Cover Image: Indian military assault commuters on the pretext of COVID-19
By Ed Dalton
Of all the countries in the world, India has seen the most repressive state measures in response to the economic crisis, on the pretext of COVID-19. Although it is often lauded as the world’s largest democracy, this is a lie. India, as a semi-feudal and semi-colonial country, is home to one of the world’s most advanced Communist revolutions, initiated in response to a total lack of democracy.
On March 22nd, India’s fascist Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a nationwide lockdown, implementing what he called a “people’s curfew.” By using the people’s legitimate concerns about the pandemic, reactionaries like Modi enact such measures not because the virus is more potent at night, but because their states are completely vulnerable in the face of the desperate and rebellious people. A virus spreads no faster at night than in daytime, and such curfews are not oriented toward the virus but toward social control, preventing the state from draining its resources by compelling the people to observe such restrictions on the basis of their health concerns.
Imperialism is more dangerous for the people than any pandemic, and Modi’s policies prove this. Modi also shut down the Indian Railways and the interstate bus services, which are used by a large number of migrant peasant workers who travel to the cities for subsistence wages, which are sent back to their villages. With the recent restrictions on travel by the fascist Modi, many have been forced to walk, resulting in starvation and death.
City buses and domestic flights are also stopped, cultural centers and markets are closed. To enforce these rules the Indian state unleashed its vicious police force, beating grocery shoppers, migrant workers, and anyone else who dared to go outside, in some cases even opening fire on them.
In the middle of all this misery, which every bit of can be traced back to imperialism and the rotting Indian state, the Communist Party of India (Maoist) leads its People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) in waging people’s war against the old state, developing a new state throughout the regions they control. The Indian comrades cannot stop fighting for New Democracy, a democratic revolution led by and in the interests of the working class, even amid the pandemic.
The PLGA continues the People’s War undeterred by the coronavirus. This week revolutionary combatants killed a contractor, responsible for directing the road construction work between Cherakdoddi and Bandarpalle, a project which serves the counter-revolutionary purpose of reclaiming the forests to combat the People’s War. The combatants also burned two trucks and an earthmover before returning to the forest.
The reactionary authorities have attempted to use the pandemic and subsequent nationwide lockdown as an excuse to separate the Maoists from the people, by claiming that there is no basic hygiene in the forests, and that people should view the Maoists as a particularly dangerous health risk. The people see through these failed attempts; the Maoists defy curfews and move freely between states, serving the people and fighting the old state, the coronavirus pandemic cannot and will not halt the People’s War.