Resolution deliberated upon and adopted at the National Convention of the Socialist Party.
The biennial National Convention of the Socialist Party (India) held at Trivandrum on 17-18 May 2013 in its National Council deliberated upon and adopted the following resolution:
Discard the Western capitalist model and adopt an alternative Indian model of development based on the true spirit of the Constitution.
We the people of India have made a resolve in our Constitution that we will establish a Sovereign, Secular, Democratic, Socialist Republic. Provisions in its chapter 4 enjoin the Indian State to provide adequate means of livelihood to every able-bodied man and woman to prevent the concentration of wealth in a few hands, to develop agriculture, handicrafts and small industries, etc. This should be done through decentralisation i.e. through Panchayats, Municipalities and the District Planning Committees and not through the development authorities of the various states/cities. These development authorities should have been dissolved after the Seventy-third and Seventy-fourth Constitutional Amendment Acts through which Institutions of Local Self Governments are created. What should be the model of development can be decided by the people themselves at the local level. It is in the compatibility of the concept of ‘Four Pillar State’ (Chaukhamba Raj), envisaged by Dr. Rammanohar Lohia just one month after the commencement of the Indian Constitution. The rulers-that-be and all political parties would do well to remember all this because they are taking oath in the name of the Constitution.
After taking note of the ill effects of the privatization-liberalisation-globalisation policies, it has become imperative to discard the Western model of development and adopt the Indian model by keeping in mind the fact that two-thirds of our population are engaged in agriculture. Full employment, protection of environment and lessening the gap between various classes and regions should be accepted as goals of our development policies. The government’s policy to reduce dependence on agri-sector from 70 % to 50% is misguided. Proper infrastructure facilities like communication, water, power, credit, research and marketing should be provided to producers engaged in agriculture, forestry, dairy, fishery etc. Cooperative societies should be strengthened. Production of daily use commodities like cloth, oil, soap, medicines, etc. be reserved for cottage and small scale industries and their location be decentralized in the direction of achieving self- reliance. Remunerative prices to their produce should be ensured.
Use of fossil fuel be minimized. Nuclear energy, looking at its hazardous nature, should not be used. Instead, renewable sources like solar, wind, gobar be harnessed. Capital goods industries and all-India services like railway, banking, and insurance must be in the domain of the public sector. The Reserve Bank of India should exercise a diligent control over financial transactions, particularly on capital account.
The Western model of development has posed a serious threat to the environment world over. Since this model of development sustains itself upon indiscriminate exploitation of the natural resources, the call of its propagators for ‘sustainable development’ or ‘development with human face’ is hollow. The Socialist Party has constituted a committee to find genuine solutions to the present climate crisis. The committee will examine the threat posed to the eco-system by the capitalist model of development and suggest alternatives based on the thoughts of thinkers who advocate harmony between nature and men and differentiate between need and greed.
No to FDI and WTO
The Socialist Party opposes UPA government’s decision allowing 51% FDI in the retail sector and suggests that the retail trade should be reserved only for the domestic sector. Not only the foreign MNC's, but even the big Indian corporate/industrial houses should be kept away from retail trade. Retailers, particularly vendors and road-side shopkeepers should be protected from the extortion by the local body officers and the police. A well thought-out plan should be made by the government to strengthen and modernise the retail sector which involves 5 crores of population.
India should oppose the WTO which pushes FDI into Banks, Insurance, water, electricity, defence matters. Efforts should be made to steer Indian economy from being dependent upon, and being geared to benefit, corporate capitalism. India must not rush into signing Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and other bi- and multi-lateral trade agreements that would jeopardize access to essential and affordable medicines, seeds and adversely impact other sectors of small and medium scale enterprises.
The Socialist Party believes in sustainability at local level as envisaged by Mahatma Gandhi's Gram Swarajya and Dr. Lohia’s ‘Four Pillar’ model. Opening markets internationally doe not provide equal level playing field to domestic players. We have seen how big industries (whether domestic or multinational) are given undue benefits and promotions to help protect their markets and domestic players are dealt with a heavy hand making it all the more difficult for them to survive.
No to seventh pay commission
The seventh pay commission should not be constituted for the next 5 years to put a break on increasing disparity of income between organised and unorganised sectors.
No to privatisation/commercialisation of education
Education is the responsibility of the state and it should be met with utmost commitment and sincerity. The state should provide free, equal and quality education from KG to PG. It should be through CSS (Common School System) and in Indian languages as medium. This goal cannot be achieved unless privatisation/commercialisation of education in any form including PPP (Private Public Partnership) is scrapped. The Indian university system should be strengthened, not only to provide quality education and research to the youth but to accommodate all the aspirants as well. The Socialist Party opposes the entry of private and foreign universities. The private players in the higher education should not be allowed in any manner because they are profiteers and reduce otherwise talented students merely to skilled labourers for the benefit of MNCs.
PDS must be strengthened
With a view to ensure adequate regular supply of food grains, sugar, kerosene etc. at reasonable prices for the poor and lower middle income groups, PDS structure must be buttressed. Pilferage be eliminated. System of cash transfers proposed by the government should not be adopted as it is fraught with immense potentiality for misuse and fraud.
Legitimate rights of workers, particularly to collective bargaining and peaceful collective action, must be protected. Social security, in the form of life and health insurance and old age pension be provided to all workers in the unorganized sector. The State should ensure common, qualitative and free education and health services to all members of the working class.
Honourable treatment to women and their empowerment
State should ensure that there will be no female foeticide, honour killing, bride-burning for dowry and sexual harassment. Violence towards the female citizens at home, workplace or on the streets must stop. Men folk should radically change their mindset and habits as suggested by Dr. Lohia long back. Popular pressure should be built up to prevent obscene and vulgar display/expressions printed or televised in media which is generally controlled by the profit-hungry corporate houses.
Not just cosmetic gestures like introducing an exclusive bank for women, but the channelling of adequate flow of banking services towards women, from all the branches of the banks, should be promoted and monitored.
Maintenance of communal harmony
Effective communal violence law must be enacted soon and implemented ardently. Innocent Muslim youths should not be rounded up in combing operations nor should they be made to linger in jails for indefinite time. Persons responsible for terrorist acts must be brought to book with no loss of time. But ordinary people must not be unjustly harassed in the process.
The Socialist Party has made a demand that the mortal remains of Bahadur Shah Zafar should be brought back to India from Rangoon (presently Yangon), Myanmar, by the government of India. The party has submitted a memorandum to this effect to the President of India. Zafar was the leader of our First War of Independence against the colonial powers and a symbol of Hindu-Muslim unity. The Socialist Party, at its national convention, launches an all India movement in favour of the demand. The people of India should collectively support this demand of the Socialist Party while enjoying the fruits of freedom.
Promotion of social equality
All-out efforts must be put in to eradicate the caste system and offer special opportunities to the dalits, adivasis and backward castes in the field of education, employment and other walks of life. Forest Rights Act 2006 must be implemented within a reasonable time-span in the best interest of the tribals.
Defence of the Nation
The Socialist party considers the jawans of the Army, Navy and Air Force as the backbone of our defence system. These jawans, who render sterling service to safeguard the borders, should be treated well by their superior officers. Trained jawans should not be deployed as orderlies to serve their officers. This legacy of old days of colonialism should be stopped immediately. Their families back home must also be looked after with care and honour.
India has earned a bad name as the largest single big purchaser of military hardware in the world market. Lakhs of crores of rupees go down the drain as commission. This must be stopped. No more purchases should be made from Western producers. Let our scientists, engineers and technicians, who have put satellites in the sky, develop and produce heavy armaments and vehicles for our armed forces. India is not a military state and should not indulge in the arms’ race which hampers the welfare schemes. There should be no stockpile of nuclear arms. No nuclear plant should be commissioned e. g. Kudankulam, Jaitapur, Gorakhpur etc. or built in future.
North-eastern States and Jammu-Kashmir
The terrain in these Border States being so difficult, greater priority should be accorded to providing rail and road facilities there. As insurgency is fast receding in those areas, the military may be withdrawn or at least AFSPA (Armed Forces Special Powers Act) be lifted with immediate effect. Issues in these states should be resolved peacefully with due regard to the rights and aspirations of the people. The Socialist Party expresses concern, particularly over the terrorist attacks and assaults aimed at those who have been participating in the democratic process in Jammu and Kashmir.
People in other states where the citizens of above states happen to stay for education, employment, and self-employment etc. should accord brotherly treatment towards them.
Maintenance of world peace and cooperation and Protection of Human Rights should be the guiding principles of our foreign policy. Bonds of friendship with the neighbours and other countries of East Asia and Africa should be strengthened while taking due care and caution about the security concerns of our country. The foreign policy of the country should be free of the neo-imperialist pressures/interests. For example, the treaty on gas pipe line between India and Iran was dropped due to the US pressure. Sincere diplomatic deliberations should prevail upon direct military action because war brings havoc to humanity. India should pursue the policy of peaceful co-existence with the neighbouring countries. But it should not be done at the cost of land and people of the country. A fitting reply must be given to a neighbour if there is a genuine threat. However, jingoistic rhetoric serves no purpose. On the contrary, such verbosity exposes hollowness of their real commitment.
In the light of the recent Chinese intrusion into 19kms of Indian Territory, the Socialist Party will initiate a movement to stop all imports of Chinese goods into India so that China does not repeat the practice again. The party does not support direct military action in such incidents and believe that all such disputes should be resolved through bilateral negotiations. But the party does support and demand policies which would protect our local markets, small and middle scale industries and local craft artisans across the country. Such a resolve will strengthen our economic power. Banning imports from China and promoting domestically produced products will give double boost to our economy and put more pressure on China to respect international borders including India’s.
The Socialist Party firmly demands that the Indian land occupied by China in the war of 1962 must be vacated and calls upon the Indian government to review its position with regard to Tibet, particularly in the light of persistent Chinese intrusion throughout the Indo-Tibet border. The Party expresses its deep concern over the unabated violence in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. The same imperialist forces, that are responsible for the havoc in these countries, are playing with emotions of the Muslims by circulating objectionable materials in various forms. These forces, in their lust for profit, are not ready to allow peace and harmony a chance to prevail in the world.
Efficient work culture
There should be time-bound clearance of citizens’ applications in govt offices, banks, electricity, judicial courts, etc. Officers and employees in government and semi-government establishments should be asked to clear citizens’ matters in a given time-frame. Instead of English, officials should use Indian languages and extend courteous behaviour to all citizens. An efficient work culture at the government and semi-government offices is a must to dispel privatisation.
Banish VIP culture
There must be a drastic downsizing of facilities and security provided to VIPs. This legacy of feudal and colonial ages must go from Democratic Republic India. The political and bureaucratic bosses should not be allowed to interfere in the working of various departments including the police. They should learn to live and behave like common Indians while performing their responsibility with utmost commitment and honesty.
Bharat Ratna should be given to Savitri Bai Phule
The Bharat Ratna award should be given to Savitri Bai Phule, the first women teacher of modern India.
The goal : An alternative politics
It is a matter of utmost concern for the Socialist Party that politics of hate, violence, conspiracy, rumour and servility is prevailing upon politics that is value based. Most of the mainstream political parties and leaders openly indulge in corruption, communalism, casteism, parochialism, money-power, muscle-power and family lineage tactics. They despise and suppress Indian masses but happily and readily bow to the dictates of the US controlled neo-imperialist regime. The Socialist Party aspires to create an alternative political culture based on the socialist philosophy and fundamental Constitutional values while opposing this anti-Constitutional and anti-people character of mainstream Indian politics.
Dr. Prem Singh
General Secretary and Spokesperson