Resistance and Opposition to Imperialist Globalisation
The present government has allowed the consolidation of the ideology of dependency on foreign capital, promoted and enabled private sector expansion and the market based mechanism as the key process of national development, and has legitimated big capital in dominating and monopolising many sectors of the economy.
The defeat of the NDA was a victory of secular forces in the country and led to securing gains of the people’s movement. The Common Minimum Programme opened up the potential for intervening in public policy and for engaging in mass struggle for winning the immediate demands of people.
In particular mass struggles led to legislative gains – on right to employment (though a limited one), on the right to information from government and settlement of land rights of adivasis and forest people – and slowing down the pace of dis-investment of public sector. The people’s resistance gave momentum to sustain the unity of third world interest against imperialist pressure in the so called Doha Development Round in WTO.
A single aspect that unites ruling political formations in government, whether with the UPA at the centre; or the UPA, NDA or other regional parties at the state level, has been the commitment to globalization in the field of economic development. This includes the states ruled by left-front led governments.
This simultaneous acceleration of liberalization and imperialist penetration in most sectors and retardation in certain areas has put the present political situation in a condition of flux and transition.
The government has consistently pushed its policy, forcing the parliamentary left to make the CMP a line of defence, more to cut losses and retain its influence in parliamentary arena. This is compounded by the weakness of the parliamentary left, first, in linking and coordinating of the parliamentary force with the emerging mass movement, and second, by the sporadic, isolated and fragmented mass struggles not being able to emerge with a common framework of action and organizational process.
The left parties, significantly the governmental part, which is more dominant, are increasingly conceding to the needs and dictates of foreign and big capital, immobilised as they are by the ideology of there being no alternative. As a result, it has infused inertia and defeatism into the movement and failed to lead in evolving a concerted, planned and protracted effort to unleash people’s initiative.
The experience of imperialist globalization in the past decade and a half in the country has been of rising inequalities, and falling real standards of living for a large section of the working people of the country. The resistance of the people has been manifest in grassroots action; in the growth of resistance movements; and in the spread of popular discontent. The powerful struggles in resisting imperialism in Latin America, Africa and Asia and working class struggles in Europe and North America and elsewhere across the world provide lessons that should be internalised in educating and shaping our struggles.
The parliamentary parties’ intrinsic nature to subordinate mass movements to the dynamics of their electoral needs has to be altered for mass movements to regain the initiative and be able to independently influence social transformation.
The left-democratic trade union movement in the country has been consistent in its opposition to the anti-worker policies of the government. However, the strength of trade union opposition has been insufficient to resist the globalization onslaught. Low trade union density and lack of unity in the trade union movement has limited the strength of its opposition.
It is in this context that NTUI called for trade union unity, and resolved at the Founding Conference to help “build grassroots resistance against imperialist globalization and forge these struggles in solidarity with all other progressive forces into a national struggle.”
The NTUI views the unfolding developments in the political arena from its location in opposition space, and is always willing to join forces that extract concessions and even engage in negotiations to secure gains of social and class struggle. But, for this to be possible, differences that arise between opposition forces need to be resolved in a democratic manner in a framework of struggle. In particular, forces that coexist in opposition as well as in government should not take recourse to state power to repress mass organizations and divide them, in such areas where they are in government.
It resolves to carry forward and strengthen this struggle beyond an engagement with Government that is limited to the parliamentary process in the understanding that the strength and power of people and the militant working class movement can alone confront and defeat the forces of capital.
Chennai, 30 July 2007