--classstrugggle-flipmag CS Dec-2018 MKP - Page 13

There was no opposition, nor was there much of a concrete guidance. It was in such circumstances that the first salvo of the RIN revolt was fired on the morning on February, 1946. From the very beginning the discontent related to service conditions was linked with the political demands of the national liberation struggle. The impact of the incidents of 18 February was felt in all the naval establishments in India, on the high seas and in foreign ports. The Indian navy literally passed into the hands of the ratings. Plans to spread the revolt to other wings of the armed forces failed to materialize for lack of contact. Nevertheless, the British dared not use Indian troops and the air force against the naval rebels. The “first general centre of resistance”, that Marx spoke of, was becoming active again. The very foundations of the British Empire in India were shaken. The national leadership hastened to contain the RIN revolt. Such ugly developments could not be allowed to spoil the beauty of the negotiations for the peaceful transfer of power. Even Gandhi declared as such. Mrs. Aruna Asaf Ali tried in vain to secure the support of the national leadership, only to be rebuked by Gandhi in his inimitable sweet fashion. Both the Congress and Muslim League advised surrender and promised that no harm would come to the ratings. The promise was of course never kept. The leadership of the revolt, lacking in experience and without effective political guidance, wavered and surrendered. Signifi- cantly, this happened just when at the call of the Communists, the workers had come out on the streets and put up barricades, and the sailors had given the slogan: “On to the barricades with arms”. Two hundred workers and their leaders were massacred in December - 2018 Bombay. The British realized that they had lost the military strength to hold the country in thrall, while the national leadership had acquired the power, and the determination to prevent a total and revolutionary break with the past. And so the deal was struck and was finalized just six months later. The contribution of the members of the Indian armed forces to the victory of our struggle for freedom remains unrecognized even today. The RIN revolt has only a passing mention in the critical history of our national movement. This is certainly not because of the sedulously nurtured myth of our “unique bloodless revolution”. Our petti-bourgeois revolutionaries are remembered with reverence. The revolt of 1857 is recognized as our first “battle of independence”. Even the INA has been admitted into the pantheon. Some of its leading lights have been absorbed in the Establishment. A veil of silence has been drawn over the RIN and other revolts in the armed forces. This is really because every ruling class dreads the disloyalty of soldiers, as Gandhi had frankly admitted in February 1946. One can only hope that someday the nation will honour those long denied their due. ™ Japan Opens Its Doors to Foreign Workers The industrially and highly technically developed capitalist Japan has been boasting that it can solve its problem of labour crunch with more women and more robots without the necessity of migrant workers. Such lofty claims may appear to be pleasant to hear, but cannot conceal the fact that without the exploitation of the labour power of workers that too the cheap labour power of migrant workers the capitalism cannot survive and thrive. The same thing is proved with the recent experience of Japan. In the first week of November.18, the Japanese government approved legislation to potentially allow hundreds of thousands of blue- collar workers’ legal entry for the first time. If this proposed legislation is passed in parliament, it will come in to effect in April.2019. For all these years immigrants entered in to Japan without proper documents. While there were around 6,82,480 foreign workers in Japan in 2012, their number is doubled to 12,78,670 by 2017. More than half of these workers are students working part-time and so- called “technical interns” who are supposed be in Japan for training, but are used as low-skilled factory workers. With such a proposal of legi- slation the Japan government expects 40,000 foreign workers annually adding up to 2,50,000 over five years. These foreign workers will be allowed to work in 14 sectors like agriculture, nursing, construction and hospitality etc that face severe labour shortages. According to the proposed legislation two new visa categories will be created. One is designed for unskilled workers who will only be allowed to stay up for up to five years with no possibility of extension. The second is for more skilled migrants who will be allowed to renew their visas indefinitely and also to bring their families along. Just like in all other developed countries people in Japan too are not in favour of allowing migrant workers with the wrong notion that the crimes and social friction would increase and the state had to maintain over-burdened public services. But to allay these fears the P.M. of Japan Mo. Abe has been contd. on page 16 13