Over the past six months, the right-wing, pro-U.S. imperialist BJP/RSS Government of India, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has moved sharply to attack the constitutional underpinnings of India as a secular, democratic state which have been in place ever since its emancipation of British colonial rule in 1947. These dangerous moves are part of a broader agenda in practices the ideas of communalism and Hindu nationalism on both the state and society, at the expense of various minorities, especially the very large Muslim minority which constitutes almost 15% of the entire population of India.
On August 5, 2019, the Modi Government unilaterally revoked important provisions of Article 370 of the Indian constitution regarding the special status of Jammu & Kashmir in North-eastern India. These provisions, in place since 1950, had guaranteed self-government and local autonomy for this largely Muslim state. Instead, the region has now been placed under direct administrative control of Delhi, and local elections cancelled. In response to widespread protests, the entirety of Jammu & Kashmir has been placed under military lock-down, and government officials and social activists, including leaders of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and other left parties detained and placed under house arrest. Furthermore, communications and Internet services have been shut down, and outside access, even for Indian parliamentary delegations, has been severely restricted.
In early September, our Central Executive issued a detailed statement condemning the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act, and sharply criticizing the feeble response of the Trudeau government to these developments. It demanded that the Indian government withdraw its security forces and end the lockdown in Jammu and Kashmir, and called for democratic and peaceful efforts to resolve the crisis, under the auspices of the United Nations and centred on the right of Jammu and Kashmir to national self-determination.
The Modi government, with the support of smaller right-wing and pro-fascist parties, has also succeeded in pushing through the racist Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) through the Indian parliament, which provided a means for members of migrant minorities (from neighbouring countries) currently residing in India to apply for full citizenship rights and status. But its religion-based criteria only apply to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, and Christian religious minorities, and specifically excludes those of Muslim faith. These changes, combined with the provisions of the National Registry of Citizens (NRC), could then be used to render large numbers of long-time Muslim residents in India effectively stateless, and subject to expulsion.
The provisions of the CAA/NRC changes have led to widespread protests across the entire country, led in most cases by youth and students, and supported by the trade union movement, the Communists and other left and progressive forces. In late January in the state of Kerala for instance, a historic human chain was formed to protest the constitutional changes was which 620 kms. in length and included the participation of almost seven million people.
These chauvinist and anti-democratic attacks, together with the neoliberal austerity policies of the Modi government, which have provoked massive general strikes across India, have exacerbated ethnic conflicts and social tensions and given rise to sustained and growing class and democratic struggles. The Communist Party of Canada expresses our militant solidarity with the Communist Parties, the mass labour fronts and other left and democratic forces in India in confronting the dangerous right-wing, racist policies of Modi et al which are attacking the working class and people’s movements, increasing tensions with India’s neighbours (especially Pakistan), and pushing the country further down the road to fascism.
The Central Committee agrees:
· To increase its efforts to expose and publicize the reactionary character of the Modi government and its policies through our press, social media, printed materials, and public platforms;
· To reach out to democratic and progressive forces in Indian and South Asian communities across Canada to undertake joint and common actions to protest the policies of the Modi Government, and Canadian government inaction and and/or complicity with these reactionary actions; and
· To invite a delegation from the leadership of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) to Canada, and to organize public meetings and forums for this delegation in a number of centres across the country during the coming months.
Central Committee, Communist Party of Canada, Feb 9, 2020