In a communist party, no one resigns due to election results,” claims comrade Prakash Karat, speaking to the press after his party’s politburo discussed the electoral setback of the Marxists reduced from 16 to a mere nine, of which as many as eight are from Kerala.
The statement truly reflects the communist ideology where the party is always right because it is supposed to be the “voice of the people”. Just look at what Karat says about the party’s disastrous performance: “What we have to take responsibility is for our failure to implement the political-organisational line, advance the party and expand its mass base. We have failed to do so.” In other words, the party line was always right, only the leaders fell behind in implementation. Surely, that is the language of communism. The party, as Orwell would say, is never wrong; only individuals falter. For, to accept the party was wrong is to admit it isn’t infallible.
And if it is not infallible, how do you justify all those killings—from the mass killings of Mao in China to the elimination of millions in Soviet Russia under Stalin to the cadre using violence in West Bengal to the most recent cutting to piece of Marxist leader T P Chandrasekharan in Kerala after he questioned the leadership about the debacle of the party in Kerala in 2009?
For the conspiracy and murder of “TP” in Kerala a court has given life imprisonment to many communist local leaders including state committee member Kunhanandan. Marxist leader P Vijayan insists the case against the party leaders was a political ploy.
Neither Marxist national boss Karat nor Kerala state boss Vijayan will ever face the truth. The Marxist ideology insists that the truth is what the party says or does. How can the Marxists be wrong when they represent the “people”, speak for the “people” and the proletarian dialectics equates the party with the “people”?
However, all the dialectical arguments cannot always hide the truth. Within the CPM politburo, former Kerala Left Front chief minister V S Achuthanandan challenged the leadership (for his own reasons as he has been estranged from the state leadership for years now) to tell the truth about the “TP” murder.
“The party has not been able to prove that it has no hand in this murder,” V S thundered at the politburo meeting. He insisted that the state party leader, Kunhanandan, found guilty by the court of murder be thrown out of the party.
A lot of skeletons have tumbled out of the Marxist cupboard in the speech of this dissident but tallest Kerala leader in the politburo as he took care to write out his accusations.
Obviously the press had easy access to this writing and nobody gave even a paisa for Marxist big boss Karat’s claim that V S’s speech was only one of many analyses of the party’s “setback”—not defeat, for how can Marxists be defeated as they are the “people’s voice”?
Karat and his cohorts have been the loudest in accusing the BJP of communalism. But V S revealed how the Marxist leadership kowtowed to Kerala’s most known communal leader and an accused in several terrorism related cases, Abdul Nasser Mahdani—currently in Bangalore jail for conspiring to detonate bombs at the Chinnaswami stadium in the city.
In 2009, too, the Marxists in Kerala and elsewhere suffered a serious defeat in the Lok Sabha election. The party later admitted that genuflecting before Mahdani was one of the causes.
Despite the decimation of the Marxists the urge for attacking opponents has not been countered by the leadership. The latest example was the midnight attack on recently elected RSP MP Premachandran from Kollam constituency. The RSP had deserted the Left front after that party’s traditional seat was given to Marxist leader M A Baby who bit the dust in the electoral battle.
The ideological blinkers the Marxists wear prevent them from seeing ground realities. The party is going to take “correct measures”, says Karat, but they “are not based on the electoral setbacks but on the understanding that the Left’s mass base has shrunk”. He hastens to add that the shrinkage is only a 2014 phenomenon and at the “all India level and not West Bengal alone.” What he does not say is that this theme of Marxist base being confined to only three states has been running in all the party congresses for nearly the last two decades.
Where are the communist leaders, from S A Dange in Maharashtra, Sundarayya in Andhra Pradesh, who could at one time talk to prime ministers and presidents of other parties and be heard in silent adulation?
The last of them was Sardar Harkishan Singh Surjeet from Punjab though his party in his home state was a marginal player.
For quite some years the party has no MP from Maharashtra, once its pocket bases especially in the industrial area of Mumbai, Pune, Nasik, etc. In Andhra the party had launched a violent Telangana movement in the 50s announcing a parallel government and produced several leaders like Sundarayya and Rajeshwar Rao, who had the last word in selecting the party line. In Tamil Nadu the CPI had to hang on to the AIADMK tail to beg for even one LS/RS seat in turn. It is nowhere in the Hindi heartland. It is not even heard of in Gujarat where a Left leader like Indulal Yajnik had led the Mahagujarat agitation in the 50s. It is the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh which has now emerged over a decade ago as the authentic spokesman of the “working class”. Karat’s talk of the party being the protector of the working class should make even the lizards laugh when in the industrial mining belt of Mumbai, Kanpur, Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Ahmedabad, etc. its trade unions are only marginal players.
Maybe the continuous drubbing it has received in election after election, despite the brief summer of 2004-08 when its alignment with the UPA-1 gave it a voice unrelated to its size, has forced it to seek “appropriate political line”.
More interesting is its politburo decision to “make a thorough study of the two decades of globalisation in society”. That is, after day in and day out condemning globalisation as a US conspiracy against the working class.
The Marxist dogma after decades of condemning profit as dirty now has to come to terms with the capitalist economics. But that would be blasphemy for those who swear by Marx. You might expect the Pope to give up the Bible rather than look forward to a Marxist confess that Marx is irrelevant in the globalising economy.
Balbir Punj is National Vice President, BJP. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org