[Articles from Vanguard, September 1984]


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[Articles from Vanguard, September 1984]

People of all Nationalities

Fight Indira Govt's Fascist Policies

Indira Gandhi has restored NTR's rule in the face of massive opposition throughout the country and particularly in Andhra Pradesh, as a temporary retreat only to gain time in order to hit back more ferociously. The people must not be taken in by the fraudulent statements of the opposition that this was a g eat 'victory of democracy'. Such statements only lull the vigilance of the people negates their preparedness and disarms them for the coming large battles.

First Sikkim, then Punjab, next Kashmir and then Andhra Pradesh. Indira Gandhi and her Central government will not tolerate the growth of national sentiments in the country and is determined to crush this awakening under the fascist jackboots of the Centre. But this is m thing new. She is continuing the policies of her father. In similar fashion the Nehru government dismissed and arrested the popular Sheikh Abdullah government in 1953 and have beau waging a brutal war against Nagas, Mizos, Manipuris who have sought to assert their national identity. Whenever the people of this multi-national country have sought to assert their national aspirations they have been met by lathis, bullets and prisons. So, in the mid-fifties, during the movement for the reorganization of states thousands lost their lives in polite firing and it was only over the dead bodies of these valiant fighters was the Nehru government forced to reorganize the states on national lines.

In Bombay city alone over hundred people were shot dead in the movement to demand separate Maharashtra from the previous Bombay state. The same took place in Andhra Pradesh, Punjab etc. The Central government acted with equal brutality against the Tamil people when they sought to assort their national identity and fought the imposition of Hindi as the national language by the Centre. And then again in the latest Assam movement the Central government used excessive force to crush the national aspirations of the Assamese people. Today the Indian army under the direction of the government of India, has become virtually an army of occupation in Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Punjab, Kashmir and is making steps with the help of the CPI (M) government to occupy Tripura, India is being turned into a prison of nations.

NTR or his Telugu Desam is no people's representative but a symbol of the national aspirations of the Telugu people against the domination and authority of the Centre. He has won the support of the local feudal and bourgeois sections within the State. It is these sections too who have become sick and disgusted by the bullying of the Centre and that is why their support to NTR. Besides NTR was as loyal as the Congress (I) to the local feudal and bourgeois interests in unleashing terror and violence against the peasantry of AP righting a life and death battle against feudal tyranny, But, besides serving the feudal interests, NTR has become a symbol off he national aspirations of the Telugu people in their struggle against the Centre. On the other hand Indira Gandhi's actions were not accidental but part of a calculated scheme with precise objectives i.e., to continue her dictatorial rule, as the chief representative of the Indian big bourgeois, big landlord classes (in league with imperialism), without any bet or hindrance.
Ironically on 15th August, 1984, while NTR and his supporters were out proving their 'patriotism' at an 'independence day' function, Bhaskara Rao (a puppet of the Centre) was proving his spirit of 'national integration' by ignoring the 'independence day' and took the chance to lead his pack of defectors to parade before the Governor. Bhaskara Rao submitted a list of supporters containing as became evident later, a large number of forgeries.

Later NTR submitted a list of 163 Telugu Desam ML As and a separate list of 22 non-Congress (I) opposition MLAs in a house of 294 members, demanding a convening of the assembly by 18 August to test the majority of the two contending sections. The 58 Congress (1) MLAs gave their support to Bhaskara Rao plus four of the Moslem MiM. On the same day, to back Bhaskara Rao's claim, two aircraft load of BSF personnel were air lifted to Hydrabad. Later on the army was called out under the pretext of controlling communal riots.

Rejecting the request of NTR to summon the State assembly, Governor Ramlal dismissed the 20—month old NIR ministry on 16th afternoon, arrested NTR and his supporters and administered the oath of office of CM to former finance minister Bhaskara Rao amidst tight security where special armed police had taken positions all around the Raj Bhawan A few hours later, AP had a new CM, NTR and his colleagues were then released, curfew was clamped in many parts of Hyderabad and AP and the army was called in to maintain law and order ie., the new government in power. And 'democracy’ continued to thrive in AP and India continued to be the largest 'democracy’ in the world.
But the people did not take it lying down and violence broke out in all parts of AP, specifically in Rayalaseema where public offices were ran sacked, railway stations burnt fish plates removed and all vehicular movement disrupted, effigies of Indira Gandhi and Bhaskara Rao burn", local MLAS supporting Bhaskara Rao were too not spared. Street bulbs smashed, power supply was disrupted. A police party in Anantapur was waylaid and the policemen were stripped off their uniform and beaten; Indian Airlines office in Vijayawada was attacked, and attempts were made to blow up railway tracks and bridges.

Meanwhile NTR paraded his entire support of 16 MLAs before the President of India at Delhi, mammoth meetings were held at New Delhi, Hydrabad, Madras, Bangalore and all along the route from Vijayawada to Tirupathi. AJ1 opposition parties have converged on AP and lent support to NTR; the masses have broken out in spontaneous violent opposition to the new rule and many have laid down their lives, sixty in the first five days of the dismissal. Then Governor Ramlal resigned and another stooge appointed from Delhi; the pro-tem speaker Baga Reddy collapsed and a new pro Congress (I) speaker of the MIM had been appointed and the stipulated period of a month within which Bhaskara Rao was told to prove his -majority lapsed. Yet Bhaskara Rao continued as CM.

The assembly was reconvened as scheduled but successfully disrupted by Congress henchmen in the MIM and Bhaskara Rao group to prevent proceedings from continuing. N T R, with much fanfare, accompanied by PUCL team, brought his supporters in a convoy from Mysore to Hydrabad and amidst great expectations reached the Assembly with curfew declared throughout the city, army called in and large number arrested, the proceedings were systematically disrupted day after day and a confidence motion was not permitted to be raised. Finally, under threat of a nationwide movement, Indira Gandhi retracted and NTR was put back in power.

For all their professed support the opposition parties had looked on impotently, unable and unwilling to mobilize the people in a real resistance movement against the Centre. They made much sound and fury, which signified little. The opposition leaders merely offered mock assistance by camping in AP rather than mobilizing the people wherever they have strength and building up a strong movement against the Centre. But then that is not surprising, unconcerned about the infringement of any democratic norms they were more interested in capitalizing on the anti-Congress (I) sentiments generated throughout the country by the dismissal of NTR for their own electoral interests, rather than potting up any real resistance to the growing fascism of the Centre and its actions.
The opposition seeks power, at any cost, not democracy and justice. To gain it they can today cling on to the coat tails of NTR while it was of Indira Gandhi when she butchered the Sikhs. For them the dismissal of NTR is undemocratic but the army operations in Northeast and Punjab are perfectly democratic. They seek neither freedom, nor democracy but power. They are not interested in mobilizing the people throughout the country against the Centre and its stooge Bhaskara Rao, but more interested in aligning with the pro-NTR mass sentiments in order to capitalize on it for their electoral interests.

And NTR himself, besides mass meetings and two bandhs, has not taken one step to mobilize the masses and draw them into a movement against the Centre and Bhaskara Rao, but has preferred to leave it to spontaneity. He claims that he is a Gandhian but was afraid to mobilize the masses with even Gandhian methods of struggle.... or else with his support he could easily have mobilized and launched a massive non-co-operation movement and called on the people of AP not to pay taxes and to boycott the new Government.

But these bourgeois leaders are afraid to release the initiative of «he masses. For all their talk of democracy NTR himself was not all that democratic. When in power, brutally suppressed the peasant movement. In his first year of rule 16 activists were killed by police and landlords, three more in fake encounters and six people arrested under NSA. Forty-nine services were brought under ESMA, 125-armed police camps existed, police raids affected 310 villages and five lakh people lived in disturbed areas (with no freedom at all). Besides this, his own functioning was highly autocratic. It is this half-baked democracy, which will act as the greatest limiting factor for NTR and his Telugu Desam in his fight with the Centre.
Yet, in spite of all the antics of the opposition and knowing their class interests, the revolutionaries are prepared to unite with all forces who are willing to fight and give concrete battle against the fascist policies of the Indira Gandhi clique, which is concentrating more and more power in her hands.

Unless these undemocratic and fascist measures of Indira Gandhi are fought at every level and at every step, India will lose whatever freedom still exists and will be pushed back to the dark ages Therefore, the people of India must go beyond the confines of this bourgeois leadership, if the opposition is unprepared must take the initiative in their own hands and get prepared to launch a battle against Indira Gandhi and the Central government. This battle must continue even after the return of NTR to power. It is only with such a relentless battle against the Centre and its fascist policies that the people of a multinational India will be able to assert their national aspirations and fight tack the fascist onslaught.

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