Socialist India

International Socialist Alternative
Stop the attacks on democratic rights!

The vile communalist and totalitarian BJP government has once again escalated repression against political opposition in an unprecedented suspension of 141 Members of Parliament. Though just one of many violations of democratic rights, this move qualitatively changes the nature of political struggle as it is the first attempt to openly purge the opposition from their elected positions. It is by far the largest suspension of its kind, more than double the 1989 suspension of 63 MPs by Rajiv Gandhi’s government during the investigation of his mother’s assassination. Approximately 15 crore Indians have lost their voice in Parliament, more than 10% of the country’s population.

This purge comes at a time when the BJP is seeking to rewrite criminal laws that would give itself power to persecute opponents with no accountability. The intent is clearly to ram through as many deeply unpopular, unconstitutional, and undemocratic laws as possible, including the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, which introduces legalization of police brutality, indefinite confinement without trial, and a definition of “terrorism” which is so broad that it can be applied at will, and the Telecommunications Bill, which gives legal permission for the government to intercept private messages and suspend telecom services at will.

India has not seen such blatant repression since the Emergency, whose comprehensive curtailment of human rights left a scar on the country’s history. Yet as we have seen time and time again, the opposition of Congress, TMC, DMK, AAP and others will take only performative actions, and indeed as the Emergency shows, are willing to commit the same repression themselves should the opportunity present itself. In fact, the next greatest suspension of MP’s was done by the Congress itself in order to silence the criticism over the investigation of Indira Gandhi’s assassination.

Unions, working people and all those who believe in upholding democratic rights must stand up to protest against this openly totalitarian move by the BJP. We must march together, not in endorsement of or for the sake of the bourgeois parties, but to prevent the further descent of the country into the nightmare of right wing dictatorship. The INDIA Alliance has already announced protest marches on 22nd December. Socialist Alternative plans to march as well and we encourage supporters to join us.

Stop the attacks on democratic rights!

Congress will not save us, only the united working class will!