ILPS strongly condemns Indian Prime Minister Nerendra Modi’s Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) as a continuation of the BJP-RSS agenda to transform India into a fascist, Hindu supremacist state. We stand in militant solidarity with the Indian masses who in their millions have been mobilizing against the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens and fighting for their democratic rights.
The Citizenship Amendment Act is an explicitly anti-Muslim piece of legislation that creates pathways to citizenship for Hindus and some minority religious groups displaced by the colonial division of the sub-continent, while explicitly excluding Muslims. The legislation also targets Adivasi, Dalit and other poor people in India who are more likely to have been displaced by social or natural disasters and less likely to have the documentation now required to ‘prove’ their citizenship. In practice, the National Register of Citizens is a tool for stripping those deemed as a threat to the fascist BJP-RSS project of their rights and paving the way for continued and intensifying state and state-sanctioned violence against them.
The CAA legislation is also being used to divide and rule, and to give cover to a battery of economic legislation that constitute a significant reorganization of the Indian economy in favour of big business. The economic component of the fascist attack comes in the form of changes to the labour code which facilitate contractualization and increase the rate of exploitation of workers; changes to the business security code protecting bosses in the event of the death or injury of a worker on the job; changes to the industrial relations code increasing punitive fines on unions for actions deemed to be ‘illegal’; and cuts to social security.
What we see here are classic movements toward fascism! As the Modi government solidifies its mass base through chauvinist attacks on minorities and scape-goating of those defending their rights, it bends over backwards to show its loyalty to Indian and international capital by creating conditions for ever greater exploitation of the working class.
In a third tactic very much characteristic of fascism, the Modi regime is seeking to permanently reshape the very ideological fabric of Indian society with its Draft New Education Policy. The DNEP creates the conditions for a privatized and multi-tiered school system under the cover of ‘parent choice’ and ‘user pay’. These moves dovetail with Hindu chauvinist policies like the imposition of Hindi and Sanskrit as the language of instruction in a country with 22 official languages and in which there are no less than 30 different languages with over a million native speakers, and the rewriting of the curriculum to align with Hindu nationalist ideology.
Resistance to the CAA and NRC has been broad and militant, despite being tagged by the Indian State as terrorists and being repressed with colonial era anti-sedition laws. In the Shaheen Bagh neighborhood of Delhi, community members, mostly women and children, have been blocking a major highway since December 15, taking a stand against the CAA/NRC, and supporting unions and students facing repression. Students across India have taken up this struggle and have faced severe state repression including police beatings, tear gassing, and arrests of students for participating in the protests.
The imperialist Canadian State shows no concern for these gross violations of human rights and instead is intent on protecting Canadian big business interests in India, including as a market for weapons and military products produced in Canada. But we, grassroots people, stand with the people of India; with the women in the streets in Shaheen Bagh; with the students at JMI, AMU and JNU; with Adidvasi people protecting their traditional lands and territories; with the Indian working class fighting capitalist exploitation; with national minorities fighting for equality and self-determination; and with all people in India fighting for social justice and for their democratic rights!
Junk the CAA-NRC!
Fight Back the Fascist Attacks in India!
Long Live International Solidarity!