Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/559/6672
Terror mayhem strikes Mumbai
The horrific terror attack in Mumbai on 27 November must be condemned on all counts. It took place at the usually crowded CST railway station and six other prime locations, killing over 180 people and injuring hundreds. Our hearts go out to those relatives and friends who are gravely affected by these acts. The government of Maharashtra and concerned authorities should immediately give financial assistance to them.
Jagadish Chandra, New Socialist Alternative, CWI India
We are sure that all communities, Hindu, Muslim or Christian, are horrified, not just in Mumbai, but the entire country. Democratic workers' organisations, trade unions and local organisations of all communities should organise defence against terrorism alongside a struggle against capitalism, landlordism and imperialism.
Since the 9/11 attacks in America, terror attacks have been on the increase in India. In recent months, every major city of India has witnessed atrocious attacks that have killed innocent people. These attacks strengthen the Hindu right-wing communal forces and the state machinery, which will take the opportunity to trample upon the rights of working people and on human rights in general.
It has become a pattern for India's establishment to either put the blame on the Pakistani ISI (Pakistan's Intelligence) or on their favourite whipping boys - the SIMI (Students' Islamic Movement of India), to demonise them in the eyes of the ordinary people.
Governments in New Delhi, notwithstanding what party is in power, have closely allied themselves with Washington. Capitalist governments around the world have followed the same policies as the universally hated George Bush, completely alienating Muslim people by labelling them as terrorists or potential terrorists.
In India, the communal divide has been further worsened by this communal profiling of minorities, especially Muslims.
The Congress party-led United Progressive Alliance government and state governments led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are directly responsible for the disaffection among youth, particularly those from the Muslim community, a very small number of whom are joining the ranks of the desperate terrorist outfits.
Left-wing radical columnists such as Ram Punyani and Subhash Gatade have extensively written on the 'Saffron Terror' of the Hindu fundamentalist organisations. The September blast in Malegaon, Maharashtra put a question mark on the authorities' theory of 'jihadist terror'. Vishwa Hindu Parishad's (VHP) rabble rouser, Pravin Thogadia, and the infamous Narendra Modi, 'Gujarat's Hitler', are known for their communal politics.
These Hindu communal 'celebrities' must be held responsible for attacks against Muslims and other minorities. Even today, it sends a chill down the spines of millions of Muslim people to remember the mass terror - murder, rape and looting - perpetrated against helpless Muslims in Gujarat during the 2002 Godhra riots.
Mass terror from any source polarises an already divided society and propels society further into the blind alley of hatred and revenge, possibly leading to civil war. Neo-liberalism and communalism have fed on each other to serve the interests of capitalism in India. From 1991, the aggressive neo-liberal offensive has had friendly co-operation from rising Hindu communalism. The 1992 destruction of the Babri Mosque in Ayodhya diverted the attention of the working class movement from issues such as the price of basic foods.
Class unity and action now!
The honeymoon enjoyed by Congress has come to a definite end. The mandarins in the south block of Delhi, who, until recently, were basking in the glory of an unprecedented boom and the aura of the recent nuclear deal with Washington, are scrambling for scapegoats both economically and socially. The BJP and its henchmen organisations, that are preparing for a national comeback in the next general election, will use the present atmosphere of grief and despair to whip up a communal backlash to take advantage of the social crisis.
The recession in the economy will further devastate the lives of the working poor, peasants and the middle class in the coming weeks and months. This period demands all the combativity the working class can muster to defend the interests of workers and the poor.
Class unity is the need of the hour. Workers, be they Hindu, Muslim, Christian or Sikh, must be vigilant and united to thwart any attempt to divide the working class on bloody communal lines.
New Socialist Alternative demands:
- Justice for those affected and meaningful compensation to victims and their families.
- No to terrorism! Area committees of workers and the poor for defence against terror and riots.
- Common, united struggle of workers and the poor for justice, and against exploitation and poverty.
- No trust in the official state forces. The right of the lower ranks of the police and auxiliary forces to belong to trade unions and elect representatives to area committees.
- Congress, BJP and all other political parties defending capitalism offer no choice at all. Build a new mass workers' party!
- Capitalism breeds communalism and terrorism. Get rid of it! Democratic socialism is the only answer - fight for a new socialist alternative.
In The Socialist 3 December 2008:
Environment and socialism
Socialist Party editorial
Socialist Party campaigns
Socialist Party LGBT
Socialist Party Marxist analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Marxist analysis: history
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news