Vol. XLII No. 10 March 11, 2018

Our Generation

R Arun Kumar

INTOXICATED by the ‘ideology of hate’, BJP goons in Tripura ‘celebrated’ their victory by letting loose a reign of terror. Not only have they started attacking the members and supporters of the CPI(M), they burnt their houses, Party offices and other belongings. Razing down the statue of Lenin was one of their brazen acts. The governor of the state, an RSS pracharak, condoned the incident, his glee getting the better over his sense of constitutional propriety. It seems a diplomat, exceeding his brief, congratulated expressing the desire to see a world with ‘few communists’. All this got them so whacked up that they started babbling their naked intentions – threatening to raze the statues of Periyar, who fought against the oppressive caste system and propagated atheism.

The prime minister, his cohorts and their more than willing pen-pushers once again began harping their favourite tune – the end of communism. If a defeat in one state or razing down of a statue or burning down offices or worse killing comrades meant an end of communism, communist parties would have died long ago. That the Party is alive, will be alive and will ultimately sound the knell for all the divisive, sectarian ideologies is as true as the sun rising in the east or the earth being a sphere.

The pull of Marxism-Leninism lies not in statues or states, but in its emancipatory ideas. These ideas find an expression in the Party Programme, which is concretised through the political resolutions adopted by the successive Party Congresses. These resolutions, based on ‘concrete analysis of the concrete conditions’, derive their strength from the discussions involving hundreds of thousands of Party members in the most democratic process followed, unlike by any other political party in the country. For the BJP or the Congress, or any other bourgeoisie party, it is the leader and their words of wisdom that are important. Leaders are credited or derided for victories or defeats. For a communist party, it is not the leader, but the ideas, which are important. It is on the strength of these ideas that the Party is built.

The power of these ideas can be understood by the attention given to the recently released draft political resolution for the 22nd Party Congress, by the entire media and many commentators/analysts, not all sympathetic to the Party. The draft was targeted because it unequivocally spells the Party’s strategy to defeat the BJP. The draft characterises the BJP as ‘no ordinary political party’ and hence declares that it needs to be comprehensively defeated. So, the struggle against BJP should be conducted in ‘the social, cultural, political and ideological spheres’. What this does mean is that it is not sufficient to electorally defeat BJP, which through its parent organisation RSS, has its tentacles spread all over the society.

It is a known and accepted fact that RSS is a multi-headed hydra, which runs many organisations that have penetrated through all layers of the society. They are interfering in the everyday social life of the people. Attacks on dalits and minorities, whom they consider as ‘others’ are on the rise. All these can be countered only through conducting an intense and effective counter narrative that should highlight the tolerant, syncretic and secular traditions of our people. This is a humongous task before all the patriotic people of our country.

The economic agenda of the BJP and RSS, along with their social agenda, is to service the interests of the global finance capital and Indian big bourgeoisie and landlords. The economic policies pursued by the BJP government not only failed to create new jobs for the youth, but also resulted in job losses, thus increasing the number of unemployed in the country. Public sector is under attack, so are the rights of the workers. Similarly, the policies pursued in the agrarian sector have deepened the agrarian crisis. People are realising that BJP is liberal in its promises, but conservative in their implementation. One after the other, its allies are leaving it. Discontent is brewing among people, which is getting expressed through the various protests. Economic policies of the BJP are its Achilles heel.

It is the CPI(M) that exposes the real character of the BJP. Most importantly, CPI(M) does not confine itself to a mere exposure. It is the real force that puts its heart in mobilising all sections of the society in organising protests and giving a shape to the brewing discontent. It is for this reason that the RSS and BJP target the CPI(M) for their attack.

There is another more important reason. CPI(M) is a Party that is clear in its class analysis. It explains to the people the class character of the RSS/BJP and also the Congress – all representatives of the ruling classes. Both these parties serve the interests of the ruling classes – the big bourgeoisie and the landlords. It is this similarity in their class character that makes them indistinguishable in their implementation of economic policies. It is this similarity in their class character that makes them target their attacks on the working class and other agrarian classes, particularly the agricultural labourers and the poor peasants. This also explains the ease at which the leaders of Congress shift to the BJP and vice versa. The CPI(M) conscious of these facts, works to increase the independent strength of the Party and build a class alternative to the ruling class rule. The Left Democratic Front mentioned in the resolution is a vehicle for its realisation.

Ruling classes are frightened by a class challenge to their rule. They consider CPI(M) as the potent force to mount this challenge and hence the Party becomes their primary target. They consider it a threat to their hegemony. In order to save their skin, they promote various kinds of identities and try to break the class unity.

BJP is naked in using religious communalism, casteism and regionalism to entrench itself in power. It therefore has no qualms in allying with all the divisive forces in the country, given that clinging to them, obtains them political power, irrespective of the political cost to the unity and integrity of the country. It is with this shamelessness that they had allied with the separatist outfit, IPFT and managed a victory.

Congress’ track record on these issues is well known – how they had hobnobbed with the separatists in Punjab, Assam, Gorkhaland and looked the other way when Babri Masjid was being razed down. The more recent instances are the way Congress had remained silent on the attacks on Muslims in Gujarat during the election campaign in that state and how its president indulged in ‘temple tourism’, tomtomming his credentials as a ‘jhaneu dhari brahmin’. The classical silence of Congress in Rajasthan, when Muslims were killed and protesting peasants were attacked, speaks volumes about their character.

The ruling classes and their cohorts have well read the CPI(M)’s political resolution and have understood that it is the Party which is really capable of uniting the people across various identities.  The CPI(M) is not surprised that those very elements who had razed the statue of Lenin to ground are responsible for vandalising Periyar’s statue in Tamil Nadu. This is because of the upper caste, ruling class ideology of the BJP/RSS. This vandalism once again confirms the necessity to merge the struggle for social justice with the struggle for economic equality, as the CPI(M) advocates.

Unlike some of the liberal commentators/analysts, the ruling classes do not see any ‘contradiction’ or ‘confusion’ in the political resolution of the CPI(M). They well understand that it is the most clearly laid out line and a potent weapon challenging their class rule. That is the reason why in spite of stating communism as a ‘spent force’ and a ‘dead ideology’, they concentrate their attacks on the CPI(M). In spite of their euphoria in Tripura about ‘knocking down’ the CPI(M), they very well know that the Party is like a phoenix and will rise.

Ours is a generation, which ground its teeth in such a political atmosphere when all around our ears was playing the cacophony of the ‘end of history’. Our generation cut its teeth in politics when the Soviet Union was crumbling and imperialism gained an upper-hand. In spite of such a ‘gloomy’ scenario and undeterred by it, many among our generation embraced Marxism-Leninism. We feel sad at the losses, but gain courage from the sacrifices. We are concerned about the short term, but realise that only working with a ‘long term’ perspective can we gain in the short term. From the experience of the past 25 years, we learnt, ‘who the friends of people are’. And we continue to learn from Periyar, Tagore, Nazrul, Bhagat Singh…., who were all inspired by Lenin.

As people who know our lands, we know that the most useless weeds are easy to grow and are found everywhere. These weeds are threat to the crops and constantly try to sap their nutrients. Food crops that provide sustenance require time to grow. Similarly communist ideas too take time. Working people of our country will nourish the communist party by removing the weeds.

Many a people had declared a war as won, before the battles were fought to the end. History has shown how foolish they are. Hitler was one of them. And he does not mind these new editions.