As Leninism-Trotskyism taught us, the Popular Front opens the way to fascism! For more than a decade, left-wing populist and traitor governments ruled by applying imperialist plans and attacking the Latin American working class.
The coup d’état in Bolivia and the instability throughout Latin America is a consequence of the terminal crisis of capitalism, which shows that this system cannot be improved, as the “progressive” governments of the region wanted us to believe.
These popular front and reformists leaders demoralized and demobilized the direct struggle of the workers. They created illusions in the bourgeois democratic regime and they never tired of saying that capitalism was now “democratic” and military coups were no longer possible. Just as they sold imperialist propaganda with the end of the USSR and the neoliberal offensive, of “good” and “peace” capitalism.
The global crisis of capitalism is the affirmation of the Leninist theory that capitalism in imperialist times is destructive, that this is the epoch of crises, wars and revolutions. “21st Century Socialism” proved to be a farce, as well as its supposed “sovereignty” and the theory of a “multipolar” world, which they use to justify their alliances with Chinese imperialism and the BRICS.
The trigger for this coup is the decline of US imperialism that loses influence over the Bolivarian ALBA that turns to China for trade and investment. But China is not just a semi-colony capable of rescuing the ALBA from US imperialism. She is the largest imperialist rival of the US, globally and also in Latin America. It is their economic power that is turning American semi-colonies into Chinese semi-colonies. It is Morales’ agreement with China on raw materials, especially lithium, that has deprived the US and the Santa Cruz oligarchy of most of this great wealth.
The reformist left that shifts all direct workers’ struggle to bourgeois elections and now allies with Chinese imperialism as an alternative to American imperialism is part of the counterrevolution. Bolivia and the whole world are being drawn to the growing inter-imperialist impulse leading to the war between the US bloc and the China / Russia bloc. And the “left” is splitting, supporting one or another imperialist bloc!
Stalinists, RT socialists and some fake Trotskyists defend the imperialist bloc of China / Russia and their allies in LA (Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua and Bolivia) against US imperialism. These LA governments have confrontations with American imperialism that are not at all “anti-imperialist” but pro-Chinese and Russian imperialism. To this left, it is no longer fighting the large foreign enterprises that often drive workers from their homes and lands, and devastate the environment as do the lithium mines today, which destroy the water and destroy the whole Uyuni Salt Flat region. They advocate handing over to Chinese companies, repeating Beijing’s propaganda that their worldwide expansion would be “win-win,” “help” for the semi-colonies. They join with the “progressive” or “democratic” bourgeoisie nationally, and in a great popular front with the imperialist bloc of China and Russia, internationally.
Latin American leftist organizations, Trotskyists like LIT and UIT, do not support Evo or Maduro, and have always placed themselves in leftist opposition to these governments. However, their solution for a way out by bourgeois democracy have placed them in positions of direct defense of the reactionary actions of the bourgeoisie, such as support for the maneuvers that led to Dilma’s impeachment in Brazil. There are also ultra-leftist organizations that stand directly on the right side, defending the coup in Bolivia or Venezuela as progressive that will overthrow the dictators and establish bourgeois democracy. The LIT comes to the nonsense of calling to combat the coup in Bolivia with “free elections!”. LIT, UIT and FT do not see China and Russia as imperialists, but they do not defend them as the Stalinists do. They ignore Chinese expansion into the world and rivalry with the US in their daily politics, and the issue is restricted to a mere formality decided by their leadership, with empirical methods that lead them to revisionist theories of “sub-imperialism” as the LIT thinks, or in “transition” to imperialist, as the FT leadership concluded.
The FLTI says China and Russia are semi-colonies and accuses as revisionist the position that these countries are imperialists. She is right when she says that in the imperialist era, because of its destructive character, it is not possible for a semi-colony to develop its productive forces and become imperialist. This theory of “developed”, “multipolar”, “transitional” capitalism is revisionist and serves the reformist politics of the left to ally itself with the “progressive” national bourgeoisie or “good” China / Russia or “democratic” imperialism. from the USA. FLTI concludes from its analysis of the coup that Morales sold out to the US. If that was the case then how to explain a US backed coup? China and Russia are today imperialists because their revolution recognised that it was only possible to develop the productive forces by ending capitalism. That’s what these countries did. But they failed to defeat global capitalism and were forced to rejoin it. With capitalist restoration they return as rival powers of the USA. Failure to recognize the imperialist character of the China / Russia bloc creates illusions about who is the enemy and precludes a program that fits reality, and that consequently combats imperialism and traitors within the ranks of the working class, especially the Stalinists, who advance in their alliance with China and Russia, defending dictatorships like Assad’s in Syria.
Workers need to get rid of these opportunistic leaders that tie them to the bourgeoisie and its “democratic” regime. The masses that have been suffering the fury of the counterrevolution, as in Syria or the repressions of the coup in Bolivia, show that fascism is growing in this crisis as a necessary method for the bourgeoisie to attack the class and crush it. The only force capable of combating imperialism, fascism and military coups is the organized and independent working class and its revolutionary struggle for the end of capitalism and the bourgeois state, with its Party with a Revolutionary program.
Faced with the crisis in which the country was in, with roads and streets blocked by protesters, government-linked and opposition parliamentarians attacked and their homes being burned down, the COB has spoken publicly to call for Evo Morales to resign without giving any class alternative to the offensive of the traditional right allied with American imperialism. The reformist, “trade unionist” leadership of the COB, and the bureaucratization of the unions where there is no grassroots organization led to capitulation for the coup and betrayal. It is important to call on the COB to form councils and militias and fight for a workers’ government, but this will not happen without a Leninist-Trotskyist vanguard party leading the struggle.
After the coup, the COB bureaucracy gave more proof of its reformism and treason giving the coup-makers a 24-hour ultimatum “to restore the constitutional order, social peace and unity of the Bolivian people and to avoid further bloodshed, sadness, mourning and violence,” if left unattended, will make a “general strike to march to La Paz.” The sectors linked to Evo’s MAS party demand that the march demand the return of Evo.
For Bolivian workers and peoples not to fall into the counter- revolutionary trap of the bourgeois elections and not be defeated by reaction, a revolutionary party with a Marxist program is needed to lead organized workers in the COB, unions and indigenous organizations to break with their opportunistic leaderships, to build their grassroots and self-defense committees, and General Strike, march to La Paz to defeat the reaction, seize government buildings, occupy the factories and strategic facilities of the Bolivian economy, expropriate the Transnational and landowners, break with all imperialism and install a Workers’ Government that advances the measures by Socialism.
From Bolivia to Syria, Iraq, Lebanon to Hong Kong, from Barcelona to Chile and Ecuador, popular uprisings and revolutionary processes have been driven to defeat by the Popular Front and illusion in the bourgeois democratic regime. The necessary class independence and solidarity among the world’s workers has been replaced by class division to support one or another imperialist bloc and their respective regional bourgeois government allies.
Faced with the capitalist crisis combined with the threat of a climate collapse, capitalism must die! Long live Socialism!
The October uprising in Iraq is the most recent expression of the aftermath of struggle of imperialist powers to win control of the region. Iraq was the main target of the US and Israel after the Mullahs came to power in Iran in 1979, because whoever holds Iraq holds the key to the Middle East and beyond that Central Asia. Just as the partition of the old Ottoman Empire in 1918 was a re-mapping of the region by the victorious imperialist powers, Britain and France, today the ongoing civil wars being fought across the Middle East to redraw the maps again, are symptomatic of a growing confrontation between two main imperialist blocs, the declining US bloc and the rising Russia/China bloc in a new Great Game.
This is most evident in the outcome in Syria where Russia and China have enlisted Turkey and Iran and client states to destroy the popular revolution of eight years. But it is equally clear in Yemen where the Houthi are in the Iranian camp on Saudi Arabia’s southern flank. It is also behind the attempt by Turkey to push back the Kurds from its border with Syria under the protection of Russia. And as if on cue, to ram home the message, the return to a popular uprising in Iraq is mainly directed against Iran as a virtual occupying power.
These wars are meaningless unless they are understood as proxy wars conducted across the whole Middle East in the 21st century Great Game between the US and Russia/China blocs. In all of these interventions it is the Russia/China bloc that is making headway against the US bloc. Russia has enlisted Syria, Turkey, Iran and Qatar, while the US is stuck with its two stalwart allies, Israel and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. And it’s plans for a Kurdistan as a client state are all but dashed in Syria, and in question in Iraq.
All of these regional ‘partners’ are conducting these wars, openly or covertly, with the backing of one or other bloc. Clearly, Russian intervention has allowed Assad to survive defeat at the hands of the popular revolution, and strengthened the hand of both Iran and Turkey in Syria. Temporarily setting back prospects for the re-opening of the Arab revolution signalled by the Arab Spring in 2011.
The Arab Spring from Bahrain to Morocco threw up movements for democracy that appealed for imperialist backing against dictators. These ‘liberation’ struggles in the absence of mass workers’ parties were led by national petty bourgeois and bourgeois factions to renegotiate the terms and conditions for semi-colonial exploitation (oil etc). These national bourgeois factions naturally did not want to risk their class interests by sharing the loot with mobilising mass movements. So they directed the civil wars towards deals with the US or Russia/China blocs rather than allow the working masses to come to power. For their part, the imperialist powers intervened when their national bourgeois clients wanted to jump ship and change masters. They all continue to act to change regimes or back up any client regimes under popular attack.
The US went into Iraq in 1991, followed up with punitive sanctions, initially to caution and punish their ‘man’ Saddam, and then staged a massive invasion in 2003 to remove him when he moved away from the US client by threatening to quit trading oil in $US for Euros. The US and its EU allies invaded Libya to remove Khaddaffi who was giving Russia oil concessions. In Egypt, Kuwait and Yemen, the US backed its preferred regimes.
In Syria, and the Kurd ‘autonomous’ region of Rojava, the US interests were not strategic except in relation to ISIS, allowing Russia and its proxies to increase their influence and stabilize some gains in the region. This leaves Iraq as the strategically contested ground where victory for one bloc seriously weakens the others’ control of Gulf oil, and which helps determine who rules Central Asia including Iran and Afghanistan.
The uprising in Iraq reflects the fact that it is ‘ground zero’ in the conflicts between rival imperialists for control of oil in the Arabian Gulf since the turn of the 20th century. Therefore, the battle for control of Iraq is key in determining which bloc wins at the expense of its rivals in the 21st century. This means that the uprising in Iraq against the influence of external powers, must become the basis for a revival of the Arab revolution across the whole of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA.)
The Syrian revolution has all but halted under intervention by the Russia/China bloc. The consequences of this for the fate of the Kurds in Rojava is central to spreading the lessons of the Syrian revolution to the whole of MENA. These are, that even the successful armed struggle to overthrow one dictator is not possible without first, uniting all the struggles of the working masses of MENA against imperialism, and second, the disabling of imperialist military occupations by the workers in the imperialist powers and their proxies. Neither is possible without the leadership of an international communist party embedded in the masses against imperialism and its national bourgeois agents.
The revolution has to ignore the imperialist imposed borders, old and new, and incorporate the masses of all nationalities and religions into one movement for permanent revolution. No single oppressed nationality can win self-determination under the domination and occupation of imperialism and their regional proxies. National and religious freedom can only be realised by the expulsion of imperialist powers and their agents, and the formation of a union or federation of socialist republics of MENA.
We face two directions, forward or backward. Either the masses are enlisted and used as pawns of one or other imperialist bloc in a race to the bottom, of genocide, ecocide and fascist destruction, or, the masses are won over to an international revolution against both blocs and their regional client states, to mobilise a regionalwide class war against imperialism and its agents, necessarily becoming a socialist revolution and the basis for an international socialist revolution.
Revolutionaries must defend the Arab and Kurd masses from all foreign powers, imperialist and semi-colonial!
No political support for any bourgeois regime or political faction as they all sell-out the masses for deals with this or that imperialist bloc!
Down with imperialist and UN fake ‘peace’ deals which serve the class enemy!
For a new world party of revolution based on Trotsky’s 1938 Transitional Program for Permanent Revolution!
For Permanent Revolution in all MENA independently of imperialist imposed borders, and appeals to nationality, and religion, all of which claims can only be resolved by a federation of socialist republics!
Both right wing capitalist ideologues and sectors of the left that see the Chinese state as “socialist” (or a workers state) have come to a mutual agreement on the nature of the uprising in Hong Kong. For them, the uprising with its 5 demands (although they do not explicitly call for capitalist restoration) are portrayed as the drive to crush the communist or workers state. All these anti-worker tendencies see the actual mass movement as spearheaded by capitalist restorationists, Christians and adherents of the “color revolution,” all tied to the varied and numerous imperialist funded projects, be they evangelical capitalist/Christianity or NGO projects for ‘democracy.’ These anti-worker ideologues do not want you to see the actual features of the mass movement. They seek to convince you to slander it, to give military support to Carrie Lam and the crushing of the youth, as they do. The real, obtaining situation is as follows...
Re-blogged from Worker Socialist Blog. By Rajesh Tyagi/ 13.8.2019
Amidst domestic and international outrage and in a complete military lockdown of the far northern state of Jammu and Kashmir, the hindu supremacist government at New Delhi under Narendra Modi, has stripped the only muslim majority state inside the Union of India, not only of its special privileges but also of its status as an ordinary state.
In what can be termed nothing less than a palace coup, the far right-wing Modi government, has demoted and bifurcated the state of J&K into two Union Territories- the UT of Jammu and Kashmir and the UT of Laddakh- restricting their executive and legislative powers, while placing them under direct control of the Centre. While UT of J&K is given an Assembly with 110 seats, a High Court and the right over the land, the UT of Laddakh, geo-strategically more important being located on border with China, is given neither an Assembly nor the rights over its lands.
The move is part of fortification of India’s own territorial claims against its geo-political rivals. Purpose behind this palace coup, in the first instance, is to reinforce the military establishment of India as against Pakistan and China, the bordering states having rival territorial claims in the region.
Recent tensions in the region, due to escalation of war prospects between US and China in which India is being more and more integrated into the US led war alliance as a frontline state against China, constitute the main stimulus for this move.
Rival states of China and Pakistan have not taken it lightly. Pakistan was quick in responding to the move through snapping all diplomatic and trade relations with India. It has also approached the International Court complaining that the realignment is violative of Simla agreement. After China claimed that it is viewing the situation with concern, the Indian authorities assured China that the realignment of the border state would not affect the Macmohan line.
The clandestine move, carried out in complete stealth on the back of the people of J&K, is a covert attempt by the elite rulers of New Delhi to redraw the map of Indian Republic oriented towards and evolving into a ‘Hindu Rashtra’.
The move, an extension of the politico-military war to which the state of J&K has been subjected for long by the Centre, is completely fraudulent in nature, besides being subversive of the very foundations of the Constitution itself.
The apparently illegal surgical strike upon federalism has been conducted by the ultra right-wing government under Modi, through the Constitution. Article 370 of the Constitution has been used to demolish Article 370 itself.
Twin Articles of the Constitution of India- i.e. Article 370 that recognised special status of the state inside Union of India, with special powers to have a separate Constitution, flag, legislature, an executive and judiciary and Article 35-A that had hitherto protected its lands against the intrusion of outsiders- have been rendered nugatory by the Central government at one stroke by enacting the Parliamentary law- The J&K State Reorganisation Act, 2019. The parliament in turn, has supposedly assumed this authority through a Presidential Order dated August 5, issued under Art. 370. Another Presidential Order issued in February this year, disbanding the Assembly has substituted the Governor instead of the elected Government and the Assembly, for purposes of Article 370.
The new law would come into force on October 31 this year, on birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, first Home Minister of India, a core right-winger inside the then ruling Congress Party, whose name is associated with crushing of peasant uprising of Telangana and merger of 565 princely states in Union of India. Patel commands immense support among the ranks of saffron hindu chauvinists.
Ironically, while Muslims comprised the broad mass of poors and toilers in Kashmir, Article 35-A was inducted in the Indian Constitution, under pressure from Kashmiri pundits who owned the major parts of the lands in the valley. It were the Pundits, the propertied lot, who wished to prevent the outsiders including the British, from acquiring landed possessions in Kashmir. Hari Singh, the then ruler of Kashmir himself was keenly interested in preventing the outsiders from purchasing lands inside Kashmir.
The law passed by Parliament and promulgated by the Central Government through a Presidential Order the next day, is patently illegal, chiefly on two counts: Firstly, that it threatens to demolish at one stroke, the federal structure of Union of India. If after imposing President rule in a state and substituting not only the local government but the state legislature too by the Governor, a state can be declared a UT by the President with consent of governor; or a law can be passed by the central legislature- the Parliament- to that effect, then all states at one go can be declared Union Territory overnight, throwing federal structure of the Union, to the winds.
Federalism being inalienable part of the basic structure of the Constitution, but cannot be altered through exercise of any executive or legislative power. Secondly, the Constituent Assembly in the State of Jammu and Kashmir at the time of adoption of the Constitution of J&K, with reference to Art 370, has specifically and unambiguously resolved, to keep the relationship between the state and the centre in suspended animation, forever. This means that no successive Assembly in the State could have varied this relationship in any manner whatsoever.
Neither the government acting through its executive head-the President, nor the parliament is able to rise above the Constitution, to subvert the federal character of the Republic and the Constitution. It cannot use the Presidential Rule in the state for oblique purpose of bypassing the elected Assembly to the detriment of the state.
Secondly, and even more importantly proviso to clause (3) of Article 370 makes the recommendation of the Constituent Assembly obligatory if the Article was to be later repealed. Initially inducted as temporary provision in the Constitution, subject to repeal on the recommendation of the Constituent Assembly, Article 370 has become permanent and ossified, upon demise of the Constituent Assembly in 1957. The Presidential Order has only empowered the Parliament to act in lieu of the Assembly, but as the Assembly itself could not have re-animated the relationship between the centre and the state, the Parliament putting its feet in the shoes of the Assembly, could have never done it. The disability of the State Assembly, could not have been overcome by the Parliament while importing its powers. On the contrary, the Parliament, while enabling itself with the powers of the J&K Assembly, would essentially import alongwith it, the disabilities under the disabling provisions and clauses. It cannot do anything that the Assembly could not have done and cannot scale over the legislative competence and powers of the J&K Assembly. Its powers would be circumscribed by the disability imposed by the Constituent Assembly of the state upon itself. Thus, as the Assembly itself cannot alter the relations between the centre and the state, the parliament cannot do so.
Lastly, the President or Governor rule, as the government of interregnum has a limited purpose to hold the power to meet exigency, between two Assemblies. It cannot take such strategic decisions to abrogate or completely alter the status of the state.
The impugned law, passed by the Central Legislature, not only alters the relationship between the centre and the state, but virtually overturns it, to the detriment of the state. This flies in the face of a recent judgement of 2018 of the Supreme Court. The decision, in no ambiguous terms had declared that the relationship between the state of J&K and the centre is unalterable and fixed as the Constituent Assembly had disbanded itself in 1957 without abolishing or altering Article 370. A 2015 decision by the J&K High Court lays down the same proposition.
The patently illegal move of New Delhi met with conflicting responses among the sections of bourgeoisie as well as the Stalinist left. While many in ranks of bourgeois opposition and Stalinist Parties opposed the move, many others have supported it with open arms.
Opposition parties like SP, BSP and BJD stood support to it, while JDU from inside the ruling National Democratic Alliance, opposed it. Ranks of the largest opposition party-Congress- got split on the issue. Its front rank leaders like Janardhan Dwivedi and Jyotiraditya Scindhia supported the government while Ghulam Nabi Azad, an MP from Kashmir, opposed the same.
Stalinists put up a hypocritical and phoney opposition to the move. While continuing to support the claim and resultant coercion by New Delhi upon Kashmir on the ground of ‘unity and integrity of India’, Stalinists opposed the move on flimsy grounds. Stalinist parties had supported the Congress-led governments at the centre who had implemented the very same repressive policies in Kashmir.
Days before the law was introduced in Parliament, in an unprecedented move by the centre, the state was completely cut off from rest of the world, in anticipation of widespread public resistance to its action. All communications- including phone lines and social media- were shut off and curfew was imposed after cancelling even the pilgrimage of Amarnath shrine.
Kashmir, has a chequered history. For long, the region had reeled under medieval oppression of successive warlords. Amidst the disintegrating Mughal Empire, a century after death of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, Sikh ruler Ranjit Singh, a warlord and spoiled drunkard with 46 wives, after a failed attempt in 1913, conquered Kashmir in 1818, acquiring whopping annual revenue collection of 70 lacs, defeating Afghan ruler Jabbar Khan.
After Ranjit Singh’s death in 1839, British East India Company quickly took over his Sikh Kingdom, defeating his weakling successors.
In 1846, Gulab Singh, a local Dogra head, purchased the entire territory of Kashmir for Rs.75 lacs from the Company. Kashmir was sold at this specially higher price as Kashmiri masses, mostly muslims, were presumed to be docile and law abiding and hence amenable to exploitation and easy revenue collections.
Compounding the woes of Kashmiri people, the region with a populace overwhelmingly Muslim (around 94% of total) was placed under the sword of hindu warlords, who turned the region into a living hell for the poor and toiling masses of Kashmir. Hindu religious customs and culture was forced upon the masses. Beef was completely banned and death penalty was prescribed under law for cow slaughter, which was so customary among locals.
In line with their reactionary role in the colonial periphery of the East, British rulers had perpetuated and reinforced the rule of medieval lords.
Finally in August 1947, the British colonial rulers, divided their dominion on the sub-continent, through the India Independence Act, on communal lines in two parts- a declared muslim Pakistan and an undeclared hindu India, while leaving the princely states, including Kashmir, to decide their own destiny.
This resulted in three simultaneous and violent partitions of Bengal, Punjab and Kashmir. The right to self-determination, as granted by the British to around 565 princely states, however, remained illusive for two reasons: First that it were not the masses but the rulers of these princely states who were to take the decision about their fate and secondly in face of the two rival dominions of Sub-Continental bourgeoisie, supported by the British, majority of these states did have no real freedom of choice. In fact, no state despite its will and effort could have survived outside the two rival domains of India and Pakistan and none remained so. Even the border states like Kashmir, who had a limited but realistic option open to them, were burdened with the yoke of military power of the two dominions. They were intrigued, deceived, and lastly forced into one or the other dominion.
Hari Singh, the then ruler of Kashmir and a descendant of Gulab Singh, in his attempt to keep Kashmir independently in his hands, entered into a standstill pact with Pakistan. India refused to enter into a similar pact with him and Pakistan soon violated the pact.
Pakistani forces, suspecting Hari Singh’s sympathies to New Delhi being a hindu ruler, forced themselves into Kashmir in October 47, through a Pashtun tribal invasion, reinforced quickly through regular troops. After Pakistani invading forces, having captured good part of the territory, remained few kilometres away from Srinagar, alarmed New Delhi prepared for an armed intervention in Kashmir. Though Hari Singh was left with no option but to seek help from India through accession of Kashmir to it, yet by the time he took a decision to do so, Indian forces had already started to land in Kashmir. Finding himself in a situation of checkmate, Hari Singh was forced to sign the instrument of accession on 26 October 1947, handing over defence, foreign affairs and communications to New Delhi, while retaining residual powers with him.
Pakistani armed intrusion, however, divided Kashmir into two parts- an Indian occupied and a Pakistan occupied territory. Later, the Chinese aggression of 1962, carved out a third one, with China seizing upon and occupying Aksaichin region of around 50 thousand square kilometres. Kashmir thus stood trifurcated among big Asian powers- New Delhi, Islamabad and Beijing.
The instrument of accession signed by Hari Singh under duress and compulsion and without consent of Kashmiri people, found its reflection in Articles 35-A and 370 of the Constitution of India in 1950, that granted the state of J&K special status inside Union of India.
Later, under pressure from New Delhi and the local movement led by National Conference, Hari Singh was forced to go for polls for a Constituent Assembly in the state. The Constituent Assembly while adopting the Constitution of J&K and ratifying Art 370 and 35-A of the Indian Constitution, resolved that the relationship between the State and the Centre, for all times to come, would remain un-animated and fixed. Thus, no successive Assembly or even the Parliament acting in lieu of it, or even the President can vary this relationship. Ossified, Article 370 has thus become one of the basic features of the Indian Constitution, despite the provision stipulating its temporary character. Both Supreme Court in 2018 and the J&K High Court in 2015 have confirmed it.
The Constitutional provision- Art 370 had existed for decades for namesake only. For long, the heavy deployment of central forces in Kashmir for alleged ‘defence’ of the border state from Pakistan and China, alongside frequent imposition of black laws like AFSPA, that give the central forces unbridled authority over locals, has made all autonomy nugatory. Sections of Kashmiri bourgeoisie, represented through the regional parties like National Conference and People’s Democratic Party, had been complacent in centre’s drive to subjugate the state and keep it in military stranglehold. Despite their demagogy, both NC and PDP have rivalled each other in clinging to the successive ruling parties at the centre. The new law merely recognises and gives a formal shape and legal character to this crude reality, existing for decades.
Apart from its natural resources and scenic beauty, valley of Kashmir is even more important for its geo-strategic location as a buffer zone surrounded on three sides by the rival states of India, Pakistan and China.
Medieval Warlords, Colonialists and then indigenous bourgeoisie had ruled Kashmir through methods of brute force. Kashmir, the victim of most savage exploitation and repression, continues to be subject of rival claims of the big Asian powers. It stands torn in three parts today through violence, intrigue, deception and bloodshed.
Sandwiched between the rival powers of Asia, Kashmiri people have suffered unspeakable atrocities at the hands of the armed forces of the state as well as terrorists supported by rival states. Mass rapes, custodial tortures and deaths, and mysterious disappearances are the routine practices in Kashmir. Pellet guns, used by the Indian armed forces frequently on unarmed protests of Kashmiris, had lately acquired special fame after horrendous pictures and videos of their victims, mostly women and children, started to appear in international media and social sites.
A goldmine of natural resources- wood, fruits, dry fruits, a hub of handicrafts and handloom- pashmina shawls, raw wool, carpets- and one of the prime hotspots for international tourism and the scenic centre of natural beauty, Kashmir, has been in more and more focus of national and international big-business and investors. These profiteers looking at Kashmir as a potential hub of international tourism, prostitution and a virgin territory for speculations in real estate and exports, had been curious for long for crashing open its gates for unbridled exploitation of its human and natural resources.
As soon as the Bill was placed in Parliament by Modi government, thousands of the BJP supporters, applauding the Bill and rejoicing to the chagrin of Kashmiris, among whom are mostly Muslims, started to circulate the mock advertisements for purchase of lands in Kashmir and taking on the Kashmiri girls. Chief Minister of the BJP government in Haryana, Manohar Lal Khattar, is quoted to have said in address to a public gathering that now they would be able to take on Kashmiri girls as wives.
This strike upon the territory of Kashmir, largely inhabited by Muslims, serves the political purpose of Modi Government by appealing to and promoting the backward communal mass sentiments based upon hindu chauvinistic hype.
The bourgeois political states on Indian sub-continent still continue to be in a fluid, unsettled status with rival claims to territories and with big power ambitions of their ruling elites to annex more territories to their domains. Kashmir remains the chief battleground for such contentions and claims.
Special status of a state inside the Union, however, is not a peculiarity of Kashmir. In many countries with belated historical development, from China to Canada, where bourgeoisie has failed to establish its national states and instead multinational political unions have come into existence, such special status can be found.
Nonetheless, the special status of Kashmir within India, or even its independence from India or its inclusion in Pakistan, offers no real promises or prospects to Kashmiri workers and toilers. National question in Kashmir is offshoot of the suppressed and suspended democratic revolution. It emerges from the abortion of the anti-colonial movement in August 1947 going hand in hand with reactionary communal partition of the Indian Sub-Continent that took toll over two million lives with even more victims of rapes, loot, maiming and arsons and the resultant transfer of power to the counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie, on both sides of the border.
South Asian bourgeoisie has failed to resolve the tasks of democratic revolution, above all the question of nationalities. All bourgeois States in this region- India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Burma, Sri Lanka, have turned into prisons for dozens and dozens of nationalities, pulverising the national aspirations of people under military boots. Historically deformed Asian bourgeoisie suffers from systemic disability that prevents it from accomplishing the political mission of fulfilling the tasks of democratic revolution, including forming the national states or uniting the nationalities into voluntary political unions. It knows nothing and relies upon only the methods of crude force and violence, deception and intrigues.
Thus, to the question- If the national aspirations of the poor and toiling masses, how much intense and pressing they may be, can be realized outside the ambit and framework of the united political struggle of the proletariat and its fruition in a socialist revolution, our answer would be a big No.
With merging of the tasks of two revolutions- democratic and socialist- into one in the backward periphery of the world, that includes South Asia, the national question has become part of the socialist struggle of the proletariat. The national struggle of Kashmiri people has thus become inalienable part of the struggle of the proletariat on the Indian Sub-Continent and in South Asia.
The task before the Kashmiri workers and toilers is thus not to fight to secede from or join this or that Union or even to create an independent statelet, but to fight for socialist revolution in South Asia that would overthrow all bourgeois regimes in quick succession to each other.
To do this, the Kashmiri Proletariat must decisively reject the sectarian agendas that support the rival territorial claims of sections of bourgeoisie over Kashmir or advocate balkanization of territories. At the same time, it must also reject the reactionary communal partition of 1947 and in tandem with other sections of South Asian proletariat must launch a fight for reunification of the Indian Sub-Continent into a Socialist Union as part of the broader struggle for establishment of the United Socialist States of South Asia, through a working class led revolution from below. This revolution in South Asia, is integral to the World Socialist Revolution.
As a transitional political program to achieve the aforesaid strategic aims, the proletariat and the youth in Kashmir and outside, must present their demands:
1. All armed interventions and hostilities in Kashmir must stop forthwith.
2. All armed forces be withdrawn from Kashmir.
3. All black laws in the region must be annulled forthwith.
4. Kashmir be declared a peace zone and kept under international observation.
5. Plebiscite/ Referendum be conducted under international observation in entire Kashmir.
red rave is the loud mouth of members of the Communist Workers' Group of Aotearoa/New Zealand, committed to building a new communist international to lead workers to the revolutionary overthrow of global capitalism. Since 2010 we have been in a Liaison Committee with the Communist Workers' Group (USA), the Revolutionary Workers' Group (Zimbabwe) and the Revolutionary Workers' Group (Brazil).