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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL #291 - India: The largest walkout in history (fr, it, pt) [machine translation]

Date Sat, 9 Feb 2019 11:30:29 +0200

At the beginning of 2019, India experienced the largest general strike in world history with 200 million participants. Trade union, peasant, environmentalist and feminist movements multiply struggles and converge against the liberal, nationalistic and reactionary power of Narendra Modi. ---- Far from the clichés so prized by Westerners, the daily India is not reduced to the sun setting on the Ganges where bath timeless saddhus. The country regularly breaks records, both positive and negative. India can boast of being the largest democracy in the world, at least by the numbers and the vividness of its ability to challenge a fascist and corrupt power to the extreme incarnated by Prime Minister Modi and his party the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party, Hindu nationalist right). By putting 200 million people on strike on January 8 and 9, India is sure to sign the largest walkout in history.

M the Cursed
The gutter is washed in India, between sacred cows eating plastic bags and " informal settlements ", where the rural exodus piles up millions of uprooted peasants. We are born, we live, we work and we die under the gigantic flyover "(Highways) of Mumbai or Delhi, without ever knowing any other place of life. Just as one commits suicide by the hundreds of thousands in the countryside: of despair, because one can no longer pay the mortgages or face an umpteenth harvest eaten by the worm of the cotton, in spite of the guarantees of Monsanto which sells the seed. Muslim, one can die in the hands of the ribbons of power. Woman, one can fear the real threat of rape or marital murder. The Ganges is dying of its pollution, as hunger strikers are dying to warn indifferent politicians. The teacher and religious leader GD Agarwal, great figure of the environmental protest, died on October 11 after 122 days of hunger strike to claim the cleaning and preservation of the river pollution,[1]. And yet, the capacity to mobilize Indians is unmatched in the world, fearing neither action, nor the street, nor the legal battle. The unionization rate is officially low but highly politicized, able to rake beyond the 100,000 or so referenced unions. The social movement, the anti-patriarchal NGOs, the landless peasants, the ecologists now associate systematically and create a wealth of effective tactics.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has blood on his hands [2]. Head of government of the state of Gujarat in the west of the country from 2002 to 2014, he has always combined economic ultra-liberalism with the most virulent Hindu nationalism. In February 2002, taking advantage of the fire of a Hindu pilgrim train causing 58 deaths, Modi shouted at the Pakistani plot, made burnt dead bodies in the city of Godhra, and this led to an unleashing of anti-Muslim violence. About 2,000 Muslim men are lynched, women and girls raped. One example among others for which he has been the subject of judicial investigations.

Elected for its " balance sheet " in Gujarat, Modi made the fortune of companies but his stronghold has the worst rate of undernourishment, infant mortality or wage development in India, symbols of growth without development. Manipulator, racist, reactionary and ultra-sectarian, Modi has managed to exasperate the whole country by digging social divisions and by undertaking no essential reform of work, ecology, status of women or agriculture in ruins.

For three months it's an unprecedented convergence that unites all the Indian protest in the street.

Peasant and ecological crisis
In 20 years, 350,000 peasants have killed themselves in India. In a culturally and economically agricultural society, the inability to break out of the productivist and monoculture model, heavily dependent on chemical inputs marketed by predatory multinationals such as Monsanto or Dow Chemical, is a serious threat. Dependent on the seedmen as bankers, the Indian peasant rarely owns his land but still pays rent to large landowners. He is a prisoner of an inextricable debt system.

So, on the basis of older movements, and to broaden its front still further, the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) was founded in June 2017. [3]This peasant collective brings together 210 organizations and revolves around two major demands: total remittance of the peasant debt and minimum wage guarantee for agricultural production. Its largely legal action has helped relieve millions of farm women and farmers by obtaining reimbursements and compensation. Last November, it puts 35,000 protesters from across the country on the streets of Delhi, blocks trains, walks to parliament, summoning Modi to take into account the 69% of the Indian population who lives from agriculture and demonstrates to society as a whole the organizational capacity of the peasant world and its determination. Because the peasant protest does not only concern production issues, but it also touches the dramatic one of the condition of women (widows of suicides in particular), or that of ecological crises that follow each other, very serious and closely linked to rural life. Ekta Parishad[4], a Gandhian-type mass movement, claims that population displacements (70 million !) Caused by " development " projects , rural exodus, misery, and the worsening of the ecological problems that ensue , must be attacked head-on. At its head, and faithful to the idea of Gandhian autonomy-sovereignty (swaraj), Rajagopal PV, " successor " of Gandhi, makes from now on overflow the local movement, towards the agitation of the countryside and the cities with long marches Awareness-raising: India's problems are inextricably linked.

The largest strike in the world
As a good capitalist, Modi attacked union rights [5]with incredible arrogance and assurance in India. Bad calculation: ten union centers, peasant movements left, students disengage. The various Indian communist movements support actions with all the power of ancient and well-established movements in the population. And in two days of general strike, on January 8 and 9, 200 million Indians and women say their deep-seated of a system not only reactionary and ultra-liberal, but also profoundly antifemma. Because at the same time, in a perfect synergy, a human-only 600-kilometer chain of human beings stretches out in the state of Kerala on the southwestern coast of the country to protest against patriarchal obscurantism. This " Wall of Women It was widely supported by the Communist Government of Kerala to support a court decision allowing women to enter a Hindu temple and to respond to attacks by Hindu fundamentalists and the BJP. Everything converges in India to deny the ultraliberal, ultraconservative, resolutely violent experience of Modi. Diversification of tactics, intensity of commitment, transition to the forefront of ecology in major human and social issues. A country of yoga, India is also one of continuous militant creativity of which there are still lessons to be learned.

Cuervo (AL Marseille)

[1] " 112 days hunger strike for Ganga: Deceased environmentalist GD Agarwal's demands " , Times Now News .

[2] Read The Guardian .

[3] Website: aikscc.com

[4] Website: www.ektaparishad.in

[5] " Trade Unions protest contre Modi's" pro-corporate "and" anti-people "labor Reforms " , Tricontinental Center (CETRI) .

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