Monday, 21 June 2010

Corporate Marxism Takes Toll on the CPI(M)

Is Corporate Marriage Over?
As Sushma and Brinda honeymoon continues on the Women Equality Bill the CPI(M) faces another debacle in West Bengal Civic poll*. A well-known Marxist (some called her a feminist) Kollontai (a contemporary of Lenin)  said that the women question can't be resolved even under socialism, a transitional stage to communism. I wonder what is being celebrated here, whether first introduction to love or death?
As to election results, Left forces do not perceive sweep in local elections as rejection of Marxist ideology, but a slap on the face of CPI(M) leadership for its arrogance, bureaucratic attitude and flirtation with Congress (which was not very active against left for fear of eccentric Mamata phenomena) and Corporate giants like TATA (acquiring land of poor farmers) under Chief Minister, Buddhdeb Bhattacharya. In contrast Mamata, though a partner in UPA, appeared arm length away from the Congress by not entering in alliance which gave her a great deal of clandestine support of the Maoists, CPI(M) victims and dissatisfied left voters. In fact, Mamata Benerjee rejected UPA Govt proposal for military action against the Naxalites and told the Congress that she was not in the UPA on anyone's mercy. She appeared strong compared to the CPI(M) which appeared meek and a Party of middlemen and traders.
There is another reason for  CPI(M) election defeat, the influential cadre of CPI(M) has been substantially infiltrated lumpen crooks. They are not at all interested in Marxist ideas let alone the glorious dream of proletarian revolution. Even the leadership does not expect it from them as they themselves abandoned this dream a long time ago. Their main job is only to see that the Party' grip in particular areas is not loosened and for this they can resort to any means as end justify the means. Surely, these means are not ideological. The CPI(M) has thus lost support and sympathy of academic community.
People also rejected JNU style Marxism, "Two Camp" theory of CPI((M) ideologue, Prof Prabhat Patnayak, which was advanced when a large number of leading intellectuals criticised Buddhdeb Bhattacharya's government on Nandigram massacre. Porf. Patnayak erroneously characterised the opponents of Nandigarm massacre as the 'revolt against the CPI(M) and hence revolt against politics'. It is appalling that Porf. Patnayak chose to label everyone who does not subscribe to an official version of the CPI(M) on Nandigram issue as belonging to the Camp hostile to the interests of “the people”. This sounded like former US President, George Bush and Congress President, Sonia Gandhi's position on Afghanistan and Nuclear Civil agreement respectively, when they said, "either you are with us or you are against us". Clearly, ultimately people will decide whether CPI(M) has been acting in the best interest of the people or not? In fact, people particularly, outside the 8% Growth in GDP gave mandate against the CPI(M) and demonstrated that the incumbent Govt was not acting in their best interest and also gave signal that they must learn to sit in opposition. CPI(M) as stubborn as it is, does not accept this as a close call or even any criticism and its JNUine leaders tell that civic poll in Kollkota only covers 17% of total voters. It is quite plausible that the trend may not extend to rural areas but we will have to wait and see, if CPI(M) has learnt enough. Of course, this would become clear in next year Assembly elections. However, one thing is clear the tradition of ideological education, group discussions and study circles had been given up long back. Therefore the factor of enlightened common commitment towards the people has not remained the binding force anymore. CPI(M) has become more or less another player in a bourgeois democracy although it does not know how to play its card right. The fact remains it still got a regimented following of millions of thoughtless and mute robots.
CPI(M), rather than sidelining Buddhdeb Bhattacharya on mishandling of Nadigram situation and coming out with an honest self criticism, its Corporate Leadership justified its disastrous mistake of acquiring land for the Monopoly Bourgeois (Tata Nano) by making outrageous distinction between the actions of the Government and the Party. Recent elections have shown that to people in West Bengal and also in Kerala, Party and State appeared one and the same things. In fact, despite some mild self criticism, a section of the CPI(M) led by Mr. Sen, Industry and Commerce Minister and Politburo Member continued with his rhetoric that he is pledges to bring back TATA Nano and Buddhdeb openly pledged to take away the democratic weapon of Hartlas and Bandh from his people.  Mr Yechuri, a mediocre disciple of Patnayak added an insult to injury to plight of people when he complimented Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for his performance without realizing the consequences. Mr. Yechuri's VOTE of confidence in Singh, within his class approach being competent, cost the CPI(M) dearly. Even within his class politics, Manmohan Singh + Montek Singh [M-Squared Economic] policies led the country into a double digit inflation and some recession. One wonders, on what basis Mr. Yechuri said that Manmohan Singh has been competent? In fact, Mr Yechuri's comment amounts to accepting his class approach.
If we contrast Mr. Yechuri's appreciation of Mr. Singh with CPI(M) former Muslim MP, Mr. Abdullakutty's comments about Mr Modi, Gujrat CM, "...that he does not condone BJP and Mr Modi's record on communalism, while progress made by Mr Modi in Gujrat is commendable...", is not qualitatively much different to what Mr Yechuri said about Mr Manmohan. However, CPI(M) was not slow in expelling Mr Abdullakutty, a minority MP, but I am sure nothing would happen to Mr Yechuri. Certainly there are double standards in CPI(M) as some are more equal than others. Comrades haven't learned the lessons from former USSR and East European communism.
The hard reality on the ground is that since the parting of CPI(M) veteran leaderships, the Ivory Tower and upper caste elite leadership left with very limited options and have been playing a game of words to continue with this and that. In fact, CPI(M) has been taking an "opportunistic stand" and sometimes ended up with the BJP (on recently cut motion and women bill) or became a tail of the Congress (like CPI under Amritpad Dange). In fact, politics of flirtation with Congress (became obvious with Sita Ram Yechuri advice to Maoists to follow UPA Govt conditions for talks) and purge of genuine leadership and cadre are only alternatives left with the CPI(M) to rationalized failures of its leadership. It appears Prakash Karat told the truth in his interview with a well known Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm about voters' mood in West Bengal although he denied saying this. What is the difference between Congress, CPI, and CPI(M)? Answer: Virtually none.

*Sushma Swaraj is the Parlimentary Leader of BJP, a rigth wing Hindu politcal party and Brinda Karat is a Rajaya Sabha and Politburo member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist). She is also a wife of Praksh Karat, General Secretary and Politburo Member of CPI(M).

Prof S. Deman, Hon Director, Centre for Economics & Finance
Premkrishan Sharma, Supreme Court & Rajasthan Advocate
Ex President CITU & GS Rajasthan State Committee, CPI(M)

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