A vast section of progressive, democratic, leftist, revolutionary people are in favour of forging a broad-based joint front against the Fascists – that is against the Modi Government and RSS and Sangh Parivar and mainly against Fascism. In essence this aspiration is commendable and cannot be differed with. A broad-based, anti-fascist front is required to fight against and defeat fascism. This is an undeniable task of the communist revolutionaries. The contemporary situation is also fully ripening towards an upsurge of fascism. Fascist forces are going ahead increasingly aggressively to execute their policies by hook or by crook. So there is no debate or difference regarding the making of an anti-fascist, broad-based front. The central task of every class conscious proletariat is to combat fascism. To combat fascism is the central task of the vanguard section of the proletariat of the party of the proletariat. But the point is how to build up the broad-based, anti-fascist front? How will it evolve? Will it evolve through table talk? Will it evolve through the unity of struggles within parliament? Will it evolve through extra parliamentary struggles? What is the way to develop a broad-based, anti-fascist front?
To understand this we have to first understand the characteristics of fascism and the perspective of rise of fascism in our country. Our party CPI(ML) Red Star has defined BJP and Sangh Parivaar as corporate Hindu fascists. That means this is the most reactionary representatives of corporate capitalist class and through spreading Manuvadi or Brahminical ideology they are creating their ultra-nationalist base so that all people’s issues can be relegated to the background. So if we have to fight against fascism we have to fight against corporate onslaught as well as Brahminical and ultra-chauvinist ideology. Without fighting against both of these, no anti-fascist struggle can be developed. Now the point arises, is it possible to fight against both at the same time? The answer is, ultimately it may not be possible. In the ultimate sense, the necessity may arise to choose the principal aspect between these two things. But what is the importance of saying ultimatesense and not immediate sense? Actually, Brahminical ideology and corporate onslaught share a reciprocal relationship – Hindutva is the ideology while corporate interest is the class interest.
So basically if we want to fight against fascism that means we have to fight its class position, ideological position, philosophical position, political position, everything. Fascism is not a single aspect. It comprises the whole of the reactionary aspect of the ruling class. So what will be the minimum programme to fight against fascism? Actually there is no minimum or maximum programme against fascism. If we think along that line, we may end up in the trap of fascism. We have to fight against the reactionary upsurge. In that struggle, a particular aspect may develop as the principal aspect.
In the light of the above, let us discuss the current situation. Some sections are of the opinion that an anti-fascist front can be developed by bringing together the entire parliamentary opposition. Is that correct in this situation? Are all sections of the parliamentary opposition fighting against fascism or at least fascistic aggression? Let us take the example of the main parliamentary opposition, Congress. Is it fighting against fascism? The answer is no. They are not fighting against fascism. They did not come up with a single statement of protest against Umar Khalid’s arrest. On the question of selling Railways, Banks etc., they are totally silent as because aggressive privatization is also their policy. Regarding the Indo-China border conflict, Rahul Gandhi Tweeted to Narendra Modi asking whether the PM will fight against China or not, in fact provoking the development of a border conflict into a full-fledged war. The abrogation of Article 370 did not happen in a day. The final stroke may have been Modi’s, but Congress was responsible for diluting the Article beyond measure, denying Kashmiris the right to self-determination and exacerbating the situation in the Valley. BJP simply lifted the ‘fig leaf cover’. The Congress made some half-hearted protests against abrogation of Article 370 but never fought even verbally for the right of Kashmiri people. On the question of Ram temple, Priyanka Gandhi said that her father Rajiv Gandhi had opened the door of Ramlala, and through this continuity today the Ram Temple is being established. Ex Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh Kamal Nath sent 16 silver bricks for the building of the Ram Temple. In the crucial matter of paying wages to workers during the lockdown period, the Joint Parliamentary Committee speedily gave its opinion that owners cannot be forced to pay wages to workers for the lockdown period. The Congress did not oppose the recommendation. Actually, if we go a little deep, we will see that most of the anti-people economic policies that the BJP is trying to implement had their origin in the Congress and UPA era. BJP has simply made it more apparent and vulgar. That is the only difference.
Now let us come to the Parliamentary Left. On paper, at least, they have a separate policy from the Congress or the BJP. We do not say that they are the representatives of corporate monopoly capital. They had a tremendous responsibility of fighting against fascism from the beginning because they were the biggest left and democratic force in society. Besides, they had been in power in three states for decades. So they did actually have the opportunity of implementing an alternative policy to that of the ruling class. But through their policy of compromise they totally adopted the neo-liberal path in all states where they are and were in power. The people’s uprisings against the Left Front government’s anti-people and corporate-friendly policies in Singur, Nandigram, Lalgarh etc. were the offshoots of their policy of compromise. When they were in power in West Bengal they implemented the draconian UAPA law at will and they are still doing the same in Kerala. And even if we leave aside the point of the alliance with BJP in 1989 parliamentary election, can it be forgotten that at the time of Jyoti Basu RSS was permitted to hold a parade at the Maidan? Further, all of us remember how Advani conducted his Rath Yatra in West Bengal, unchallenged by the government and administration.
Many comrades are now insisting that we should not dwell on the past – on what the Left Front did when it was in power in West Bengal – because the situation is now so serious that if the Parliamentary Left retains a grain of fighting element then that has to be utilized in our fight against fascism. Basically, this is not to be disagreed with. But even if we forget the past and look at their (Parliamentary Left) present, we shall see that they have made no departure from the past. In fact, after losing power in two states (Tripura and West Bengal), they are moving farther to the right. In Bengal they have made an alliance with Congress. We have mentioned above the present role of the Congress in brief. Actually, it is the bitter truth that the CPIM-led Left Front is not as keen on fighting against fascism as they are on coming back to power in the state government of Bengal and retaining state power in Kerala. All their policies are directed towards coming to power in Bengal in the upcoming Assembly elections. So their principal target in Bengal is not the fascist BJP but the Trinamool Congress. Therefore they forged an alliance with the Congress. It is important to note that they did not form an anti-fascist front with the Congress; they have formed an anti-TMC front with the Congress. The Left Front is courting the Congress in a state like Bengal where the people completely and consistently rejected the Congress after 1977 because of their long years of semi-fascistic rule. The Left Front is courting the Congress in a country where the Congress was in power for several decades and brought things to such a pass that the BJP was able to win the votes of the masses. Now this Congress is the ally of the Parliamentary Left! These ‘Left’ leaders even attended the birth anniversary of ex West Bengal Chief Minister Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy – hosted by the Congress – whose hands were bloodied by the brutal killings of workers, peasants and democratic people during his rule. Is it possible to resist fascism through this type of unholy alliance?
If we consider the process of coming to power of the BJP, we will see that they utilized the people’s wrath against the corruption and anti-people policies of the UPA government. In West Bengal too, there would have been no question of such a debacle of the Left Front if they had not shed common people’s blood in Singur, Nandigram, Lalgarh, Netai etc. But they have not learnt any lesson from their experience. They continue to advocate that what they had done in Singur, Nandigram and Lalgarh was absolutely correct. They loudly proclaim that if they come back to power they will set up Tata’s factory in Singur, that they had all along been right in snatching peasants’ land and handing it over to the Tatas. In this context, the CPIM has no difference with the BJP in Bengal, because BJP has also promised that if it comes to power in the state it will establish the factory in Singur! So how can the Parliamentary Left fight against the BJP and Sangh Parivar with the policy they are upholding and following?
Some comrades still say that in spite of all these, the Parliamentary Left are fighting against corporate loot in agriculture, against privatization and so on. We shall refrain from pointing out that even these in these struggles the role of the Parliamentary Left is at best half-hearted and they are certainly not utilizing the whole extent of their power and mass base in these struggles. Our position is that wherever such struggles are developing, however feebly, we have to stand with this struggle. Obviously such struggles are contributing to the resistance against fascism to some extent. But such struggles are not being led only by the Parliamentary Left. Every ruling class party in opposition, for the sake of retaining its mass base, is bound to take up some protest programmes against anti-people government policies. Even Shiv Sena has played a serious role against the installation of nuclear power project in Jaitapur in Maharashtra. The BJP’s labour wing, the BMS, is also against the auction of coal block and is part of that movement. So we cannot say that all these are part of the anti-fascist movement. Rather, we can take decision on that when we discuss the other side of the problem. That is, the Congress is not against corporate loot in agriculture. Even CPIM is not against the entry of corporate in agriculture. Neither the CPIM nor the Congress is against the entry of monopoly capital in retail trade. So what kind of resistance can they build up against fascism? The people of the country are well aware that after coming to power they will execute the very same policies that the BJP is implementing today. Appeasement of Hindutva fundamentalist forces is something that even the Parliamentary Left is engaged in. Recently, a CPIM leader went on record saying that Ram is God!
A projected mathematical majority against the BJP cannot resist fascism. Neither will such mathematical majority come to fruition if the Congress, CPIM-like forces cling on to corporate appeasement and Hindutva appeasement. If we cannot fight ideologically and politically, on the streets and in parliament, we cannot take on fascism. So an alternative revolutionary left force is necessary to resist this situation. As long as this force does not develop, the fight against fascism will go on in a distorted, half-hearted way. There is no hope that the Congress will fight the fascist policies of the BJP either on the streets or in Parliament or in the ideological sphere. Yet, we cannot rule out electoral support to any anti-BJP party in elections as long as a new force does not come up as an alternative. But instead of considering only electoral support to a certain extent, we think of forging electoral alliances with them, the soul of the movement against fascism will be lost. CPIM and Left Front are doing just that. At first they supported the BJP against the Congress and made it powerful, and now they are forging an alliance with the Congress, the tested representative of imperialist monopoly corporate capital