India will go to elections in 2014 and the battlelines are gradually getting drawn (or may be redrawn). And CPI(M) and CPI are once again looking for new allies. They are also planning to go back to what they have been doing all along – mistaking the aim of increasing seats in Parliaments for a working class offensive.
I fear these times because it is these times that would generate weird kind of alliances – unnatural and unthinkable ones. And what I fear most is the move that the Left would make – yes, specifically the two bigger parties – CPI (Communist Party of India) and CPI(M) [Communist Party of India (Marxist)]. They have been going everywhere, literally everywhere, to align with all kinds of forces. The excuse being only one – to safeguard secularism.
I have always wondered how does a party such as JD (U) which was till yesterday an ally of Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) would become a secular party the day it leaves the alliance for reasons that we all know – and the reasons which have nothing to do with the secular/fascist credentials of BJP. This has now happened end number of times. It happened when it supported the National Front government from outside along with BJP. The issue for them becoming one (in a certain sense) was dynastic politics of Congress (which it will continue to have because it is not a ‘party’ with mass base but rather a coterie of some leftovers of past and the new messiahs of corporate governance and interests). Then they went with Rashtriya Janata Dal, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Telugu Desam Party… and so on and so forth. All in name of secularism. After surrendering whatever they did/had in the name of working class politics to the forces that most brazenly represented the forces of private capital what have they achieved are literally nothing – communal fascism remains a force (it remains, quite naturally, quiet and wakes up whenever it is required); and the Left mass base (even if it is of social democratic character) continues to slide. This obviously raises some questions in my mind:
1. Is it not possible to have rather an all Left alliance? We have seen it has not worked till now – whether agricultural laborers are massacred in hordes or whether the state goes on a declared war against working class – informalising the economy, taking away all benefits, doing away with pensions, privatizing all that is there in public sector, privatizing basic services of education and health, etc. All them – right from the tiniest of them to a relatively bigger one – live in their own world of arrogance as if they would lead the revolution when that day of judgement would arrive. One has seen this from micro-struggles within universities and factories to larger alliances on questions of macro-economy.
2. Is it too difficult to understand that alliances have dealt a blow to the Left politics because through these alliances one knowingly or unknowingly get into a political understanding that destroys the working class unity and the working class organization to resist the designs of private, corporate capital?
3. Is it beyond comprehension of these Left formations that the notions of ‘secularism’ or ‘justice’ can have meanings not necessarily floated by the bourgeois political formations? Is it possible to explicate these concepts from a working class perspective?
Unfortunately, they do not seem to get these questions or they may not be willing to reflect on them because of what they have become – essentially seeking pleasures of parliamentary politics. They are, in fact, now knee deep into it. Hence, constitutive historical processes are of no relevance to them.
These are the times when masses are looking for a Left alternative and not opportunistic alliances. The massive number that throngs to their rallies, which goes beyond even their imagination and expectation as was evident last year in the rallies in Bihar, are an indication of the discontent that is there against a system which is pushing them to last limits of misery and agony. They need a new hope not an alliance where the partners shift their allegiances overnight. What kind of anti-Congress, anti-BJP alliance is this when the partners were voting for privatization and against all working class yesterday in Parliament? Now after two decades of similar politics (since 1991) one should not expecting anything else from them.