US President Donald Trump has said it is a "badge of honour" for America to "lead" the world with 3.5 million confirmed Covid19 cases since it means the US is testing more people for the disease that has killed nearly 100,000 people in US alone, when at global level the number of confirmed cases has reached 60 million, with nearly 4 lakh dead by 23rd May. He thinks that, in a certain respect, as being a good thing because it means the testing is much better. "So when we have a lot of cases," he continued, "I don't look at that as a bad thing, I look at that as, in a certain respect, as being a good thing because it means our testing is much better." It is for people of US to decide whether such a fascist with Evangelical outlook should lead them! But there is a method in Trump’s madness! It serves his imperialist vision. In this manner he conceals the fact that though the WHO alerted all countries on 7th January about the dangerous spreading of Covid19, he did not bother about it till the number of patients crossed tens of thousands; he still protects  the corporate houses and super rich private hospitals who refuse to help in providing affordable Covid-19 treatment to people; he also conceals the fact that it is the Blacks who are affected by Covid19 in larger numbers, and that more than 75% of dead are also Blacks who are below 20% of the population. So, without concrete steps to control the infection and to help the Blacks and other poorer sections, Trump is ending lockdown and opening all fields for helping production to catch up with rivals of US at the global market, with business as usual.

Modi is also following Trump’s ways faithfully, though on one count, on the excellence of testing done in India he has nothing to boast. At the same time, similar to US, the number of patients and dead have started galloping in India also. Like Trump, Modi also did not bother when WHO called for health alert and for starting preparations to combat Covid-19 which was spreading fast globally. Even after the first case was detected in India, though WHO had called for observation and testing/quarantine for all international passengers at airports, it was put in to effect from 12th march only. By that time 15 lakh passengers came through airports including those much maligned Tablighi Jamaat’s foreign guests without getting checked and tested. Till 24th March Indian companies were exporting ventilators, safety kits and testing kits and other medical requirements, none of which could be sufficiently procured even up to this time. Modi was busy with Delhi elections, suppression of anti NPR/NRC movement, toppling Congress govt in MP like BJP programs. Then the announcement to start 21 days lockdown from midnight of 24th March came just four hours before, without taking the state governments or the people in confidence. This abrupt order is entirely responsible for the still continuing colossal distress including hundreds of deaths due to starvation and accidents forced on the tens of millions of migrant workers.

When the first lockdown was declared, the covid19 patients were nearly 500.But when 60 days of lockdown is over, still Modi government could not provide adequate numbers of test kite, safety kits, ventilators etc. required for such a vast country. It is not ready to disturb the super rich private hospitals to provide Covid-19 treatment at affordable rates. Lockdown are allowed to be violated with immunity for Hindutva programs, No wages or allowance is given to the 400 million contract/casual workers who lost jobs and shelters and in acute distress. Adequate free ration was not given to all though FCI godowns are over full with food grains. In short, while announcing lockdown was needed, as WHO repeatedly announced, testing facilities and medical preparations were not sufficiently made. As a result, contrary to Modi government’s tall claims, by 24th May the number of patients and dead have jumped to 1,30,000 and about 3800, and fast increasing fast day by day.

Meanwhile, following Trump, without rectifying the gross mistakes and shortcomings which led to galloping impact of covid19 and acute distress to vast majority of the workers and oppressed sections, Modi also has ordered for easing out lockdown provisions, without taking the state governments in to confidence. By 1st June the lockdown may be withdrawn, with domestic flights and train services started, to begin economic activities fast. But what will happen to fighting the intensifying Covid19 spread? How its galloping numbers of patients and dead are going to be brought down? Who will give relief to the seriously impoverished the masses including the migrant workers many of whom are still on the roads or rails? There are no answers. At the same time, Modi government was using Covid-19 as a cover to spread Islamophobia and implement RSS agenda, It has intensified fascist state terror by leaps and bounds to suppress Kashmir people, Muslims as a whole, especially the students and youth who were active in the anti-NPR/NRC movement, to announce more and more reactionary orders for further plunder of the working class and peasantry, and to saffronise every section of the state apparatus. While it totally failed to control the spread of Covid19 or in helping the masses of the people from their acute distress, it is providing all incentives to the corporate forces and to the elite Brahmanical sections. Its crimes against the people are mounting.                                    

Modi’s crimes against the people should be exposed and powerful movements should be launched to throw him out of power and to realize a people’s alternative with the working class in the forefront. This is the first and foremost task before all progressive forces

While the Hindutva fascists with their genocidal hatred towards Muslims have been leading an unprecedented anti-Muslim riot in the entire national capital region of Delhi, during the preceding two days, Modi was engaged in  appeasing Trump, his imperialist master by totally conceding to all of latter's corporate demands.


 Accordingly, the joint statement that arrived at designates both India and US as the "Comprehensive Global Strategic  Partners", with the former obviously in its traditinal junior capacity. It implies a hither to unknown level of military cooperation between the two, a revitalisation of the "Quadrilateral" consisting of US, Japan, Australia and India as a geopolitical counterweight against China in the Indo-Pacific region.


Out of this deal, the immediate economic gain to US imperialism is  a Rs. 50000 core defence deal including around Rs. 20000 crore weapon-deal from US military-industrial complex led by arms MNCs such as Lockheed Martin. Among other things, the deal also involves the dumping in India of the crisis-ridden Westinghouse-owned 6 obsolete nuclear plants at a cost of around Rs. 2.5 lac crore as well as an MoU on LNG pipeline infrastructure between Indian Oil Corporation and Exxon-Mobil.


However, more gruesome is regarding the primary information on the blueprint of a comprehensive trade deal that is under process. Accordingly, among other things, the whole dairy sector of India providing livelihood and sustenance to 15 crore Indians (almost equal to half the population of US) will be thrown open to US agribusiness and corporate farm exporters who are already enjoying a subsidy of around Rs. 61 lac crore in US that enables them to dump their products in India and elsewhere. Regarding this, fascist Modi regime is reported to have given its commitment to Trump even as Indian farmers, many of whom own just one or two animals, are consistently demanding that agriculture should be kept out of all international trade deals.


A number of agreements on digital technology and cyberspace, counterterrorism and so on in which US corporatocracy has monopoly power have also been arrived at. For instance, displaying his wholehearted interest to work as a junior partner of US digital giants, Mukesh Ambani has even informed Trump that his company (Jio) is "the only network in the world that doesn't have a single Chinese component." No doubt, various US tech giants such as Googlepay, Apple, Visa, Mastercard, Facebook, What's App, etc. have already established their tendacles in India.


And that also is related to the political crux of the matter. At a time when imperialist China is the biggest threat to US-led western imperialist bloc (for instance, all US efforts to contain the growing clout of Huawei, the Chinese digital giant has failed so far) in today's multipolar world, Trump is taking all steps available to deal with it. As the post-Brexit EU becomes more assertive and as Sino-Russian alliance, unlike the Cold War days,  is more strong, Trump, the current CEO of US corporate interests is bent on utilising India as a last resort and  a launching pad in its anti-China machinations.


As is obvious now, in this sharpening inter-imperialist rivalry between US and China, Modi is fully inclined towards casting his lot with the former. This was evident from Modi' s last minute exit from the RCEP by the end of 2019,  as continuing in it would have resulted in playing the inevitable second fiddle to China which is the big brother both in RCEP and in Asia-Pacific region. Now together with the geopolitical undertones involved, Modi's impending trade deal with US having far-reaching repercussions for India is the logical corollary of his backing out from RCEP trade deal.


To be precise, with these various defence partnerships and trade deals (whose legal framework is to be finalised), Modi is integrating India with the US-led western imperialist bloc that is fully in conformity with the time-tested servility of RSS to Yanki imperialism.

Reversing four decades of American policy and further undermining the Palestinians’ effort to gain statehood, the Trump administration on November 18 said it no longer considers Israeli settlements in the West Bank to be a violation of international law. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the U.S. is repudiating the 1978 State Department legal opinion that held that civilian settlements in the occupied territories are not consistent with international law. Israeli leaders have welcomed the decision while Palestinians and other nations warned that it undercut any chance of a broader peace deal. As a justification for reversing their decades long stand which was underlined in many UN resolutions, Pompeo told reporters at the State Department that the Trump administration believes any legal questions about settlements should be resolved by Israeli courts and that declaring them a violation of international law distracts from larger efforts to negotiate a peace deal.

This change reflects the administration’s embrace of a hard-line Israeli view at the expense of the Palestinian quest for statehood. Similar actions have included President Donald Trump decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel capital, the movement of the U.S. Embassy to that city and the closure of the Palestinian diplomatic office in Washington.

Condemning this US action, Nabil Abu Rdeneh, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas stated that with this change of stand the U.S. administration cannot play any future role in the peace process, said The European Union warned of the potential repercussions in a statement following the announcement. It stated that all settlement activity is illegal under international law and it erodes the viability of the two-state solution and the prospects for a lasting peace. The EU called on Israel to end all settlement activity, in line with its obligations as an occupying power.

If it is the covert support from the consecutive US presidents which emboldened Israel to encroach upon West Bank, almost fully covering with illegal settlements, present announcement is intended to give a boost to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is fighting for his political survival after failing to form a coalition government following recent elections. It could also spell further trouble for all peace plans. This Trump move has come when the Netanyahu government was dealt a blow on settlements just last week when the European Court of Justice ruled products made in Israeli settlements must be labeled as illegal.

The 1978 legal opinion on settlements is known as the Hansell Memorandum. It had been the basis for more than 40 years of carefully worded U.S. opposition to settlement construction that had varied in its tone and strength, depending on the president’s position. The international community overwhelmingly considers the settlements illegal based in part on the Fourth Geneva Convention, which bars an occupying power from transferring parts of its own civilian population to occupied territory.

Israel captured the West Bank and east Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast war and quickly began settling the newly conquered territory. Today, some 700,000 Israeli settlers live in the two areas, which are both claimed by the Palestinians for their state. After the war, it immediately annexed east Jerusalem, home to the holy city most important religious sites, in a move that is not internationally recognized. Meanwhile Israel went on covering the West Bank the territory with scores of settlements and tiny settlement outposts. Claiming the fate of the settlements is a subject for negotiations, it has steadily expanded them. Some major settlements have over 30,000 residents, resembling small cities and serving as suburbs of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. These settlements undermine undermines the possibility for a two-state solution by gobbling up land sought by the Palestinians. Israel settlement activities have also drawn attention to its treatment of Palestinians. While Jewish settlers can freely enter Israel and vote in Israeli elections, West Bank Palestinians are subject to Israeli military law, require permits to enter Israel and do not have the right to vote in Israeli elections.

What Trump administration has done is an open support to Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people.. CPI (ML) Red Star condemns this arch reactionary act of Trump administration. We support the struggle of Palestinian people for their statehood and oppose the barbaric policies of the fascist Israeli regime against Palestinian people.

KN Ramachandran,
General Secretary
CPI(ML) Red Star

The Communist movement in India has a history of almost a century after the salvos of October Revolution in Russia brought Marxism-Leninism to the people of India who were engaged in the national liberation struggle against the British colonialists. It is a complex and chequered history.