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Communist Parties in India : Present Scenario

Posted by Admin on June 12, 2014 | Comment

Communist Parties in India

They are guided by the class interest of the poor people. They call Marx, Lenin and Stalin as their political progenitors. Yet, they have recorded their worst performance ever in the 2014 general elections. The insignia of being a national party is at stake. To make it less dramatic, the communist parties in India have reached a stage from where revival looks unlikely. If this is the plight of the big brothers such as CPI and CPI-M, the lesser known communist parties such as Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP), All India Forward Bloc (AIFB) and Revolutionary Communist Party of India (RCPI); hardly stand a chance of becoming relevant.

History and Legacy of Communist Parties

CPI is believed to have been formed in 1925, which makes it an 89-year old entity. The party has seen the transition from colonial era to post-freedom days. It is through a relentless battle against separatist forces, the party has shown its commitment towards safeguarding unity and integrity of the country. Like a true follower of communist ideas, CPI has championed the cause of all minorities and ethnic groups. According to CPI, the new BJP government poses a “threat to India’s secular federal democratic polity,” as it is “sacrificing national interests” by serving the interests of capitalists.

CPI-M emerged as a separate political entity in 1964, and it started off on an impressive note by advocating activities and programmes that would end imperialist exploitation and the corruption perpetrated by the bourgeois and landlords. Although being the fish of the same stream, All India Forward Bloc (AIFB) claims having a different ideology as compared to that of CPI and CPI-M. While the two biggies have based their socialism on Marx and Lenin, AIFB believes in the Indian socialism of Subhas Chandra Bose. This left-wing nationalist political party had come into existence in 1939.

Is the Relevance of Communism Receding?

That’s true. One didn’t have to wait for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections to sense the decadence of the practitioners of communism. Waning of Left from West Bengal is interpreted as the final nail in the coffin for a party that is on the verge of becoming a “political non-entity” in the country. But, who are to be blamed for this gradual decline of communist parties? According to the historian Ramachandra Guha, Communist Parties have failed to “embrace Indian nationalism and a culture that distrusts dogma.” The author, Ajoy Bose is of the opinion, that the growing irrelevance of industrial working class as a political factor is a “big reason” for the degeneration of Communism.

The hardliners within the clan continue to resist the much-needed change in ideology in sync with the 21st century polity. It has been observed by the patrons of the Left Front that the entity is suffering from stagnation and isolation from reality. It is getting obsessed with the idea of becoming an alternative in the form of a Third Front. That’s why the communist parties are to be replenished with a political will to go over a mindset overhaul.

Communist Parties: Possibilities and Predictions

Speculations don’t take us very far, but still they do kindle hope. According to media reports, there are “discreet voices” within the communist parties who are rooting for a merger of CPM and CPI to regain some ground. Both the parties have come to a common understanding wherein they together will chart out a course for the future. Will this be enough for the Left’s resurrection?

According to a senior CPI leader, communist parties ought to “build independent movements” around the problems of class and mass organisations. Taking people into confidence was also another fitting suggestion. Revitalising organisational functioning is recommended by one of the existing CPM stalwarts. An optimist would find some kind of convergence in ideas and post-defeat fault-finding exercise, which both the parties have engaged in time and again. At the core of diverse opinions lies a simple message – Left Front should give away mental blocks, improve operational efficiency and effectiveness of our mass organisations. Or else, they will only be a leftover in the political consciousness of the country.