Article by Dr. Das, Joint Secretary of Kamgar Ekta Committee
It is evident that the ruling class is unfit to rule. We dealt with this point in detail in the previous article. The ruling capitalist class, led by the billionaire corporate houses, is only interested in ever increasing profits; the lives of workers, farmers, and people at large, just do not matter to them. It literally does not matter to them whether you and I and the crores of other Indians die due to overwork, malnutrition, preventable diseases or avoidable tragedies like the recent Balasore one.
Today we the workers and other toilers have to keep fighting even to defend what our previous generations have won. We must fight to retain what is ours. We do win if we fight well overcoming all divisions. The fight against privatisation of electricity is one of the prime examples. However all of us know that our victories are temporary, and despite even written promises and assurances, the government has made repeated attempts to violate them.
There is no doubt that we have to keep fighting to repel the attacks on us. But is that all we can do? Certainly not! While we continue our struggles for existence, we also have to organise the working class to become the rulers of our country along with all the toilers. That is the greatest challenge before us. How do we do that? Is it even possible for the working class to rule?
Let us first look at what the rights and duties of a ruler are.
It has been the accepted wisdom of our country that the raja had the right to collect taxes, only because he had the duty to ensure the sukh and suraksha of the praja. The ruling class enjoys the rights of the raja; the government taxes all of us, directly and indirectly. However, the ruling class, which has the power to decide the laws, the policies and the direction of our country, totally runs away from the duty of ensuring our health and well-being.
On the other hand, we the people who have no such power, no rights, do the best we can to protect each other. Hundreds queued up, unasked, to donate blood to the victims of Balasore. What happened during the pandemic? The Central government just exhibited its brute strength by imposing the lockdown without a thought for the poor daily wage workers or for any other people. It was people’s organisations, whether social or religious who looked after the migrants to the best of their ability. Without them, the toll would have been much more.
Whenever communal genocides are organised by the state, by parties like the Congress in 1984 or by both the Congress and the BJP later, it is the common people who save their neighbours belonging to other religions, even at the cost of their own lives!
The one year long farmers’ agitation was an excellent example of the way people’s needs were taken care of by the people themselves, in a very well organised way. People were being fed good food, water and electricity was being provided, medical aid and education was going on. Women were safe enough to go around even in the night!
Again and again, the working class and the other people of our country have shown that they have the will to take care of their fellow countrymen and women.
Does the working class have the ability to rule? Today we workers and farmers produce each and every thing, provide each and every service that is needed for living, and living well. We produce the food, and all the various goods; we provide the education, transport, health, sanitation and other services. Without the railways and road transport, the country, and particularly the ruling class will not be able to live. Without electricity and IT, the ruling class will be reduced to tears. It is the members of our class who make important discoveries and inventions, who do research into the unknown.
It is we who run our country! Without us, workers, everything comes to a standstill! For example, when the loco pilots and guards of goods trains went on a strike last year in the Central Railway, goods traffic in Mumbai Division came to a halt. Neither the Railway Minister nor the Railway authorities could run the trains. When the electricity workers went on strike, and the frequency dropped, the Energy Minister and the electricity authorities were helpless.
Why will we not be able to rule? If the duty of the ruler is to ensure safety and security of the people, we have time and again exhibited our willingness and our ability to do that with the meagre resources we have. If we controlled the resources of the country instead of the billionaires who control them today, we will be able to create a heaven right on this earth!
So Friends, please do not forget that our country and in fact the whole world, runs on the basis of our toil. Do not doubt the ability of workers and other toilers to rule. In fact, our mission should be to make the working class, this sleeping giant, aware of its strength! We have to spread this awareness among the people. We have to build our own organisations with the perspective of preparing our class to become rulers.
There can be no alternative when the capitalists are in power. We should not go behind this or that party of the capitalist class. The point is to keep striving to establish the rule of the working class and all the toilers! For that we need to develop and popularise the program of our class, of the working class. We need to organise the unity of all working people around this program!