On the 9th of May it was announced that Angela Merkel the chancellor of Germany would be awarded with the prestigious Nehru award for international understanding for the year 2011. The reason stated being “or her enormous efforts toward sustainable and equitable development”. 

With this the farce of the Nehru award is revealed in full. The same prize has honored such luminaries earlier as Hosni Mubarak, and Robert Mugabe. Not to mention, the King of Oman Sultan Qaboos. It must be noted that the former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak was awarded this prize on two occasions! Angela Merkel is only one in a long line of such champions of international peace and understanding.

A brief look on the rap sheet of Angela Merkel would reveal the reality of the “sustainable and equitable development” that she brings along with the imperialism she represents.

Germany’s foreign policy

In 2005 the CDU party of Germany won the 16th federal elections in Germany and came to power. Since then, Germany’s aggressive and militarist international policy was only enhanced. The Afghan war and the Iraq war were both golden opportunity to expand the momentum which was gained through actively participating in the Balkan wars over a decade earlier into the heart of Asia. Germany today has over a thousand troops aiding the unjust occupation of Afghanistan. This was part of deepening Germany’s alliance with US imperialism which Angela Merkel pursued most determinedly. The German troops present in Afghanistan have known to use unjust tactics of aggression against the Afghan population. The brutal attack on the city of Kunduzis particularly evident of this which killed 142 including dozens of citizens. Colonel Klein who was the master mind of the attack is yet to be brought to justice for this breach. The war effort in Afghanistan has also witnessed the worst kind of lumpen behavior on part of the German troops there including the blatant desecration of dead corpses and graves.

The German chancellor is of course quite silent on the excesses there and the Indian bourgeois is there to add insult to injury (for the Afghans) by a warding her with an award “for international peace and understanding” and that too for her “enormous efforts towards sustainable and equitable development”! The people of Afghanistan who are at the receiving end of German imperialism understand fully the nature of this “sustainable and equitable development”, the equitable aspect of her efforts being revealed more thoroughly by Germany’s vampire like attitude towards the Greek debt crisis. And as if the aggression of German imperialism upon different nations weren’t enough, the magnanimous German flip flop over the Libyan question was even more revealing of Angela Merkel’s commitment towards “international understanding”.

At the outset of the NATO and EU led intervention against Libya Germany decided to side with India, Russia and China against the resolution, the very nations which supported both passively and actively the blockade which paved the way for the present NATO led ‘humanitarian’ intervention. It must be noted here that Germany was the first to send its navy to Libya when the crisis emerged in the country. Ironically enough it was the first to back off  from its Mediterranean mandate when France declared its desire to intervene militarily and openly. It is very typical a maneuver for a nation which has benefited from upheavals earlier in the past.

The German bourgeoisie’s financial machinery was in full throttle during and before the uprisings in Eastern Europe and Russia which broke the regime of the Stalinists there back in 1989. Considering this it’s not surprising that the Indian bourgeois has stepped forward to reward such a consistent foreign policy which in more ways than one mimics their own tactics, notably that of opportunistically siding with this or that power in times of crisis to suit its own agenda, and of taking advantage of mass upheavals for the same.

Germany’s policy at home

Whilst the German bourgeois very easily reveals its vacillations at the international stage quite shamelessly, its policies at home are no less farcical. German capitalism which sits at the seat of all European Capitalism today, is also the most poverty stricken, most unequal and by far the harshest of the Capitalist – imperialist nation states of Europe today. It has been reported that the poverty rate in Germany which stood at 11% is in fact the highest of all the OECD countries in the world. Child poverty is amongst the highest in Germany with 16% of children living in poor families. Germany as of 2008 had the highest level of dependent households (who are dependent on state benefits) in the whole of Europe with 20% of German families being dependent on the state in one way or another. Add to this the proliferation of the reserve army of unemployed workers due to privatizations of public services and mass dismissals and we have a picture of social degeneration and overall decay.

This process has only been exasperated by the international economic crisis. For the first time a new layer of casual working class is emerging in Germany out of this decline. It is this class of semi employed and under employed workers which is raising the employment levels of Germany which the government so dearly celebrates as ‘reaching full employment”. Needless to say Angela Merkel has done precious little to alleviate this situation which persists till today. The economic policies of the German government in power have only worsened this social crisis causing greater pressures on the workers of Germany. This caused a very obvious social reaction which took the form of the massive German Metal worker’s strike last year.

The situation on the metal workers remains tense till now with frequent “warning strikes” being launched by them. But none of this seems to bother the panel who decided to award her the Nehru award, after all why should they be bothered? Since when has the Indian bourgeois ever bothered to care for the poor and oppressed people of the India or the world? It is only apt that the award being given to her is the “Nehru” award for International understanding.

It only gives a befitting testimony to Jawaharlal Nehru, one of the pioneering leaders of the Indian bourgeois. To whom the masses of India may trace much of their present day suffering and oppression, from Kashmir to the North east, and from poverty to famine and farmer suicides. The Indian bourgeoisie and its leaders have truly achieved “international standards” in mass oppression, enough to give them a pedestal for rewarding others with their fake awards.

Source: New Wave nº 2, May 2011