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The Communist Party of India (CPI) released the draft political resolution on Friday (July 29) last in the run up to its 24th Party Congress – the triennial annual conclave – to be held in Vijayawada from October 14-18 next. The draft document says, the positions taken by the Congress and regional parties on economic and social issues are coming in the way of developing a “solid and viable opposition unity”.
The party document criticised the Congress, saying it is “ideologically incoherent and inconsistent”, and argued it has failed to “anchor and galvanize” the Opposition and its approach on this issue has remained ad-hoc. The document also said Rahul Gandhi’s decision to contest from Wayanad harmed the Left and also prevented a secular, democratic unity.
On the regional parties, the draft political resolution released by CPI general Secretary D Raja said, “One issue with many regional parties is their right-of-centre inclinations and social conservatism. Most of the regional parties do not have a coherent critique of neo liberalism.”
CPI, just three years short of a century of its existence (it was founded in 1925, the same year its bete noire RSS was born) has been in an oblivion for over two decades. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, its vote share had dropped to a miserable 0.58 per cent. Because of its persistent abysmal performance in successive state and central elections, the Election Commission of India is on the verge of derecognising it as a national political party.
Notwithstanding, its repeated rejections by vox-populi, the CPI leadership continues to wallow in its old intellectual arrogance – that it alone knows what’s good for the masses and only it has the `legitimacy’ to `voice’ people’s concerns, and find solutions to their myriad problem. It still has the pretensions of being know-all, and gall to fix national agenda, pontificate to parties with grass-root support and issue certificates on `secularism’. Isn’t it a perfect example of tail wagging the dog?
The CPI through this document once again called for “unification of the Communist movement”. The party document, however, is silent on why in the first place the Communists split into so many factions, and whether the call for unification includes Maoists and Naxals as well.
The history of the Indian Communist movement, its rise, fall, and fall, is a classic case study of a rootless conceited and imperious creed dying a natural death. The Indian Communists are influenced a great deal by two persons – Karl Max and Thomas Babington Macaulay. Both hated India, but for different reasons.
For Macaulay, India was a colony – available for exploitation both culturally and economically and for that purpose he had to spur a narrative which would aim to destroy the Indian, within Indians and convert them into brown/ black copies of the Englishmen. Karl Max, who never visited India, wanted a Communist revolution in the country – and the perquisite for that was the destruction of India’s ageless culture.
Macaulay said the British should “form a class who may be interpreters between us and the millions we govern; a class of persons, Indian in blood and colour, but British in taste, in opinion, in morals, and in intellect.” The Indian Communists are made to order Macaulayans. They see India’s history, culture, social norms and traditions as a European would do. Devoid of any Indianness, the Communists ignored Indian concerns and realities and indulged in abstract fantasies. A natural corollary of this rootlessness was an abject surrender first to the diktats of Moscow and subsequently that of China.
In an article, “The British Rule in India” New-York Daily Tribune, June 25, 1853, Karl Marx said about India and Indians , “…We must not forget that these little communities were contaminated by distinctions of caste and by slavery, that they subjugated man to external circumstances instead of elevating man the sovereign of circumstances, that they transformed a self-developing social state into never changing natural destiny, and thus brought about a brutalizing worship of nature, exhibiting its degradation in the fact that man, the sovereign of nature, fell down on his knees in adoration of Kanuman, the monkey, and Sabbala, the cow…”
In a yet another article, “The Future Results of British Rule in India,” New York Daily Tribune, August 8, 1853’, Marx said, “…The British were the first conquerors superior, and therefore, inaccessible to Hindoo civilization. They destroyed it by breaking up the native communities, by uprooting the native industry, and by levelling all that was great and elevated in the native society”.
When was CPI born? On 17 October 1920, MN Roy, formed a Communist Party of India at Tashkent with six others – Evelyn Trent-Roy (his wife), Abani Mukherji and his wife, Rosa Fitingor, Mohmmad Ali, Mohammad Shafiq, and MPBT Acharya. On December 15. three more people joined Abdul Qadir Serhrai, Masud Ali Shah Qazi, and Akbar Shah.
The batch of the Muhajirs”, according to Dr. Gangadhar Adhikari, a Marxist theoretician and a former General Secretary of CPI, “who joined the Military and Political School at Tashkent at the end of 1920 and some of whom joined the Communist Party of India formed there in October… in the beginning of 1921, proceeded to Moscow where they all joined the Communist University of the Toilers of the East.” After receiving training at the university, they attempted to re-enter India but were arrested. An Indian Communist Conference was held in Kanpur from 26 to 28 December 1925, which was attended by 300-500 people.
Mark two things – one, the Communist movement in India was inspired by a completely alien creed, and its pioneers too were trained abroad with no Indian moorings. No wonder the party could never empathise or connect with Indian aspirations.
In the wake of the second world war, India, under the leadership of Gandhiji launched a Quit India Movement. Till the Soviet Union had an alliance with Hitler, the Communists opposed the war against Germany. However, things changed when Hitler decided to invade Russia. Over – night, Communists turned into alliance partners of the British!
Subsequently, the Communists started spying for the British against freedom fighters and abusing national leaders such as Gandhiji and Netaji. The Communists never believed that India was one nation. They termed the country as an amalgamation of over 16 nationalities. They collaborated with Muslim League and the British and worked ceaselessly for the creation of Pakistan.
After India became independent, the communists assumed that they alone represented the people, that the people were ready to storm “the Congress Bastilles”. There were two reasons for the communists’ belief, one that Moscow didn’t like Nehru at the time of Independence. The second was the communists didn’t see masses as they were but as they ought to be.
The Second Congress of the CPI held in Calcutta in February 1947, maintained that “though the bourgeois leadership parade the story that independence has been won, the fact is that the freedom movement has been betrayed and the national leadership has struck a treacherous deal behind the back of the starving people, betraying every slogan of the democratic revolution.”
In the aftermath of Pokhran-Il (May 11, 1998) Leftists cried hoarse about “jingoism”, “chauvinism”, and “ultra-nationalism”. Before that in 1962, when China attacked India, a bulk of them supported the invader. The fall-out was – Communist movement split – those empathising with China styled themselves as CPM and the rest, with a pro Moscow bias, remained CPI.
In fact, rhetoric against American hegemony and “neo imperialism” has been the signature tune of the Leftists of all shades. To suit the Soviet Union and Chinese foreign policy interests, they used to cry hoarse against US imperialism using shibboleths. The times, however, have since changed. With the collapse of Soviet Union and China-US dropping their inherent enmity, the Indian left has become rudderless. So they happily join hands with Jehadies and evangelicals – or anything or anyone- that can embarrass or hurt India. No wonder they supported the solitary superpower on the nuclear issue against India. Today, the anti India sections of the US and west, and the rootless Indian Left, are on the same page. The Indian Left narrative is more relevant in America and Europe than in India.
Mr Balbir Punj is a Former Member of Parliament and a Columnist.
Article published earlier@ Communism, an alien idea for India, is dying a natural death – Oneindia News . Republished in Bharat Voice with author’s input.