CPI(M) Amends Political Resolution from “No Understanding “ to “No Alliance” with Congress, Opening the Flood Gates of Bengal Model Alliances in Coming Days! - K N Ramachandran

26 April 2018
While the media and friends of CPI(M) were actively debating the differences between Karat and Yechury on the approach to be taken towards Congress in the Political Resolution, we had pointed out that “what was going on in CPM was a drama to maim the communist critics if any within and to attract media attention. From the time of Krushchov line, both CPI and CPM had abandoned the path of class struggle. Both had started collaboration with Congress, directly or indirectly. What happened now is its culmination”.

If a party is not only in words, but genuinely communist, its tactical line adopted through the PR in Party Congresses should strengthen its strategic line; all forms of struggles and all forms of alliances should help strengthening of independent communist assertion in all fields. To find out whether the PR adopted by the 22nd Congress of CPI(M) serve this purpose, we are quoting extensively from its PR below:” 2.86 The Congress party has the same class character as that of the BJP. It represents the interests of the big bourgeois-landlord classes. Its political influence and organisation has been declining and it has conceded the space as the premier ruling class party to the BJP. The Congress professes to be secular but it has proved to be incapable of consistently fighting the communal forces. The Congress had pioneered the neo-liberal agenda and forged the strategic alliance with the United States when it was in power. As the main opposition party, it continues to advocate these policies. It is necessary to oppose these policies.

“2.87 The three basic tasks of the People’s Democratic Revolution are anti-monopoly, anti-landlord and anti-imperialist. As the Party Programme points out: “However, these basic and fundamental tasks of the revolution in today’s context cannot be carried out except in determined opposition to, and struggle against, the big bourgeoisie and its political representatives who occupy the leading position in the State”.

“2.88 The political representatives of the big bourgeoisie at present in our country are the BJP and the Congress. Based on our programmatic understanding, the Congress represents the interests of the big bourgeoisie and landlords and adopts pro-imperialist policies. Therefore, we cannot have a tactical line which treats them as allies or partners in a united front.

“2.89 But it is the BJP which is in power today and given its basic link to the RSS, it is the main threat. So, there cannot be a line of treating both the BJP and the Congress as equal dangers.

“2.90 Our tactical approach should be to cooperate with the Congress and other secular opposition parties in parliament on agreed issues. Outside parliament, we should cooperate with all secular opposition forces for a broad mobilisation of people against the communal threat. We should foster joint actions of class and mass organisations, in such a manner that can draw in the masses following the Congress and other bourgeois parties”.

As far as CPI is concerned, it had blindly embraced the Krushchov line from 1956. As a result it faced a vertical split in 1964, went on weakening and now is reduced to a mere skeleton, ready to embrace any opportunist alliance for its mere survival. It has abandoned the path of revolution, and no serious political forces consider it as a communist party. As every party congress takes place, its strength gets eroded continuously.

As far as the CPI(M) is considered, towards the Great Debate against the Soviet revisionist line and on using parliamentary struggle to serve the non-parliamentary struggles, right from the beginning it took a centrist line. In 1967 when it led united front governments in Bengal and Kerala, it started degenerating to parliamentary cretinism, abandoning the path of class struggle and agrarian revolution. When Congress splitted in 1969, like CPI it also supported the Indira Congress and helped survival of its government, adopting the ‘lesser evil’ theory. When Indira Gandhi declared emergency, instead of spearheading the struggle against it, as Sundarayya called for, it took the line of ‘protecting the party’ by refusing to take active role in the struggle against Indira autocracy. It compromised with the Janatha regime after 1979, and with the Indira govt after 1980. During this time though its parliamentary strength increased and it emerged as ruling party in Bengal, Kerala and Tripura, it had no left line to put forward against the ruling class line. Internationally it toed the line of Soviet social imperialists and the line of the capitalist roaders who had come to power in Eastern Eurpean countries, in China and Vietnam. In 1989 general election following the line of opposing Congress which was evaluated as the main enemy and “enemy’s enemy is our friend’ it made electoral understanding with BJP and made V P Singh the new prime minister. In this bargain while its communist values further degenerated and it did not benefit inside parliament also, the BJP’s strength leaped from 2 to 85. Using this opportunity, BJP launched the Rathayatra and went on increasing its strength and establishing its Hindurashtra line.

In 1991, under the Congress ministry led by Narasimha Rao, when finance minister Manmohan Singh launched the neoliberal regime, when even many Congress leaders were skeptical, Bengal CM Jyothi Basu lauded it saying ‘there is no alternative’ to it. From that time, though CPI(M) claims to oppose it, its governments in Bengal, Kerala and Tripura always implemented thse policies in practice, repeating that the state governments have no other option. That is why in 1996 elections, when Congress lost majority, the corporate lobby supported Jyothi Basu as next premier. Though it could not materialize as CC majority opposed, even now powerful sections and the ‘intellectual lobby’ inside consider it was a Himalayan Blunder. Still, the two united front governments in which CPI(M) played important roles, went ahead with the globalization-liberalization-privatization policies. In 1998 when BJP led Vajpayee government took over, CPI(M) had no hesitation to allow it Bengal finance minister Asimdasgupta to become chairman of the finance ministers’ committee which launched VAT and proceeded to GST. In 2004, accepting the speaker’s post, it played an important supporting role to help the UPA govt to speed up the neoliberal policies. Though it lost heavily in 2009 Lok Sabha elections and later in 2011 Bengal elections, it refused to break away from the neoliberal policies and to denounce what it did in Singur and Nandigram. Even after losing Tripura elections also, still it clings to the line that there is no alternative to neoliberal policies and still implementing the same policies speeded up by Modi, faithfully in Kerala! Similar to Congress and other ruling class parties, its opposition to Modi government is only for the Hindurashtra communal fascist policies.

Based on this overview if the last five decades of CPI(M) practice is evaluated, one can see that it goes fundamentally against what is stated in its Party program. Karat and the Kerala leaders wanted to avoid even any understanding with the Congress as was stated in the draft PR, only to preserve their election politics in the state. The debate between Karat and Yechury was never on utilizing the parliamentary work to serve “the three basic tasks of the People’s Democratic Revolution which are anti-monopoly, anti-landlord and anti-imperialist” as stated in their PP. Again, it was not at all on utilizing parliamentary work including functioning of the state governments to strengthen independent communist assertion, to develop class struggle towards the PDR. On the contrary, the 34 years rule in Bengal, the 25 years rule in Tripura and altogether more than three decades of rule in Kerala has only taken the CPI(M) away from communist positions. As far as the PDR is concerned, instead of pursuing anti-monopoly, anti-landlord and anti-imperialist, it has advanced from apologists of neocolonialism to faithful implementation of neo-colonially dependent policies of the ‘big capitalist- big landlord’ government at the centre, whether led by Congress or BJP.

At a time, under more than four years of Modi rule, when the corporate communal fascist regime has posed unprecedentedly greater danger to Indian polity, no doubt the left forces should adopt flexible tactical approaches to weaken and defeat it. But what we critic is that the CPI(M) leadership which has already abandoned the basic tenets of Marxism-Leninism long back is using Modi’s corporate fascist rule as a justification to embrace the policies of the big capitalist-big landlord state lock stock and barrel. Though the PR says no alliance with Congress, already it is in alliance with Congress in Bengal. The PR adopted in 22nd Congress provides license for making alliance with Congress in all states except Kerala, if Barquis is willing, that is if Congress is willing. This is CPI(M) brand independent left or communist assertion! The struggling left and democratic forces should expose and defeat this right opportunist line and develop the capability to utilize parliamentary work as complementary to people’s struggles for social change.
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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.