‘Class struggle’ as the means for achieving the goal of the revolutionary transformation of production relations seems to have been shelved by the top brass of the CPI and the CPI(M). Instead, they indulge in crass class-collaborationism. This degeneration is correlated with the parliamentary obsession of the two parties. There is no checkmating of this degeneration that eats into the Marxist character of the two parties that lead the Left flank of Indian democracy.
The two main functionaries of this drift are CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat and the senior-most member of the CPI’s central secretariat, AB Bardhan, who called on the BJD chief and Orissa chief minister Naveen Patnaik with a begging bowl to ensure support for re-election of the CPI candidate from the Jagatsinghpur seat. He was not concerned about its repercussion for hundreds of activists of the Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS) which spearheads a resistance against the project by the Korean steel giant Posco. Karat went a step ahead eulogising Patnaik for good governance, suggesting that the latter is PM material like AIADMK leader and Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa. The chief of AKG Bhavan conveniently forgot that dozens of CPI(M) activists are hand-in-hand with the CPI in the battle waged by the PPSS and were arrested and ill-treated by the police.
Little wonder, Bardhan took the CPI general secretary Sudhakar Reddy Suravam to meet Jayalalithaa, praying for generous support for one or two so-called ‘communist’ candidates. The very next day Karat emulated Bardhan in a no-less cringing manner. Bardhan and Karat want the democratic forces to forget the humanimalistic political revenge of Jayalalithaa against DMK chief M Karunanidhi who was dragged and roughed up by the police. The Left condemned it as a fascistic act.
Karat, at a rally in Kolkata on February 9, said that there was “no difference between the Congress and the BJP in their economic policies”. Bardhan and his party have the same opinion but lack the moral courage to say that the BJD and the AIADMK are no different on this fundamental issue.
The two Left parties will soon strike a seat-sharing deal with the JD(U) in Bihar, but despite shelving the implementation of recommendations of the land reforms commission, the JD(U)-led government brought the Bihar Special Court Act, 2008, empowering the state to seize the assets of public servants proved to possess disproportionate assets and forfeiture thereof for primary or secondary schools. The 34-year Left Front regime in West Bengal never thought of such a legislation. Of course, Karat and Bardhan didn’t tell Patnaik and Jayalalithaa that they want a corruption-free government.
The degeneration of the official Left parties and their distancing from the class struggle are notations for the swan song of communism in India.
Sankar Ray is a Kolkata-based writer
The views expressed by the author are personal