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Weakening Modi Government, Wavering Parliamentary Opposition

27 July 2016
HE MODI GOVERNMENT has just observed its second anniversary with a big bash. But in spite of its many initial promises of faster development and better governance, its performance has not created any enthusiasm among the vast masses in any field. Its projects like Swatch Bharat, Make in India, Start Ups, Smart Cities etc have become almost non-starters in spite of the tall claims propagated spending billions of rupees. Or wherever they are tried, instead of the most repeated ‘inclusive growth’ what is happening is the domination of corporate raj pushing half of the population below poverty line. Its moves for total corporatization, opening remaining fields also for entry of FDIs as well as by getting the Land Acquisition Act passes would have gone ahead if they were not opposed by the masses in the streets, and stalled in the Rajya Sabha. In an international situation of ever intensifying crisis faced by the imperialist finance system as a whole, India’s expected 7% GDP growth is nothing more than performance of a half-blind in a world of blind men. Many sources have pointed out that these are also cooked up statistics. Modi’s promises of bringing back black money hoarded in foreign hide outs and Acha Din are already proved hollow. As a result of all these the prices of essential commodities and rates of essential services are rising fast. Unemployment and under employment, especially among educated sections, have reached unprecedented levels. In spite of Modi’s claims about putting a break on corruption, the whole administrative and other wings of the ruling system continues to remain as corrupt as ever.

After lots of globe- trotting by Modi, his government’s performance in international relations is also proved lack-lustre. While serving US plans to encircle China, the economic realities call for extending relations with it, putting it in a dilemma. Its policies have worsened the country’s relations with Pakistan and all other neighbouring countries.

Its efforts to overcome this ever weakening performance in the economic field and foreign relations by intensifying saffronization of all fields are also facing growing resistance. Starting from the revolt in IIT, Chennai, the students’ resistance against imposition of Brahminical values, savarna fascist approaches in the centres of higher education like FTII, Pune, Hyderabad central University, JNU have led to outbreak of student movement at ever wider scale. The murders of known progressive intellectuals like Pansare, Dhabolkar and Kalburgi and spreading of an atmosphere of intolerance have led to intellectuals in large numbers coming out to combat the fascist atmosphere being created. Though the RSS parivar is utilizing every opportunity to continue saffronization utilizing the state power, to polarize the Hindutua vote bank frantically, the resistance against it is growing day by day. As a result, the popularity of Modi and his government have not improved. Reflecting this mood, the corporate media which had given overwhelming support to Modi during his Lok Sabha election campaign has started criticizing his non-performance in vital sectors. For example, the non-performance of the central and state governments led by BJP when the people are confronting unprecedented draught and lack of drinking water has led to increasing criticisms against it.

Contrary to its expectations, within a short time after coming to power Modi government started facing popular resistance to its policies of corporatization and saffronization. Though the institutionalized trade union centres did not take up any follow up actions, the participation in the all India strike in September, 2015 was massive. As the peasantry is getting more impoverished and more of them are committing suicide, sporadic resistance of the peasantry is coming out in various forms. The increasing student resistance in many universities is a sign of growing alienation of the youth and students from this government and RSS parivar. The latest revolt of half a million predominantly women garment workers of Bangalore demanding revoking of the PF law had paralyzed the city for two days. All these are showing the growing anger against the neoliberal policies speeded up by the Modi government which are impoverishing the masses and devastating nature.

In this situation, the elections to the five state assemblies in which the BJP in alliance with two regional parties could get majority in Assam became a shot in its arm. Along with it, the consolidation of its Hindutua presence in Bengal and Kerala also has gladdened it. After the debacles in the elections to Delhi and Bihar assemblies in 2015, BJP is showcasing this recent ‘victory’ in a high pitch campaign though compared to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, there is no growth in its 2016 vote share in these states. What is significant in these elections’ results is that the Congress is going down very fast and there is no national party to challenge the BJP.

Wavering Parliamentary Opposition

That the parliamentary opposition is facing difficulty to benefit from the general alienation of BJP from the masses is becoming clearer day by day. All these parties ranging from Congress to regional parties to CPI (M) led Left Front parties have no basic difference of opinion with BJP led NDA as far as the economic agenda is concerned including the neoliberal development perspective. In the elections to Delhi assembly followed by elections in Bihar and now in the election campaign in the five states this question had become all the more explicit. The attack of all these parties, who are fighting each other in many states, against BJP is focused on its saffronization policies alone. But while attacking BJP for resorting to all heinous methods to polarize the Hindutua votes, these parties still continue their own vote brands of communal and caste based bank politics. While calling on all non BJP forces to get together and oust it from power for its communal Hindutua agenda, they refuse to admit that it is their own communal –caste vote bank politics, lack of a genuine secular and anti-caste stand which helped an ultra rightist, fundamentalist force like RSS parivar to communalize the society and come to power.

Bihar assembly elections and present elections to five state assemblies have revealed that in spite of their attack on BJP for its Hindutua polarization, none of them are prepared to abandon their communal, caste appeasement policies. So directly or indirectly all of them are helping the growth of communal and caste based politics and parties based on this politics. Even if the question of opposition to neoliberal policies is kept out of the agenda, any meaningful platform against savarna fascist communalization promoted by RSS parivar is possible only by uniting those forces who are for genuine secular and anti-caste stand. But the front line advocates of anti-Hindutua fascist platform keep these basic questions out of discussion. Theirs is the call for an opportunist alliance of those who stick to communal-caste appeasement for the purpose of returning to power. As these anti-BJP advocates do not have any basically different economic and secular, anti-caste agenda, even if BJP is defeated in the next elections, these wavering, opportunist opposition parties are incapable of throwing up an alternative to it.

Many of those who are very vocal against the RSS parivar do not recognize the fact that while RSS was meticulously cultivating its reactionary concept of Hindu Rashtra and polarizing the society based it, , Congress and such other forces were pursuing communal appeasement policies. Not only these forces, even most of the present Ambedkarite forces, under the influence of identity politics like concepts have become advocates of preserving the caste system promoted by the Brahminical forces. Similarly, even CPI (M) like revisionist forces, or the so-called main stream left, reducing their total practice to realm of parliamentary politics, pursue communal-caste appeasement for vote banks in their own way and neoliberal policies under one pretext or other. It is in this situation, even though Modi government’s influence has started waning, these forces are not capable of intensifying a theoretical, political struggle based on an alternate politico-economic stand.

This situation once again emphasise the correctness of the stand taken by the Party that only by intensifying the efforts to build a powerful struggling left and democratic forum with people oriented alternative development perspective, along with secular, caste-annihilation stand can throw up the serious challenge needed to resist and defeat the growth of the RSS parivar like forces. This calls for waging a two pronged attack: firstly, rallying all forces who are prepared to resist the BJP regime based on issues, to resist the communal fascist attacks of the RSS parivar, against all communal and caste based attacks on the masses; secondly strengthen the Democratic People’s Forum, the broad left and democratic forum, at all India and state levels, with a common minimum program which include rejection of neoliberal policies and taking genuinely secular and caste annihilation stand, putting forward a people’s alternative against the ruling system. Let us intensify this two pronged offensive mobilizing all toiling and oppressed masses to defeat the corporate raj-saffronization of the RSS parivar, and to advance towards people’s democracy. 

The Communist movement in India has a history of almost a century after the salvos of October Revolution in Russia brought Marxism-Leninism to the people of India who were engaged in the national liberation struggle against the British colonialists. It is a complex and chequered history.