beat back the forces of state terror. This requires not only massive mass mobilization against ruling classes but also sufficient people’s armed strength to crush the terror of the police/para-military/army/intelligence combine. The monster looks invincible but it has feet of clay.
First this monster is not united; they are deeply divided over squabbles over the spoils. In fact as the economic crisis increas-es and the inter-imperialist contradictions grow, this will magnify ten-fold. This can be seen within all the political parties and amongst them. They fight like dogs for the loot and for power. This infighting weakens them and makes them easier targets for the people’s movements. But, as yet they are united against the people’s movements particularly those led by the Maoists. They are united in their attacks on the people and their repressive measures.
It is not just the Maoists that are being targeted but particularly all people’s movements. Maoists are being singled out as they are the only force in the country that have the ability to unleash an effective struggle against all the above mentioned policies. But the brutality with which the governments have attacked the peasants in Rajasthan and the workers in Gurgaon is a clear warning to the entire peasantry and working class that it will not tolerate even the smallest protest. In Gurgaon the administration and police acted like the private army of a Japanese company. So also in Orissa the police and administration act like the hired army of the mining companies. The Orissa government has even changed the forest laws to be able to evict the tribals from the forests to allow the compradors and MNCs to loot the vast mineral wealth of the State.
Today, the judiciary, including the highest courts work and give judgments as merely and extended wing of the police. The governments surreptitious passing of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Bill, 2005 in end July and its attempts to bring in all the recommendations of the Malimath Committee report will act to institutionalize the changes already taking place. The government also has immediate plans for drastic changes in the labour laws. Also POTA continues in its new avtar, and POTA victims, like the Godhra Muslims the Naxalites of Tamilnadu, etc continue to languish in jail.
The UPA has proved to be even more ruthless than the NDA and having experience of being rulers for generations they have been systematically building up the instruments of repression recruiting massively, particularly to the para-military forces which are being used for counter-insurgency purposes.
What is more, during the last six months, having made the Maoists the number one target of their wrath the new UPA government with the CPI/CPM in tag, has planned a systematic and long-term strategy for counter-insurgency and widespread terror in the country, in what has come to be known as low-intensity conflict. In successive meetings of Chief Ministers, for the first time in the history of the Maoist movement in India, a political body with CMs was formed and the Home Minister and the Defence Minister will coordinate the decisions and the operations for the first time.
Over the past one year there have been systematic meetings of Chief Ministers, top police officials, all coordinated by the Home Minister and even with the involvement of the Defence Minister. There has been huge recruitment into the para –military and massive induction of sophisticated weaponry to crush the Maoists.
Similar preparations are taking place at the State levels. Combining able persons from all the forces like the Civil police, Special state forces, Special elite forces, Paramilitary forces, as a main combatant group is the main form of state upgrading at this juncture in AP, Chhathisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Orissa, West Bengal, Karnataka, UP, etc. Allotment of funds to modernize these forces is another important aspect, which the Centre and State governments are adopting.
In June 2005 the reactionary forces and the state launched the as yet most brutal attack against the Maoists of Bastar in the name of Jan Jagran/Salwa Judum. In Vietnamese style they have launched a murderous campaign on the masses themselves that support the revolutionaries. They have resorted to a policy of burn all, loot all, destroy all. They have burnt down 70 villages, murdered over 100 activists and ordinary villagers and gang-raped 40 women. They have destroyed the crops, looted the cattle and other property, and put the people into concentration camps along the lines of the Vietnamese style strategic hamlets. The terror there continues, led by the Congress leader of the opposition with full support from the BJP government of Chhathisgarh.
Similar Salwa Judum type structures have been set up in the other states as well, particularly Jharkhand and also West Bengal, etc.
In addition to all this vast funds are being pumped in to wean the masses away from the Maoists. A large amount of these are coming from imperialist-funded agencies, particularly the World Bank. NGOs are being pushed into the areas and huge schemes have been adopted to supposedly ‘empower’ the poor. Self Help groups are being set up in the countryside in lakhs. As Mao said, communists must be like a fish in water, deeply integrated with the masses. The purpose of these schemes is to separate the fish from the water in order to kill it. If the mass links are weak and if the people are not built into solid organisations and militias at the grass-roots level and if consciousness is not developed, the enemy can become successful in its strategy. This is the entire strategy of LIC, utilising a combination of repression and reform.
But this terror has not cowed down the people and the people have been fighting back. There have been spontaneous movements of the masses. Peasants, workers, tribals, dalits, etc have all been fighting back. The heroic battle in Kalinga Nagar by tribals against their eviction by the mining mafia is a clarion call for the coming battles. In this battle which the tribals fought with bows and arrows 12 were martyred, but they continued their struggle for a month. Here too the brutality of the police was barbaric, cutting off their fingers and destroying their private parts (including that of women) before they were killed. But the tribals were so adamant that it even forced Sonia Gandhi and the Home Minister to go and try and pacify them.
But in the lead in the battle for change in the country are the Maoists that have gained strength by their unity and the formation of the CPI (Maoist). They have particularly been effective in fighting back the onslaught on them with stepped up military actions. Since the unity the military actions have surpassed earlier times. The raid on the Girdhi armoury, the Jehanabad jail break, the blowing up of the mine-proof vehicle with 27 CRPF in Chhathisgarh are just some of the notable actions. In Bastar the vast masses have been mobilised in militias and they have been hitting back at the terror forces of the state. Lately the seizure of explosives from a dump guarded by armed CISF in Bastar and the wiping out of about 10 of the Naga forces (who have been in the forefront of the worst terror campaigns) in the midst of the worst possible repression in Bastar, is a sign of the growing strength of the Maoists.
What is more the heroic struggles of the Nepali people under the leadership of the Maoists has advanced to to take control 70% of the country. This is a great hope and inspiration not only for the people of neighbouring India but also the world. So also the Maoists movements are growing in other parts of the world, particularly Philippines, Turkey and Peru. Proletarian revolutionary movements are also advancing in other countries of the world.
On this May Day, while taking stock of the situation in India and the world, there is utmost need for the proletarian/Maoist forces to increase their strength amongst the masses, intensify the armed struggle, unite with all progressive forces against the common enemy and turn the tide against the imperialists and all reaction — in India and worldwide. The deepening world crisis, and with it growing contradictions within the enemy camp, throws up great opportunities to advance the revolutionary movements worldwide and in India.




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