Published: Liberation, November 1993
Source: Selected Works of Vinod Mishra
HTML Markup: Mike B. for MIA, January 2006
Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2006). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.
First of all, I would like to congratulate the organisers of this convention for taking a necessary and timely initiative.
Well, now for nearly two years discussions have been going on Dunkel Draft and by this year-end the Draft is expected to be endorsed by GATT.
In the earlier stages, the Indian government tried to project a hard bargaining stance in the Uruguay Round. Subsequently the stand was mellowed down to extracting minor concessions on one or two provisions of the Draft. And now it seems the government is preparing to sign the Draft in toto.
Initially the possible acceptance of the Draft was explained as a compulsion forced by the circumstances. Now a list of advantages that are supposed to accrue to India is being dished out.
Some even advocate that the Dunkel Draft is loaded against Western countries. Those who are opposing the Draft are being branded as ‘fools’ and what not!
A certain farmers organisation representing the section of farmers who are expected to derive immediate economic benefits by tying up with MNCs, took to the streets demanding acceptance of Dunkel. Some vulgar Marxists are preaching the virtues of "free market" and ‘free trade" a la Dunkel. Some bourgeois buffoons have come out with a Dunkel Primer to teach the ‘innocent’ detractors of the Draft.
Anyway, there is one good thing with Dunkel. Being the key document propounding the new world order it has aroused a greet deal of discussion among intelligentsia. The debate has gradually percolated down to peasants who are becoming increasingly conscious of Dunkel’s harmful effects. This awareness is finding expression in farmers’ militant protests against the operation of multinationals, as the one we witnessed in Karnataka by Nanjundaswamy’s organisation. Uncle Dunkel is also helping middle and well-to-do sections of peasants to emerge out of the grip of Mandal and kamandal.
After a necessary and positive split in the coordination of farmers organisations a powerful section of them now considers the Left, particularly the revolutionary Left, as its natural ally. Shouldn’t we thank Dunkel for these developments?
A month or so back I had been reading Mani Shankar Ayyar’s Dunkel Primer in Sunday where he, in his characteristic jocular and arrogant manner, castigated Dunkel bashers. Anyway, I felt it would have been nice if someone from amongst us too had written a popular piece for better comprehension to our peasants! It may have already been done, or maybe, some people are working on it, I do not know.
Much has already been said or written on various provisions of the Dunkel Draft and here Com.Yatendra has already made a detailed elaboration. I would rather restrict myself to a few points:
1. As the world economy is at present dominated by transnational corporations, a concerted bid is on for a new world order. The process has further accelerated after the collapse of the Soviet bloc. Accordingly, institutions like IMF, WB and GATT are trying to assume a new and offensive character. In the interests of transnational corporations, attempts are being made to do away with national frontiers. The Dunkel proposal is the key effort in this direction to enforce equal conditions of trade among unequal countries.
2. In the development strategy for countries like India, MNCs will be guiding the economic process from the top whereas voluntary organisations, taking over the welfare work, shall be preparing the masses below for the desired modernisation. The government’s role will be confined to that of a mere middleman and ruling politicians will turn into recipients of commissions, payoffs and kickbacks. This is the very scheme of neo-colonisation, which we have already witnessed in Latin America. The day is not far when ministers and heads of governments will be found indulging in smuggling and drug trafficking.
Finally I would like to make it clear that should attempts be made to reduce India into a banana republic, popular fronts and guerrilla armies will also not be far away.