Corporate Sector Loot and the Resistance of Farmers, Tribals and Dalits

N. Bhattacharya

1947 to 2011 is reasonably long period in the life of any citizen of India. Every Indian is proud of its huge natural resources: land, water, air, forest, minerals etc. The mainstream political parties of India who represent the interests of Indians in parliament and the state legislatures since independence owe an explanation to the countrymen why they failed to implement the dictate of the Indian constitution to build this country as a ‘sovereign socialist secular democratic republic’ (Preamble of Indian Constitution). It is foolish to pretend that people’s memory is ‘proverbially short’ and all of us have totally forgotten the sacrifices of men and women who sacrificed everything not for personal gain, but to make this country independent and prosperous!

In late 2007 the economies of the developed world collapsed like a pack of cards. The financial system of the developed world was declared bankrupt and these economic powerhouses were seen begging for their survival in the international market. They were frantically changing their own rules framed long back to differentiate them from the socialist economies — that Governments in the capitalist world would never interfere in the policies and programmes framed by industry and trade. After the meltdown the chairman of a sick MNC came to attend the US Congress on the company’s plane to pleading for federal bailout packages, he was criticised for wasting tax payers’ money on a plane journey and he travelled to subsequent meetings in a small car of the company. Such was the situation created by the World Bank, IMF and WTO in US itself. These organs of neo-liberalism failed to save the country from such a shameful situation and they were created in fifties to safeguard and promote the economic interests of the US in particular and other capitalist countries in general. What is the compulsion to continue with such useless non-performing organisations, why should not these anti-people organisations be dissolved immediately? The criticisms of the enquiry committee of the US Congress and that of its own internal enquiry committee, put the IMF in a bad light and it is in the interest of the world economy that such organisations are closed down immediately. Whether they call it ‘meltdown’ or anything else, the inherent structural deficiencies of the ‘capitalist model’ were naked and very large section of working population in these countries are in utter distress, though they have social insurance to fall back upon in emergency unlike in developing countries.


India as a sovereign country

On the basis of two nation theory British colonialists divided their colony in India into two countries—India and Pakistan in 1947. As a challenge to this sham doctrine the people in East Pakistan created Bangladesh in 1971 and left Pakistan permanently. The people of Jammu & Kashmir did not join either Pakistan or India and the UN assured them of a ‘plebiscite’ to decide their status. Politicians of both India and Pakistan are depending on their respective military power to solve a political issue and the people of Kashmir are living without human dignity for the last six decades. Why is the Government of India not implementing its promise made by Jawaharlal Nehru on 2nd.November, 1947 that the fate of Kashmir would be decided by the Kashmiris themselves and no one else. Can any state in the 21st century ignore totally what it promised 60 years back and claim that it is still a ‘sovereign country’. The people of India are jittery with the policies adopted by the centre with special reference to J&K and the north-east States. People of these regions should be given the sovereign right to decide their own future otherwise the entire country is made to suffer for the misadventure of some anti-national politicians.

In 1991, the World Bank (WB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), directed the government of India to ‘open up the economy’ ignoring the interests of the majority section of Indian population suffering from acute poverty, illiteracy and diseases. These so- called ‘economic reform’ packages allowed the MNCs to exploit the natural resources of India for their narrow selfish wealth-accumulating interests. In 1995 the international capitalist groups unilaterally sponsored another dangerous organisation called the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to promote exports from the developed world and destroy local labour intensive industries in the third world countries. Poor and developing countries were ‘tied hand and foot’ and the imperialist countries continued their brazen exploitation under various pretexts. The result is India’s exports are very low and imports are moving high resulting in current account deficit in 2010-11 to very high level— around 3 percent of the GDP. Many of the sick countries including USA, Japan, Spain etc are in a economic mess partly because they did not manage their current account deficits and India is already enrolled in this sick list! It increases the nation’s foreign debt and it is also against the interest of the country. Many decision making authorities in India who were forcing ‘economic reforms’ down the throats of Indians were on the pay roll of these organisations and in the good books of the imperialist powers. These organisations were created and managed since the end of 2nd world war exclusively to promote the interest of the developed countries and continued exploitation of third world countries. Unfortunately their policies utterly failed in the second half of 2007 resulting in massive financial crises throughout the entire ‘G-8’ countries!

The mainstream political parties of India, both right and left miserably failed to maintain the honour of the national tricolour. Dishonest traders in India keep changing the name and address of their business signboards to defraud their creditors and tax authorities. After this international financial bankruptcy the ‘G-7 countries’ also changed their signboards and the new signboard shows ‘G-20 countries’. Look at the recent Davos meet of World Economic Forum in 2011, the representatives of the ‘emerging economies’ were allowed to hobnob with the big bosses of the erstwhile G-8 countries, and the big bosses of the developing countries were allured with long term credit by economically bankrupt countries so that the emerging economies could import costly defence materials and other machineries so that factories in the capitalist countries may start running again smoothly. It is purely and simply their narrow self interest which compelled the erstwhile developed world to beg the poorer countries to purchase from them. They understand that future profit will come from these countries as a section of middle class in emerging economies is accumulating wealth through growth in IT and other sectors. They project India as a superpower – number three after China etc. and she will be a given permanent membership of the security council. All these advertisements in the capitalist press have only one objective to befool the Indian masses that they should stop demanding the elementary needs of human being — the ‘right to live with dignity and honour’. The rulers of India have lost their credibility and everyone believes that they are simple puppets in the hands of the corporate sector both local and foreign. The word ‘sovereign’ is only written in the textbooks, in real life the government of India is working to further the interest of selected few big wealthy individuals at the cost of millions of poor and marginalised Indians. After six decades of ‘planned growth’, the Indian government in 2011-2012 budget assures ‘food security’ only to those living ‘below the poverty line’ and even their exact number is debatable. The Tendulkar committee says something and other professionals claim that the calculation is wrong and grossly underestimated.

The Indian ruling class advertises the well planned game plan of the imperialist powers called ‘GDP growth’, ‘inclusive growth’ and other beautiful words without any legal framework explaining who will share this growth of national cake. If it depends on ‘market forces’, naturally it will go back to the practices of the stone age: ‘might is right’ or in current commercial terms ‘efficiency’, ‘entrepreneurship’, ‘hardworking’ and so on i.e. it will remain concentrated with a small number of criminals who have already accumulated wealth by unfair means.

Who will share the losses that take place in the creation of bigger GDP, ‘opening up of Indian economy to link with world economy’ and so on? The ‘Land Acquisition Act of 1894’ has created devastation in India. Many families were made destitute and still it is going on. Nandigram and Singur in West Bengal, Kalinganagar and Jagitsingpur in Orissa, Raigarh in Maharastra are some cases where people are still fighting against this colonial law after sixty years in independent India. Bhakra Nangal dam, the dams on Damodar River and many other projects were copied from the USA, till today we do not know how many people lost their livelihood and where they are now. In the north east there are huge hydro electric generation plants and people in lakhs were displaced and they lost their livelihood, but the electricity produced there is not used in these areas but transmitted to cities and towns located in faraway places to earn huge profit for the corporates. In those neighbouring villages near the production centres from where power is transmitted even kerosene is not available after sunset to light a village lamp. In the 21st century our ‘growth’, ‘increasing size of the cake’ and so on, are simply used to destroy the poor people in a planned manner.

The GDP growth formula followed by the Indian political parties as the puppets of the W.B, IMF and WTO has produced 69 US dollar billionaires in India against the U.K’s 29. Seventy percent of the people of this country living in 6 lakhs villages are surviving since independence only on the false assurances of a ‘better tomorrow’. In the 2011-12 central budget there is a special provision for 60 districts in the country where the government is engaged in a ‘green hunt’ to kill its own tribal population. The government of Orissa and the centre are not ashamed to use brute force jointly against their own people because they refused to hand over their fertile agricultural land to South Korea who wants their MNC, POSCO should be allowed to manufacture steel at Jagatsinghpur, Orissa. Will the people of South Korea hand over an inch of their fertile agricultural land to any MNC, not to speak of a foreign MNC? The Forest Right Act is meant to protect the interest of the tribals accounting for more than 8 million people in India. Bulldozers are used to destroy the villages of tribals in the entire country, but our rulers want that nobody should protest. Recently to get the release of an IAS official of Malkangiri in Orissa who had been kidnapped by activists of a banned political party, the same Orissa Government agreed to all their demands. Officially the party is banned and under the Unlawful Activities Act, even if you are in possession of any document or any paper of this party you are subject to same treatment as that of Dr. Binayak Sen, who was jailed for life under sedition charges. He was undergoing a ‘life imprisonment’ sentence in a jail of a BJP ruled state, Chhattisgarh, allegedly for carrying some documents of this banned party. When Vedanta, a corporate registered in London was destroying the tribal villages of Orissa, both the government of Orissa and the centre remained mute spectators until some Europeans made enough noise in the shareholders’ meeting in London to protect the interest of Indian tribals. Will the centre quote some relevant law under which this corporate monster was operating such barbarous anti-national activity? These are the development programmes; millions are killed by state power to enrich a few anti-national elements. The plan of the Government to crush all tribal movements by military might is not only immature but it appears disastrous. No military was ever successful in crushing any determined and collective fight for life and livelihood in the 21st Century in general, that of tribals in particular. The horrible ground situation in Malkangiri in 2011 was fully exposed by a collector of the district with full knowledge of the Orissa Government. One understands the anger of the centre on this issue, they thought such sub-human living conditions should not be exposed and must be eternally kept under the carpet. ‘Growth’, ‘development’, ‘reform’ and other beautiful words used by the western imperialist powers to exploit the third world and their poor millions are simply out of date techniques and people in third world countries condemn it vehemently!



The government of India claims that it is the largest democracy in the world and our politicians are proud of that. Who contests and who gets elected in these elections? How much money is spent by an average candidate in a Lok Sabha election? Why is the government afraid of funding it if it can be done within the limit mentioned in the election rule book? How many candidates file their accounts of election expenditure? Around half the electorate of the country is male, but why do they constitute a brute majority in the Lok Sabha. About two-thirds of the elected representatives in the present Lok Sabha, had declared his/her assets as more than Rs 50 lakhs. Recently Ms. Hema Malini got elected to the Rajya Sabha on a BJP ticket from Karnataka. She declared her assets as:

a) 4 cars (including a Mercedes Benz)
b) 3779 grams of 22 carat gold
c) 968 grams of 18 carat gold
d) 25.51 kg of silver
e) 116.850 carat diamonds
f) Rs 35 crores (4 houses).
(Mail Today, Delhi dated 22.02.2011)

Every one knows the truth behind the statutory statements filed before elections. Recently the Election Commission has increased the election expenditure limit of each Lok Sabha seat from Rs 25 lakhs to 40 lakhs but in real life there is no limit, it may vary from Rs 40 crores in Tamilnadu to Rs 20 lakh in Saharsa in Bihar. These are the people who take the oath of the Indian Constitution to serve the interests of the Indian people. One committee of the government claims that around 80 percent of our people live on Rs 20 per day expenditure and the home minister denies its correctness. This is the true colour of democracy in India, the rich and the crooked get elected and fulfil their narrow ambitions to accumulate more and more wealth. There are around 153 criminals in our Parliament and it is argued in the supreme court in connection with the appointment of a Chief Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) that if these criminals can pass laws for the country, why people with criminal records cannot be appointed in constitutional positions in the country. The apex court ordered the dismissal of such high profile constitutional appointments. The youth of India like their counterparts in rest of the world are discussing what is happening in North Africa and in the Gulf countries. The people of Egypt and Tunisia have already thrown away their dictators. Will the ruling parties in India learn any lesson from this? In West Bengal the left front government was ruling the state since 1977, they refused to listen to the voice of protests and used armed gangs called hamards to kill all types of people who protest. We saw the outcome of the election in April, 2011. People should be allowed to come out to vote as free citizens of the country. Rigging in elections is legalised and is the normal practice in India’s election process!

From one village in West Bengal in 1967, the activities of the Maoist-Leninist parties have spread in the entire country. The government claims that in at least 60 districts of the country the banned CPI (Maoist) party is very active in a large number of states. The government is fully prepared to destroy their activists. There is a detailed plan to crush such movements and full-fledged military operations are there in various forms viz. ‘operation green hunt’ etc. Jammu and Kashmir and the entire north east is under military occupation since independence. In these states the Indian military and paramilitary forces are treated with contempt as an ‘occupation force’. It is advertised by the government that the Indian military which is constitutionally supposed only to fight war against an enemy country, will not be used to curb civilian disturbances. The supreme court has ordered different states that the police and para-military forces should not stay in government buildings like hospitals, schools etc. The Indian military under the pretext of training its forces in jungle warfare, is planning to start training centres in the dense forest of Chhattisgarh, where CPI (Maoist) are reported to be active. Why are new types of training required for our army to fight our friendly neighbours like Pakistan, China and others in the northern border? If the deployment of the army in Kashmir and in the north east for long six decades failed to maintain any peace, such an attitude will create more problems than it can solve. Let there be discussions and debates and attempts should be made to find out a solution to address the burning issues facing the nation, rather than attempting to start a civil war on peace loving Indian people.

In the same manner, the workers in both the organised and unorganised sectors are agitating for gainful employment, but under the World Bank’s ‘economic reform’ agenda the government is duty bound to allow the corporates to carry on 18th century ‘hire and fire’ policies. Labour cost is moving southward and profit after tax of the corporate sector is moving northward! After the 2007 meltdown in the developed world all their country heads visited India and went away with huge orders so that the workers in the developed countries should get some jobs.

India spends around 3 percent of its GDP on defence against 2 percent by UK. Why we need so much costly, sophisticated and imported war materials to fight against our friendly neighbours? Our PM’s pet project of ‘civil nuclear plants’ are urgently required because that would give huge job opportunities to the ‘reactor manufacturing’ industry of the west. After the 2007 meltdown in the west, our purchases from the west have gone up and our exports to them have gone down and that has resulted in huge adverse trade balance. India must rectify this immediately otherwise it will be destructive in the long run. We are given the argument that the adverse current account deficit is rectified by the flow of foreign direct investments to India, that such a flow is risky and uncertain and may be against the interest of the country. Such a high rate of GDP growth has not resulted in corresponding growth in employment, rather demand for labour in the industry and trade has gone down and they technically call it ‘jobless growth’.

The unemployment situation in the developed world is very disturbing, in the US it is around 10 percent, in EU countries there are massive cuts in benefits that the workers earned by their sacrifices since the 19th century. In the present context all are being withdrawn. The retirement age is increased, but the workers are worried what will happen to the unemployed youth if this is implemented. It is the workers in developed world and not the promoters who suffered most due to meltdown in 2007. In India the government says 94 percent of our workers are employed — nobody knows what they are doing. More than 95 percent of our people between 15 years to 65 years are working in the unorganised sector, starting from boys who sell balloons on the streets to unskilled insurance agents selling insurance policies as he/she could not get any other job anywhere. Unemployment in India is never calculated by the Planning Commission as a matter of policy to hide the failure of the government to provide a job to every able bodied men and women. Occasionally press photographs expose more than what we actually know. There were photographs published recently in national dailies showing crowded trains in Uttar Pradesh bringing back youth who went for interviews for unskilled jobs in the Indo-Tibetan Border Police. There were more youths on the roof of the train, than inside and some died due to an accident under a bridge. Reports say that 1 lakh 50 thousand youth went for interview for only 400 posts. In Jammu and Kashmir the average Kashmiri youth were angry because both the central and state governments failed to implement any project providing jobs to the workers. There is no labour law to protect the workers from exploitation. Entire efforts go to loot resources and strengthen police and paramilitary forces to suppress the anger of the people. People openly challenge the government as killers of ordinary people. Police killed 115 young ‘stone pelters’ during June 11, 2010 and November, 2010. There is no official figure as to number of people in jails of Kashmir. The police and military are the worst enemy of every Kashmiri household. A team of Janhastakshep (campaign against fascist forces), Delhi, visited the valley in November, 2010 and it vividly reported the anger and frustration of Kashmiri youth. The fate of an unemployed educated youth in Kashmir is that neither there is any job in the state nor other states will employ them because of their religion. Such a disastrous situation is vividly brought out by the Justice Sachar Committee Report on the minority muslims of India. The government announced recently interviews for jobs in the police force, the response was tremendous: thousands were sitting on the road waiting for their turn for an ‘interview’. How long we shall play with the sentiments of the unemployed youth of this country? The prime minister’s economic advisory committee’s chairman, Mr. Rangarajan immediately used this opportunity to announce job training programmes for Kashmir’s youth.

Everyone knows about the torture and exploitation of workers in the Middle East; even then every day lakhs are bribing the unauthorised agents to transport them to some Middle East destination. Why cheat your own people with the attractive ‘growth’ figures? The prices of essential commodities are high and everyone involved in distribution is making profits and the worst sufferers are the producers in the agricultural sectors and consumers of essential commodities. The rate of inflation and the rate of corporate profit are moving in tandem. To face growing criticism of unemployment in the rural sector, the government is making a mockery of some form of temporary ‘employment opportunity’ and created a scheme of 100 days’ job out of 365 days in a year at Rs 100 per day for one member in each family. It means each worker in a family below the poverty line in 6 lakhs villages of the country will get Rs 10,000 each year. Why will these workers be deprived of minimum wages? That the law for this particular scheme mentions the minimum wage as Rs 100 per day is not sufficient reason to deprive the workers of the statutory benefit of the Minimum Wages Act. Otherwise this law should be amended and the minimum wage of that district/state should be paid, it is ridiculous to allow the State to exploit its own unorganised labour. Nobody is begging. What is the minimum wage of a peon in a Government office in a year? We are not asking for the disclosure of the actual annual income of the highest income earner of India. All of us know what is the total burden of taxpayers to run the Indian Parliament, which was not allowed to function in the entire winter session of 2010? Is it a democratic country or a country ruled by criminals and anti- socials?

We want to ask a simple question to our so called political leadership running various governments in the states and in the centre. Let us know why around a quarter of a million farmers in India committed suicide during the last 12 years. The main reason explained by the families who suffered the loss of their only bread earners silently, is that they failed to repay loans to the moneylenders and the torture they underwent for this failure. One reason is very clear in 2011, that though 70 percent of people live in 6 lakhs villages in India, due to the reform process of the WB we have more than enough players in banking, finance, insurance and other financial services from foreign countries, how many of them have gone to villages of India, though till today two-thirds of our population are still living there. What is the utility of these firms if they are not forced to cater to the needs of villagers of the country. What they are doing in metropolitan towns? Even our nationalised banks find it unprofitable to meet the needs of village credit, they have left them to modern sharks called micro-finance companies as suggested by the WB and IMF. Many defaulters of loans taken from these micro finance companies have committed suicide in Andhra Pradesh and in other states. Recently the Supreme Court asked the Maharashtra Government to pay Rs 10 lakh as compensation because Mr. Vilash Rao Deshmukh now the Rural Development minister of the central government as chief minister of Maharashtra interfered in favour of money lenders and issued orders against the farmers who lost everything to these money lenders. Mr. Deshmukh should have been sacked from his portfolio after this judgement, but unfortunately ‘coalition politics’ as claimed by PM is not applicable here even then nothing has been done! Why not revive the age old village post offices and revive them to handle village deposits and loans. Many of them are equipped with broadband facilities, if the government wants village post offices can handle efficiently village banking business, they are doing it efficiently in metros. The Reserve Bank of India has to give up the old practice of hobnobbing with big banks and leave the largest section of Indian population to extortionist village money lenders and corporate hawks. This is a challenge before the policy makers and they have to face it at an early date, otherwise the rural people will not forgive any friend of loiters of India poor!



2010-11 is a crucial year in the history of independent India. Inflation, rampant corruption, officially declared civil war against its own poor, dalits and tribal people in the villages of India who pay tax to the government; military occupation and torture of the people of Jammu and Kashmir and in the entire north east all have thrown challenges to right thinking civil society of India. Of late the ministers and bureaucrats have started a malicious propaganda that civil society is very critical of the functioning of the governments both at the state level and at the centre and this is helping forces who want to create trouble in the country. These agents of exploitation want civil society not to ask why India today ranks 67th out of 84 countries in the global hunger index. The government wants to introduce food coupons to those living below the poverty line and abolish the corrupt Public Distribution System. The Government wants to reduce the food subsidy of Rs 80000 crores per annum because our prime minister thinks this subsidy is equivalent to the loss in 2 G Spectrum allotment. Since 2008 how many billions of rupees subsidy was given to the corporate world in the form of reduced corporate taxes, excise rebate and reduced custom duty. Every right thinking person must come out with their assessment of how to save this country from this rapid political and economic degeneration. Today the colonial powers are not ruling India but Indians are still compelled to live in a colonial superstructure, in which a large majority of our people are condemned to suffer inhuman atrocities and indignity.


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