The French working class has always been a beacon light of hope for the entire humanity with their revolutionary fervor against exploitation. They showed to the world during the French Revolution what the poor and the ordinary are capable of doing after the queen passed the callous comment stating, “if they don’t have bread, let them eat cake.”
They not only buried the absolute monarchy and brought about the republic but also inspired the people all around the world to do so. In May 1968, the ordinary French once again took to streets to protest against capitalism, consumerism and American imperialism. And now, protests popularly known as ‘Yellow Vest’ protests, broke out throughout France. These protests are led by the working class, who are angry about a planned increase in fuel taxes. The Yellow vests, through their concerted action, forced President Emmanuel Macron to withdraw the proposal of the fuel tax hike.
You may wonder why I’m talking about all these now. This kind of revolutions and protests are long overdue in India. Our country, of late, has been transformed into a nation “of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%”, in other words, more precisely, into a nation “of the politicians and their tycoon cronies, by the politicians and their tycoon cronies and for the politicians and their tycoon cronies”.
Widespread unemployment, agrarian distress, lack of quality healthcare and education for the poor and the ordinary are becoming increasingly rampant. The governments, whether they are led by Gandhi Parivar or Sangh Parivar, are only obsessed with ‘ease of doing business’. They are providing the tycoons with ease of business to the extent that they can even default on their debts and get safe passages post-default. Politicos and their tycoon cronies have started enjoying an ‘unlimited and unceasing ease’, which in turn inflicting an excruciating unease on the lives of the poor and the ordinary. When people start questioning, they bring religion, caste, language and a host of other non-issues to fore to divert the attention of the people away from these important issues and hoodwink them.
In a way, the situation is very much ripe in India for a working-class uprising, where the poor and the ordinary should be asserting their right. When President Macron came to know that Paris started burning, he abruptly ended his foreign visit and went back to his country to douse the flames. But our ‘netas’ are so secure in their seats that they slowly complete their foreign visits and come back to India, again to embark on one more foreign visit within a matter of days.
The marches undertaken by the farmers in the recent months is in the right direction and these struggles should be intensified further in future. This is the time for the farmers to demand remunerative prices for their produce, unemployed youth for jobs, poor and the ordinary for good healthcare and education. As long as they stay entrapped in religion and caste and stay divided, the politicos and their tycoon cronies will have a cake walk looting the nation’s resources and keep accumulating wealth in gargantuan proportions. Finally, they should never forget the fact that if they want 'ease of living' they will get it, and if they pay even the slightest attention to things such as cow and Ram, then they will end up getting only those.