Socialist Labour League of India to hold public meeting on Nandigram peasant massacre

The Socialist Labour League of India will hold a public meeting Sunday, April 22, in Chennai, the capital of the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu, to discuss the need for workers in India to draw the lessons of the Nandigram peasant massacre and adopt a socialist-internationalist program.

Fourteen peasants were killed and at least 70 injured on March 14, when West Bengal police opened fire on peasants protesting government plans to seize 10,000 acres in the Nandigram area for a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) to be run by the Indonesian-based Salim Group. The Stalinist Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led West Bengal state government sent 4,000 heavily armed police to reassert government authority into the Nandigram area knowing full well that a bloody confrontation might result.

Right wing bourgeois parties, including the Trinamul (Grassroots) Congress and the Hindu-supremacist Bharatiya Janatha Party (BJP) are seeking to exploit mass sentiment against the pro-investor policies of the West Bengal government to promote their own right-wing agenda.

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPM) and its Left Front allies bear full responsibility for creating conditions in which these discredited right-wing parties can pose as defenders of the toilers against a nominally “left” government that seizes land on behalf of Indian and international capital. At the national level, the CPM-led Left Front is today sustaining in power the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) coalition government, led by the Congress Party. The UPA government is implementing a neo-liberal socio-economic program that is having a devastating impact on the working class and rural toilers and is pursuing a strategic partnership with US imperialism.

The Socialist Labour League meeting will examine how the CPM’s role as a henchman for Indian and international capital is the end product of a decades-long degeneration, in which the Stalinists restricted the working class to trade union militancy and parliamentary maneuvers with the reputedly anti-imperialist wing of the bourgeois political establishment.

In opposition to the policies of the ruling elite and its political appendages—the CPM and the Left Front—the working class must advance its own independent program to address the social problems of working people and the landless and poverty-stricken rural poor.

This program can only be realized, as part of the struggle for international socialism, by mobilizing the working class in alliance with the oppressed peasantry to establish workers’ and peasants’ governments—in the form of the Union of Socialist Republics of South Asia. The International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) and its organ, the World Socialist Web Site, advance this perspective.

The Socialist Labour League, which supports the ICFI, urges socially conscious workers, youth and intellectuals to attend the public meeting to discuss this perspective and join the struggle to build a section of the ICFI in India.

Time : April 22, Sunday, 10 am

Venue: Small Seminar Hall, Periyar Thiddal, (Next to Thinathanthi office), Vepery, Chennai -600 007.