A NEW political force is born in the state of Telangana. This force is Bahujana Left Front. The creation of Bahujana Left Front (BLF) has now become the topic of discussion in the arena of politics. Bahujans mean all those people across the society who endure economic exploitation and social oppression. The formation of a political front with an ideological foundation of uniting all these people is a welcome and hopeful development. Times and generations have changed, but still bahujans are treated as vote banks and not as human beings. The main task of the BLF is to change this attitude of the society towards the bahujans. But the ruling classes are not ready to give basic solutions to the economic and social problems of the people. This can change if political power comes into the hands of bahujans. Efforts are now being made to unite all the political forces which believe in this philosophy and ideology.
WHAT HAPPENED IN UP & BIHAR?
Some people are asking a question – what is the guarantee that the life of bahujans will change if bahujans come to power. These people are showing the instances that happened in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar as examples for this. We have to observe all the experiments done in the name of bahujans. The experiment by Bahujan Samaj Party and the one by Samajwadi Party are not one and the same. Mulayam Singh Yadav and Lalu Prasad Yadav mobilised certain social forces in the two states of UP and Bihar. But we cannot say that all these forces were socially exploited. Bahujan Samaj Party has made a political experiment with dalits and upper castes. It was in alliance with BJP also.
The social forces that were mobilised under the leadership of Nitish Kumar belong to weaker sections but politically Nitish’s leadership was hand-in-glove with the BJP. Moreover, the governments that came into power with the support of social forces have followed the economic policies of the Congress and the BJP. Mere talk about the welfare of bahujans or forming political parties with the name of bahujans will not change the life and living of bahujans. There should not be any illusions about this.
The mobilisation in Telangana has a concrete and solid ideological foundation and base. This is the outcome of the evolutionary process that went on for decades. In the united Andhra Pradesh, we had on one side the experience of struggles against caste discrimination under the leadership of the CPI(M) and on the other, the experience of efforts of social forces on the issues of dalits, tribal and backward classes. A close bond has developed between these two streams due to the movement against caste discrimination. After the formation of Telangana state, this process has gained more momentum and drive. It also has acquired a political form. This unity is being built on the basis of two clear ideological aspects. The first one is, struggle against caste discrimination and for equitable justice. The second one is, the political unity of the Left and social forces on the basis of concrete alternative policies. This unity of the Left and social forces in the form of Bahujan Left Front (BLF) is for an uncompromised struggle against the dominant forces, for a battle against economic and social oppression and to move forward with policies that are quite different from those being pursued by the Congress, BJP and TRS. This is not a political mobilisation formed merely for the ensuing elections, as projected by some media. This mobilisation is the result of long term efforts. This is not formed for the 2019 elections. This is a great journey started with a long term task of bringing transformation in the lives of the bahujans. The Front leaders also have a clear and long term view on this. The nation today needs the path of Kerala and the BLF leaders declared this on several occasions.
THE POLITICAL TURNAROUND
The unity of Left and social forces is a result of two decades of clash of ideas and thoughts that happened in the united Andhra Pradesh. Some questions are being raised. How many parties are getting united? How many people are supporting them? What is their support base etc? But what is important is the unity of thoughts. Like the string in a garland, the unifying force is the ideological foundation. The two ideological blends which were at a distance from each other for fairly long period of time are now coming closer. The two want to walk together in pursuit of making their dreams real and in the process, an important political shift is happening in the state of Telangana. The idea of coming together of communists and social forces is a significant change in the Telangana politics. An idea becomes a force and takes the form of a peoples’ movement when it grips the masses – we have to remember these words of Marxist ideologues today. This new combination is the hope and aspiration of the oppressed classes. This is the dream of the workers and toilers. This is the time when such dreams and hopes are becoming a reality. With these impending changes, we can visualise the future landscape of Telangana. The desired change will depend on the time taken by the people to assimilate and embrace the idea of the unity of Left and bahujans. Meetings, conventions and press statements are not sufficient for this. The struggles that we organise at the ground level in villages, bastis and cities for the solution of economic, social and cultural problems will play an important and key role in this. The change will be accelerated with clash and conflict of ideas during the time of struggles.
Another question being asked is whether all the intellectuals who are standing behind the BLF are of the same mind. Whether they share the same thinking and whether they don’t have any ideological differences. Don’t their earlier writings reflect their thinking and thought process? Yes, it is true that there are some differences of opinion. It is because of this that only a Front is formed and not a political party. In a democratic system, difference in opinions and ideas are natural and common. Each one has his own philosophical thinking. It is due to this that they glided as different streams. But change is a natural phenomenon. The emergence of BLF is part of that change. The Communists and the social forces should walk together and it is this idea that united them even though they had difference of opinions on certain issues. The ideology is so unique that like a string of beads, it is unifying several forces at a time. The Front consists of communists, Left parties, forces that are working in the social arena, intellectuals, individuals and groups with a background of working in Left groups in the past and with other democrats. Whether all these individuals and groups will walk until the last mile, whether one stands until the last or not – let us not have such doubts in the beginning. What is true and important is the new ideological direction evolving from this new unity. Whoever wants to walk in this new path will walk.
ARE NOT THE BAHUJANS COMPETENT?
While accepting that the mission is good, some are asking whether the TRS can be defeated if BLF contests separately. The essence of their proposal is that all should come together to defeat the TRS. To defeat the TRS, the Congress should be put on the seat of power. Bahujans and Left should come together and all should come together only to give away power to the Congress…why should this be done? In what way is the Congress a better option than the TRS? The economic policies being implemented by the TRS are originally started by the Congress only. It is the Congress which is responsible for social ills, male dominance and for the dominance and the rule of the rich and powerful. Congress is responsible for the plight of minorities and it is under the Congress regime only that the Babri Masjid was demolished. Congress again has to take responsibility for the incessant price rise, unending problems of employment and for large scale corruption. It is because of these reasons only that the Congress was rejected by the people although it is credited for giving Telangana. The same policies of the Congress party are now being adopted by the TRS. Congress cannot be an alternative to TRS. Bahujans are not here to make some one win an election or to defeat somebody in the election. Are not they qualified for ruling the state? Congress, BJP, TRS and TDP believe in this. Power has to be snatched from the parties which promote and endorse economic exploitation and caste exclusion and discrimination. Bahujans should no longer subjugate themselves to the dominant ruling classes. They should realise their real potential and should acquire power. BLF has been formed for this purpose only and this will radically turnaround the political portrait of Telangana.
POLITICAL POWER NEEDED
Is it enough to get a few seats in the legislative assembly? Such an idea is discussed only when we do not keep an eye on alternative politics and policies. There was representation for the Left in the state legislature. Left has given the voice of the people in the assembly. But when the power is in the hands of ruling classes what could the Bahujans gain? What is use of this exercise of shouting at the top on people’s problems when political power and the tools of exploitation are in the hands of the dominant forces? There will be no change in the life of the people. So what is needed now is not a few seats or representation in the assembly. What is needed now is the political power. People will get nothing by asking for few seats and winning some of them. The exploiters will be ready to give away a few seats to continue their hegemony and supremacy. What is needed now is a real change in the life and living of the people. We have to bring light into the lives of bsahujans. This is not possible without eliminating economic exploitation and social oppression. We have to note that the emergence of Bahujan Left Front (BLF) is with a political task of giving an innovative and dynamic direction to our society.