Indian workers and students speak out on NATO-Russia war

Supporters of the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) in India spoke to workers and young people about the need to build an anti-war movement of the working class based on socialist internationalism amid the proxy war waged by the US and its NATO allies against Russia.

India’s ruling elite, citing its longstanding military-strategic and economic ties with Moscow, has refused to openly side with US imperialism and its European allies in their undeclared war with Russia. But the Indian bourgeoisie is fully complicit in the intensification of great power rivalries around the world that is paving the way to a third world war. Over the past decade and a half, New Delhi has formed an ever-closer alliance with US imperialism, transforming India into a veritable frontline state in Washington’s military-strategic offensive against China.

Discussions with workers and young people centred on the danger that the current conflict over Ukraine will lead to a direct war between the US-NATO and Russia, escalating into a global conflagration fought with nuclear weapons. Such a conflict would have deadly consequences for hundreds of millions if not billions globally, and can only be averted through the mass mobilization and revolutionary action of the international working class.

S. Vasan, a Tamil Nadu State Road Transport Corporation worker, said: “I think the most important thing is to know where this war could lead and its historical roots. The US and NATO wanted to use Ukraine as a launching pad of its war against Russia. Ukraine’s oligarchs wanted to join NATO for this reactionary end. It has nothing to do with the democratic rights of Ukraine’s people. Now, it is Ukraine’s working class and the common people who bear the brunt of the war.

“The workers have suffered a lot due to price hikes of essential commodities including petrol and diesel and the disastrous impact of COVID-19 during the last two years, and the eruption of natural calamities. Meanwhile, oligarchs proceed with their normal life as if nothing serious is happening in the world.

“Workers of the world should unite to oppose war and fight for social equality.”

Balakrishnan, a dismissed worker at a Motherson auto parts plant near Chennai, stated that this war is the inevitable consequence of 30 years of imperialist wars waged by the US and the NATO powers in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya and other countries.

Victimized Motherson worker Balkrishnan

“America and the European countries provide billions of dollars worth of armaments to Ukraine to intensify the war against Russia and the US is creating conditions for a direct military intervention claiming that a genocide is taking place in Ukraine,” he said. “A dangerous nuclear catastrophe is waiting to happen in the American war drive for world dominance.

“I agree with the World Socialist Web Site’s analysis on the war and the revolutionary alternative program to stop the imminent nuclear war through the struggle for world socialism.”

Sumita Shaw, a B. Ed, student in Kolkata, the capital city of the east Indian state of West Bengal, said: “Imperialist war is inhumane and contributes to the extinction of civilization. Obviously, we need to go deeper into its historical context, not just the visuals in the media presenting Russia's terrible bombardment of Ukraine.

“Ukraine is merely a proxy of NATO, enticed to join it in exchange for better benefits. Regardless of how the issue is viewed, the fact remains that the war is primarily a product of the choices of capitalists and elites who are only marginally affected by it. The masses, women and children are the ones who suffer the most.”

Somak Banerjee, a student at Kalyani University in West Bengal, commented: “The war between Ukraine and Russia should be stopped. The working class is suffering from this war and they also have to face the consequences and challenges that arise from it, like worldwide price hikes and food shortages.

“The US and its NATO allies have been preparing and provoking a war with Russia for the last three decades since the breakup of the Soviet Union. They have entrapped Russia into waging a war against Ukraine.

“Russia tries to justify its reactionary war based on its national security interests which are threatened by NATO’s desperate efforts to include Ukraine in its military alliance against Russia. Waging war against Russia and transforming it into a semi-colonial country and plundering its immense natural resources is a part of US strategy to reestablish its global hegemony.

“I agree with the ICFI’s anti-war campaign. The imperialist war drive of the US and NATO forces and Putin’s reactionary invasion of Ukraine must be opposed and defeated by the united class struggles of the Russian and Ukrainian workers in solidarity with American, European, and international workers.”

Seninban, an IT professional in Ambattur, Chennai, opposed Putin’s attack on Lenin, the 1917 October Revolution and the formation of the USSR. “The reactionary dissolution of the USSR divided the once united working class into hostile nation states. Now, the working class should oppose these nationalist divisions and ethnic chauvinism and they should take a fight again for their unification through the socialist revolution.

“The world cannot withstand another world war. Therefore forging the international unity of the working class has become an urgent task as never before. I hope that this war crisis will be the impetus for a massive movement to fight for the world socialist revolution.

“I can see that the International Committee of the Fourth International is the only organization with a program for such a movement. I see it as the duty of my working class brothers and sisters to stand shoulder to shoulder with the ICFI’s initiatives.”