Supporters of the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) in India have received significant support from workers and students in their campaign to build the international online rally, “For a mass movement of youth and students to stop the war in Ukraine!” organized by the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE) on December 10.
The US-NATO war against Russia in Ukraine has brought the world to the brink of a nuclear war. While escalating its war against Russia, the US is also aggressively preparing for an all-out military conflict against China.
In response to pressure from US imperialism to line up with its war against Russia, the Indian government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is attempting to maintain a precarious balance between India’s military-strategic partnership with Washington and its decades-long defence ties with Moscow. However, the Modi government has enthusiastically lined up with the US war drive against China, assisting Washington in dragging the whole Asia-Pacific region into a disastrous Third World War. In this situation, it is crucial for workers and youth in India to join with their counterparts in South Asia and globally to build an international anti-war movement led by the working class.
Akilan, an apprentice worker and part time student from Hosur in Tamil Nadu, discussed the war against Russia and said: “India, which said that it takes a balanced stand against this war, is now leaning towards America owing to its geopolitical interest over the Asia region.” He was referring to India’s lining up with the US military-strategic offensive against China.
After listening to campaigners speak about the anti-war perspective put forward by the ICFI, he commented: “I agree that workers have to unite internationally to stop this endless war. I am happy if it will happen.”
Madhan, 20, a student from Bharathidasan University in Trichy, Tamil Nadu spoke about how the Modi government’s policies are aiding US war mongering.“The only reason the Quad [the quadrilateral alliance of the US, Japan, Australia and India] has been formed is to provoke China,” he said. “America is preparing war against China using Taiwan.”
“Due to war between Ukraine and Russia,” he added, “countries that used to depend on Ukraine for their wheat imports face a food crisis, and the European countries, which used to import a substantial amount of oil and gas from Russia, face an energy crisis.”
He expressed his agreement with the anti-war strategy explained by the campaigners: “People in Russia should stand together against the Russian government not to get involved in the war. The people in America also should turn against the American government’s warmongering actions.”
Bala, 27, a research scholar at Madras University, Chennai, listened to the ICFI supporters and commented: “It’s true that impact of the ongoing war is felt by everyone across the Earth, irrespective of the nation we live in. As you said, to stop the war, we have to unite internationally as it spreads across the world. It is a good initiative and a way forward to stop this endless war.”
Speaking on the Modi government’s strategy he said: “India’s balancing act [between US and Russia] can only be possible in the beginning. It is slipping slowly as the war continues without end. It is going to affect people in India too. India thinks that its balancing strategy is safe for it, but it is not true.”
Commenting on the impact on other countries of economic sanctions imposed on Russia by the US, he said, “As Russia is enriched with natural resources like oil and gas, it used to share them with other countries. Now, due to the economic sanctions, every country is affected in one or more ways.”
He also commented on the main Stalinist parliamentary parties—the Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPM, and the Communist Party of India (CPI): “I think that these parties in India don’t have any political strategy to stop this war.”
Anbu, 26, a research scholar at Madras University in Chennai, expressed his agreement with the anti-war strategy explained by the ICFI supporters: “Workers in every country allying with their worker brothers in other countries may be the only force to stop the war.”
Rahul, 32, a Renault Nissan auto worker in Chennai, said: “The capitalists wage war for plundering other nations to avert their own crisis and also spend more on disastrous military weapons, while they are not ready to spend for workers in their factories.”
Referring to the rank-and-file committee which has been established in the Renault Nissan factory with the support of the WSWS, he said: “Workers have to unite internationally by building rank-and-file committees in every workplace and factory as part of the International Workers’ Alliance [IWA- RFC] and to overthrow these profit hungry capitalists.”
Referring to the US-NATO war against Russia, he commented: “As you explained about that, I see that the struggles to win our rights and stop the war are intertwined.”
Seniban, an IT professional in Chennai, said: “In this situation, I see it as our obligation and our duty to raise our voice against the reactionary drive to world war, as the great Marxists defined its character and raised their opposition without being mere spectators of the war clouds.”
Sumita Shaw, an assistant teacher at Saint Joseph’s School in Vijapur, Gujarat, remarked: “The December 10 online gathering sponsored by the International Youth and Students for Social Equality is extremely significant to me because it clarifies the root causes of the already disastrous Russo-Ukrainian war.
“The so-called autonomy of India’s foreign geopolitical strategies is now under question as the US makes every effort to isolate India from Russia by giving Pakistan, India’s arch-rival, weapons in the name of fighting terrorism. In fact, India’s geopolitical position is concerning. Since it appears voluntarily willing to support the US against China in South Asia, India will be used as a frontline state to undermine China and further US imperialist endeavors.”
S. Vasan, a transport worker from Chennai, expressed his opposition to the Indian government rallying behind US imperialism and engaging in provocative war exercises near the border with China aimed at provoking China into an all-out war that would be a catastrophic nuclear war.
Commenting on the living conditions of Indian workers amidst the pandemic, he said: “There is no sign of improvement in the living conditions of millions of working people but rather they are deteriorating ever since the pandemic. The disastrous impact of COVID-19 is still haunting millions of working people in utter contempt for the safety of human lives.”