Statement by Nambiath Vasudevan from India, coordinator with Daniel Gluckstein (France) of the International Workers’ Committee against War and Exploitation, for a Workers International (IWC).
This war is disastrous for the working class. The war that is now taking place in Ukraine will lead to an increase of the price of goods and especially of fuel. That will increase the prices of cooking gas for the common man; the prices of petrol and oil are already very high, now they say it will go to 100 dollars on the people. In India, at the moment there is a freeze on petrol and diesel prices because of elections due in March, and once the elections are over, it is feared that because of the war in Ukraine, the prices of those items will go beyond any reasonable even imagination.
So I say it is disastrous for the working the common man will be at disadvantage for buying his cooking gas. It is a very, very sensitive problem.
Then the prices of many other items certainly will rise disproportionately. It will all affect the majority of impoverished people. And they are against the war. It is not going to do any difference for the rich few, minuscule rich layer, which is in power. Even now, because of Corona, millions of people have lost their jobs; it is difficult for them to manage. So in addition to Corona, this is going to be a serious situation for the working people, and not only in India, but all over the world. People are very weary, because of the pandemic. It is still there, and people have lost jobs, so this war is going to add to the miserable conditions, that is why this is disastrous for the working class.
The workers of Russia and the workers in Ukraine will suffer as the workers of any other part of the world. The common situation in Russia or in Ukraine or in France, or in USA, or in India, is that working people have nothing to gain from this war. Only the ruling class will benefit.
In this particular war, the situation in India is complex. The government of India has not taken an open stand against Russia. And the government of China has taken a different stand altogether. There is Macron in France who is fully supporting Ukraine against Russia. Whereas in India, the government is not taking a stand, but the national media are all supporting Ukraine. The government is not opposing Ukraine, but also doesn’t take a stand against Russia. Because India buys a lot of armament from Russia. So there is a tactic understanding.
The present war in Europe is the continuation of imperialist competition for market and supremacy of trade. This war doesn’t change the conditions of workers in Russia or Ukraine or anywhere else.
If we analyse a little bit, after 1990, at the time of the collapse of the Soviet Union, it was a period of offensive for the US and European imperialisms. They took the opportunity offered by the situation and invaded Iraq, and then invaded Afghanistan. And they established the supremacy of imperialism. And today things are more difficult for US imperialism and European countries and the NATO.
The global implication of this war is for later, and no one can say what is going to happen. The situation is very unpredictable.
In the past, there was a real international working class, and effective solidarity of the workers all over the world. And that meant effective influence and activity in different countries. Unfortunately that is not the situation today. Workers are divided in various unions, in different countries, there are different political viewpoints, etc.
So we should struggle to build a very wide working class unity, establish a class position in our respective countries.
If that is understood, and we stand together, workers will fight together, and that will become a reality.
The workers have a common interests, and they must stand together, irrespective of the continent or the country. We must work towards that.
One day it will become a reality. Let us repeat we have always opposed war as it benefited only exploiters. The common interests of the working people in all country remain the same : better life, better health, steady prices and availability of necessary commodities.
February 26, 2022