The general election to elect the 16th Lok Sabha is not far away with the first round of voting in a week from now. The political parties are out in the field but what is clear is that, they are not addressing the concerns of working people. In fact the Bharatiya Janata Party, which is not just the principle opposition party but the one that is almost presuming that it has won the election, has not even yet put out its manifesto of what it will do, and not do, if it were elected. This augers poorly for the democracy. In view of BJP’s commitment to Hindu nationalism and majoritarianism this remains an ominous sign of what may come if the BJP were to form government.
The NTUI has always recognised the necessity to maintain autonomy from political parties within a capitalist society. And yet our membership and the working class at large are active in various ways in the political affairs of this country. We recognise elections are an important part of democratising the society. It was with this understanding that the NTUI put forward a “charter” in advance of the 2009 general election, which was the first general election after our founding.
In the course of the last three months, within days of our Third General Assembly, the NTUI put in place a discussion on its election charter through its secretariat, its committee of office bearers and its executive council, finally culminating in a convention of its affiliates on 6 March 2014, which brought together nearly a hundred delegates from across the country. This charter is a result of these debates and discussions.
The NTUI has always recognised the primacy of defending democracy and advancing democratic rights for protecting the objectives of a just and egalitarian society and advancing the rights of the working class. And yet the NTUI also recognises that none of the dominant political parties are reflective of the economic, social and political crisis and the necessity for advancing national development rooted in self-reliance and sustainability that can meet needs of the working class. Hence, the choices before the electorate are limited. With democracy as its core principle, the NTUI will strive to ensure that secular and democratic forces, reflective of the plurality within the country, come to government in this election.
At the same time the NTUI also recognises that neither can it influence this outcome on its own nor can it be achieved by merely all progressive trade unions coming together. The task of building a struggle for a just economy, an egalitarian society and a democratic polity that must go on beyond the general election, calls for the widest possible united front of all progressive forces. With its Charter for the 16th Lok Sabha Elections which is attached, the NTUI commits itself to this.
Defeat Communal and Right Wing Forces
Resist Imperialist Globalisation
Build a United Struggle for
A Just Economy, an Egalitarian Society and a Democratic Polity
New Trade Union Initiative (NTUI)
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