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Updates from CPI (ML) Red Star, March 2021

Updates from CPI (ML) Red Star, March 2021




2021-22 Budgets: Biggest – Ever Sell Out Under Camouflage of ‘Atmanirbhar


P J James


As we pointed out in our Comment two days back on the Economic Survey that it is only a “prelude to the biggest sell-outs in the forthcoming budget”, Modi regime’s Budget 2021-22, in tune with its far-right orientation, has gone ahead further with its corporate-fascist mission with respect to the economy. The Finance Minister in her introduction to the budget itself has started with the post-truth statement that India withstood even as the COVID-battered world economy was going down. This is a travesty of reality since both global and domestic statistics have acknowledged the unprecedented, record economic collapse that India faced during 2020 and which is still continuing.

Coming to the Budget that envisages an expenditure of Rs. 35 lakh crore for which the govt, in the absence of any worthwhile domestic resource mobilisation, has to depend on a massive and unprecedented borrowing of Rs. 12 lakh crore (36% of the budgeted expenditure) during 2021-22, even as there is no dearth on the rhetoric on doubling agricultural incomes, employment generation, emphasis on health sector, etc. An alarming 28% of the entire outlay is set apart for interest payments (20%, or Rs. 7 lakh crore) and defence (8%, around Rs. 2.8 lakh crore), quite unprecedented in budget history. Even for the govt’s day-to-day functioning for the remaining two months, February and March of the 2020-21 fiscal, as laid down in the budget, the govt has to take an immediate loan of Rs. 80000 crore from the open debt market controlled by corporate financiers, both Indian and foreign.

At a time when vast majority of the toiling people are struggling to make both ends meet, around three quarters of the additional income generated is gobbled up by one percentage superrich, as per latest international reports. However, the share of corporate tax in the revenue receipts envisaged in the budget is only 13 % on account of 15 % corporate tax rate (world’s lowest-ever) prevailing in India. Therefore, the task of infrastructure investment is completely privatised and handed over to the money-spinning corporate financiers. Thus railways, national highways, ports, airports, electricity and all other social overheads are systematically sold out to corporate capital on PPP scheme under the cover of Atmanirbhar Bharat. And whatever investments by the government will be through ‘debt-financing mode’, that’s on borrowed money, an indirect way of sell-out to corporates.

Revealingly, the biggest highway, metro and corridor projects announced in the budget are distributed among the poll-bound states, namely, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and West Bengal (investments worth Rs.1.03 lakh crore, Rs. 65000 crore, and Rs. 25000 crore respectively), thereby once again using budget as a toolkit for catching votes. The budget also has announced the biggest disinvestment (Rs. 1.75 lakh crores) of PSUs, with the privatisation of Air India to be completed by 2022. FDI in insurance sector is increased to 74% while full tax exemption is promised for foreign investment, and a major part of the debt-financing of infrastructure will by depending on FIIs or speculative foreign capital for which a Development Finance Institution is also envisaged.

When the historic farmers’ agitation against the three draconian Farm Laws are strengthening day by day in spite of all conspiracies and suppression, to divert people’s attention from the core issue, the budget has repeatedly announced government’s intention of doubling peasants’ income-a promise made by Modi in his 2014 election campaign. Without mentioning anything about the Swaminathan Commission Report, the budget proposes that MSP will be one-and-a-half times that of agricultural cost, including a hollow statement on strengthening APMCs. But the budget cunningly refrain from making any comment on repeal of Farm Laws or on one of farmers’ basic demands to make MSP a law instead of a discretionary announcement by the government. It is repetition of the same approach already displayed in the Economic Survey, and it is like putting salt on farmers’ wounds.

At a time when India is going through the biggest-ever economic downturn in its history, and as the informal sectors where more than 90 % of the people depend for sustenance are already in collapse on account of Modi’s corporate-fascistic moves such as demonetisation, GST, the lockdown imposed in the most unscientific way and the biggest loot through petrol-diesel price-hike, except the usual window-dressing, nothing substantial worthy of even mentioning is there in the budget for the common people. As a testimony to the wholehearted support from the superrich sections, when the budget speech started, the Sensex galloped by 3.5%. As well-meaning economists and concerned people have already said, the crisis is going to intensify further after this budget. It is high time that all the struggling people, the workers, peasants and all toiling and oppressed masses should rise up, resist and defeat the fascist manoeuvres of Modi and his imperialist-corporate chieftains.



Support, Strengthen Farmers' Movement; Expand Struggle for State-Specific APMCs and MSPs!


The farmers’ movement starting with the Delhi Chalo call by the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee and Samyukth Kisan Morcha starting on 27th November is continuing vigorously even after three months, surmounting all obstacles created by the Modi government. Reducing the 11 rounds of negotiations to a farce, right from the beginning Modi government had taken the stand that corporatization is good for the farmers and there is no question of repealing them. Modi is obstinate in defending these three black laws which will surrender the entire agriculture to corporate giants. So, the SKM has no other way out but to continue the struggle overcoming all attacks from the RSS parivar, Godi media, police and administration.

In this situation, after overcoming the heinous attack following the incidents masterminded by Amit Shah on 26th January, the farmers’ leadership has gone back to people and started mobilizing Maha Panchayats in Punjab, Haryana, western UP, Rajasthan and other states which are challenging the vote banks of BJP in these areas. But, though the opposition to Modi government thrown up by the farmers’ movement with the support of struggling forces all over the country is mounting, and the movement is taking an all India character, under pressure from the corporate forces, Modi is diverting the attention intensifying Hindutva campaign using Ram temple and Jai Sriram. Through this communal fascist offensive, throwing overboard the secular principles of the Constitution, he wants to win Assam, Bengal, TN elections and to weaken the farmers’ movement! He may even utilize the EVMs for it. The Godi media is engaged in creating atmosphere for it.

This is a challenging situation for the movement, and to the forces supporting it. It is a fact that the Mahapanchayats have considerably reduced the communal and caste based hate politics used by Modi to divert attention of the people from sky-rocketing price rise, unemployment and pauperization. But this is not sufficient. Initiatives in other fields are also required.

Though Modi is repeating that the new laws will improve the condition of the farmers ranging from lower middle, middle to rich peasant classes, from their experience the farmers have learned how APMCs, Mandis and MSP are benefitting them in the areas where they are functioning. How the peasants are adversely affected in Bihar after APMCs were closed down six years ago by the BJP- JD (U) government is before them. Presently, the Green Revolution model of production for the market has become the dominant feature all over the country. Under it, the peasant distress and suicides have spread to all states due to increasing costs of inputs and non-availability of MSPs related to their expenses. Only 7% of the total farmers are getting benefitted by the MSP.  Consecutive governments, the political parties and the peasant organizations Outside Punjab, Haryana and nearby areas, where GR started from the 1960s, except for sporadic spontaneous movements and election time demands, this  question, by and large discarded in other areas. Though the Swaminathan Commission Report discussed the question, and recommended many positive things including providing the MSP for all farmers at the rate of total expenses plus 50% to cover the loss due to climate variations etc, and government intervention to implement it, neither all agricultural products are brought under MSP, nor it is made available in most of the areas. The report is yet to be implemented.

It was a positive step that when the AIKSCC was initiated following the police firing in MP on struggling peasants seven years ago killing six of them,  this demand was put forward. But outside the Punjab-Haryana and nearby areas, even its constituent organizations have not yet taken up this question. So, in the context of the ongoing farmers’ movement, which is continuing, even after more than 250 of them became martyrs and overcoming all vicious attacks from the corporate fascist Modi government, the AIKSCC and SKM can give a call to develop the movement at all India level with the demands: (1) form state-specific APMCs all over India for procurement according to local requirements  (2) Provide MSP for all agricultural products according to Swaminathan Commission Report, and expand government procurement, storage and marketing for all these products; (3) Expand FCI and other government agencies to take this responsibility; (4) Stop corporates from procurement, storage and marketing of the agricultural products.

All the political parties supporting the farmers’ movement can be asked to support these demands and implement them wherever they are in power. In this way, while Modi govt wants to corporatize agriculture at any cost, it should be countered with an all India movement for protecting agriculture from the corporates, and with a people’s movement for protecting the food security and Public Distribution System. The best way to defend the ongoing movement and make it victorious is to make it a powerful all India movement to ensure MSP based on Swaminathan Commission Report, as promised by the BJP in 2014, to all farmers in the country, from its mere 7%. availability at present.

All peasant organizations have to be encouraged to take up this question vigorously, along with the struggle for the demands of the landless peasants and agricultural workers. The best way of expressing solidarity with the ongoing historic movement is by expanding the movement in this manner.



When All Workers’ Rights Replaced with Four Labour Codes, Why Central Trade Unions Fail to Launch Any Powerful Struggle to Repeal Them?


As the farmers’ movement is continuing unabated even after three months, mobilizing more forces at the struggle canters around Delhi, and Maha panchayats are being organized in more and more areas in support of them, increasing pressure on the Modi government to repeal the three farm laws, the question being asked by more and more people frequently is, why the central trade union canters have so far failed to launch a similar movement to withdraw the four labour codes, and why they are not coming out in support of the farmers’ movement in a powerful manner. As capitalism developed, the working class emerged as the most organized and class conscious section of the society in the concrete conditions of their work.  It was generally considered as the leading force in class struggle. So, it is but natural that such questions come up. In this situation, it is very necessary that a serious discussion, including studies on the present condition of the working class, is called for by all forces who are concerned with advancing the struggle for basic social change.

The oft-repeated general criticism is that the leaderships of these TUCs have degenerated to labour aristocracy, to legalism and economism. This criticism is, in the main, correct. Especially after the severe setbacks suffered by the international communist movement, the reformist tendency increased and the problems like influence of economism and legalism has more aggravated. At a time when all the contradictions, internationally and within the country, are intensifying to unprecedented levels in the neoliberal phase of capitalist-imperialist system, to overcome the unprecedented crises continuing from 2008, accentuated by Covid 19 pandemic, the imperialist forces are intensifying the exploitation of the labour, transferring the whole burden of the crises to the backs of the people, along with further intensification of the plunder of nature, threatening the beginning of ecological catastrophe. So, level of the class struggle is rising fast, with waves of people’s upsurges breaking out in all continents. The latest example is the historic farmers’ movement in India. In spite of these mighty upsurges, they fail to lead to the overthrowing of the ruling system with a future vision of socialism, revolution, in the absence of a Bolshevik style communist party capable of leading them to victory. So, more than ever the struggle against revisionism in the communist parties and reformism in all field have to be intensified. 

And no doubt it should be started from the working class movement itself along with the politicization of the working class. It is an important task before the communist party.     But, while doing so, the changes that have taken place in the realm of manufacturing in the post-Second World War period, especially with the introduction of neoliberal policies from the 1970s, with the development of modern technology and replacing of the Fordist model production with the new system of only assembling taking place in the factory etc call for serious study. Two contradictory features can be seen taking place: on the one hand the internationalization of production is increasing to very high level; on the other de-centralization of production system. This has led to contractulization of labour with hire and fire becoming the rule of the day. Under the 4 labour codes, Modi rule has made 12 hour working day and contract/casual system legal. Under the new system of producing all parts in small or medium units by casual workers, the character of the working class as an organized class has undergone drastic change. Similarly, as unemployment is increasing fast, the competition to get a job has intensified destroying the class consciousness among the workers also. The Corporates can impose these anti-worker laws with ease, as the number of unemployed has galloped, and very small section of them is organized in unions, when forming trade unions itself is made more difficult.

If Lenin had discussed about the need of professional revolutionaries taking revolutionary ideas to the working class from outside for transforming them from ‘class in itself to class for itself’, today when they are working in unorganized conditions and losing class consciousness in the competitive working and living conditions, very large army of cadres are required to politicize, mobilize and to form and run the trade unions among the 35-40 crores of contract/casual workers in our country. The present leaders of the TUCs have neither the will nor the understanding to take up this difficult task. That is why, after sudden announcement of lockdown on 24th March last year by Modi, when during a month the workers faced horrendous sufferings, including many walking very long distances to reach home, no major resistance took place. While fighting against the labour aristocracy, reformism legalism and economism, the challenge to organize the huge force of contract/casual workers also have to be faced. In-depth studies, discussions, experiments are required on the basis of a critical evaluation of past experiences. His challenge should be taken up, to overcome present stagnation in the working class movement



Emergence of Brahmanical Fascism in West Bengal

Dr. Amitabha chakrabarti

The parliamentary way is not the main form to fight fascism. Anti-fascists have to take control of the streets. The farmers of north India have shown the way. This is the lesson from history as well. It is up to the revolutionary democratic forces to decide which path they are willing to follow.

The ensuing assembly election in West Bengal has aroused a jubilant mood among the RSS-BJP family. They are smelling victory in the upcoming assembly election in West Bengal. The glorious peasants’ struggle of North India has exposed the real face of the Modi government’s ‘development’ model. But since the last parliamentary election, the emergence of the BJP in Bengal is phenomenal. Since its inception, RSS has never dreamt of such growth. The ‘Nagpur mandarins’ have thrown their full weight to capture the provincial government of West Bengal. The RSS strategy of occupying eastern India has eyed on capturing West Bengal state government and controlling the life of Kolkata, the intellectual citadel of eastern India, as well as the bastion of left movement almost over a century.

There is a misconception that this growth is solely attributable to the BJP government in the Centre. Some parliamentary left forces try to relate it only with the opportunist politics of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) government. But if we want to understand the growth of BJP in Bengal we should not only consider these points but must also try to trace the deep ideological & socio-political roots of Brahmanical fascists in Bengal. This insight and appraisal of changes in the socio-economic scenario of West Bengal will help us to face the RSS-BJP fascists’ onslaught.

The Ideological Basis of Brahmanism in West Bengal 

In ancient or medieval India the term Hindu never implied any religious sect. Christian missionaries used the term to describe & oppose non-Muslim religious beliefs, rituals of the people of India. The educated indigenous people, mostly Brahmins taught the missionaries about the indigenous religious practice, which was essentially Brahmanical in nature. Therefore, the Europeans constructed this hierarchical Brahmanical belief system into the Hindu religion. In 1816 Raja Rammohan Roy first used the term in a religious perspective while criticizing ‘idol worship’.

The Hindu upheaval we observe in the second half of the 19th century in Bengal was a colonial construct. Rajnarayan Basu was the pioneer of this upheaval. Mr. Basu and NabagopalMitra of Kolkata spread their idea of Hindu upheaval by starting a fair, Hindu Mela, in 1867. In 1867, Rajnarayan, maternal grandfather of Aurobindo Ghose wrote a book – ‘Prospectus of a Society for the National Feeling among the Educated Natives of Bengal’. Basu and Mitra organized a ‘National School’, established a gymnasium called ‘National Gymnasium’ and a ‘National Society’. Amar Dutta (2007) has quoted them, “We do not understand why our correspondent takes exception to the Hindus who certainly form a nation by themselves, and as much a society established by them can very properly be called a national society.”

In Rajnarayan’s book, ‘Hope of an Old Hindu’, it is interesting to note that he was of the opinion that except Christians and Muslims, all other religions like Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism & Brahmoism belong to Hindu religion. He advised to form ‘Maha Hindu Samity’ and founded ‘Bharat Dharma Mahamandal’, the forerunner of Hindu Mahasabha. Rajnarayan believed that this organization will form a strong Hindu nation that will dominate the whole of India and the world. Rajnarayan in his book ‘Hope of an Old Hindu’ has praised the Varna system and considered Brahmins as ‘God on the earth’.

This Hindu upheaval & Brahmanical chauvinism was expressed in contemporary Bengali literature as well. Poets like Rangalal Bandyopadhyay, Nabin Chandra Sen, etc. propagated this ideology in their literary works, Shasadhar Tarkachuramoni formed ‘Arya Dharma Pracharoni Sabha’ and ‘Hari Sabha’. Bankimchandra Chattopadhyay was the most important figure in this Hindu upheaval, whom Aurobindo depicted as ‘inspirer and political Guru’. In most of Bankim’s novels, he defined Hindu as ‘self’ and Muslims as the ‘other’. In his famous novel Ananda Math, from which the national song of India ‘Vande Mataram’ has been taken, he changed the sentence ‘Kill British’ mentioned in the 1st edition as ‘Kill Nere’(Muslim) in later editions.

If you look at the history of Bengal it was the Maratha invasion which has mostly ransacked & looted Bengal but Bankim’s Hindu bias overlooked this history. After Bankim it was Vivekananda who provided a Hindu foundation to understand the nationalism of India. In an interview in 1898, Vivekananda said that his function of movement in India is “to find the common basis of Hinduism and awaken the national consciousness to them.” Some of the liberal writings of Vivekananda do not negate his Hindutwavadi nationalist understanding. Aurobindo also wrote, “Our movement for the national resurgence is not political, it is spiritual and religious.” He said, “Let me reiterate openly: Sanatana Dharma is our nationhood”.

Vivekananda and Aurobindo Ghosh

It is no wonder why Dr. KB Hedgewar, a student at Medical College, Kolkata in the early part of the 20th century Bengal picked this up while studying in Kolkata and became the ideological father of RSS. If we look at the theorisation and organisational activities of these so-called colonialist ‘nationalists’ you will find surprising similarities between RSS and the historical figures mentioned above such as Rajnarayan, Nabagopal, Bankim, etc.

I want to emphasize that the intellectual tradition of Bengal had both – secular, democratic, radical traditions as well as communal Hindutva legacy. Brahmanical intellectual legacy has a deep root in West Bengal. Bengal has a rich heritage of tolerance, secularism, and rational understanding, but there is also a strong Brahmanical intellectual tradition as well; if we miss this, we will misunderstand this Brahmanical fascist emergence in Bengal.

Socio-economic and Political Perspective of Brahmanism in West Bengal 

Since the Sen dynasty (11th and 12th century AD), feudal landlords of Bengal mostly belonged to Brahmin castes. It did not change even in the Sultani rule in Bengal. Sens were Kannada Brahmins and they distributed land largely among Brahmins in Bengal as a result of which most of the land in Bengal, barring few exceptions, were owned by upper castes and mostly Brahmins. Bengal’s caste system was somewhat different from north India. Moreover, the Sudras in Bengal were redistributed amongst untouchables, tribals, and Muslims (via their Buddhist phase of conversion).

Both undivided Bengal and present West Bengal has a significant number of Muslim populations. It must be remembered that Bengali as a nationality has a majority of Muslims according to religious faith. These Dalits and Muslims are mostly poor and landless peasants. Apart from some specific districts in Bengal, this is the usual map of land & property distribution. Industrialization & partial land reform has also failed to change this scenario.

A undercurrent of this socioeconomic contradiction. The British colonialists tried their level best to create rift along communal religious lines. In 1904 before the partition of Bengal was announced Lord Curzon wrote a letter to the Secretary of State, “The Bengalis who like to think themselves a nation, and who dream of a future when the English will have been turned out, and a Bengali Babu will be installed in Government House, Calcutta, of course, bitterly resent any disruption that will be likely to interfere with the realization of this dream. If we are weak enough to yield to their clamour now, we shall not be able to dismember or reduce Bengal again; and you will be cementing and solidifying, on the eastern flank of India, a force already formidable, and certain to be a source of increasing trouble in the future.” With this ulterior motive, the British tried to create a communal division in Bengal. They took the help of Nawab Sir Khwaja Salimulla of Dhaka who demanded education & job opportunities for Muslims and formed the All India Muslim League in 1906.

Partition of Bengal

He strongly advocated the division of Bengal. The pathetic condition of economy, education, and job among Bengali Muslims was so important at that time that Chittaranjan Das, the famous leader of Bengal, during that period also demanded proportional representation of Muslims in job and education in Bengal. The Hindu religious communal flavour of Swadeshi movements in Bengal led by Aurobindo Ghose and other also gradually created a distance among Muslims to participate in Swadeshi movement. Swarajya Party, political influence of Subhas Chandra Bose, development of communist and left movements in Bengal and the influence of Soviets had a secular and democratic content which influenced the students, youth and intellectuals of Bengal. The workers and peasants were also mostly under their leadership.

Anti-imperialist movement in Bengal was also under the influence of this secular understanding. Hindu Mahasabha and Muslim league also had their pockets of influence. The communalists of Hindu Mahasabha had cordial relationship with many Congress leaders and at some places led them. Still the poor Muslim peasants and educated intellectuals of East Bengal denounced the Muslim league leadership and Fazlul Haque’s Praja Krisak Party had overwhelming control. Praja Krisak Party fought for poor ryots of Bengal. Floud Commission, which recommended land reform for sharecropper peasants of Bengal was in this period. This annoyed the landlords, who were mostly from upper caste Hindu backgrounds. These class forces during this period aligned with Hindu Mahasabha & Congress. The poor and landless peasants from Muslim and lower caste Hindu felt betrayed. Interestingly in this period the provincial government in Bengal was supported both by Hindu Mahasabha and Muslim League.

The decade of forties in Bengal was full of contradictions. It saw the Bengal famine, great anti-imperialist movements in support of Azad Hind Fauj, emergence of worker-peasant-student movements under the leadership of communist party. It also witnessed Great Calcutta riots, the communalization of Bengal politics and the betrayal of the Congress Party. Riots of Calcutta, Bihar & Noakhali vitiated the atmosphere of communal harmony. Even in this period, in Assembly elections, Hindu Mahasabha did not fare well. The so called ‘Hindus’ friend’ Shyamaprasad Mukherjee was defeated by a little-known candidate in his constituency and finally got a berth in assembly at the mercy of Congress Party from University quota.

Finally, the transfer of power in India in 1947 led to the partition of Bengal. This communal religious division of Bengal had an everlasting impact among the people & their family members who had either to leave or get evicted from their ancestral places. In West Bengal it was the Bengali Hindu refugees who were rehabilitated but with a bitter experience – no shelter, no food, no job, no land, no compassion from the rulers. Only the communists & left forces fought for their rights. It is, for this reason, the socio-political events in Bengal during fifties & sixties were along the democratic class aspirations. Credit goes to the communists who took up the demands of toiling masses, students, youths, unemployed and middle class of Bengal and combated the division along communal identity. But the communal politics of the subcontinent rotating around partition had a strong undercurrent in the socio-political understanding of the people of Bengal.

Till seventies the socio-political movements were mostly democratic & revolutionary. Only during Indo-China war, Indo-Pak war or Bangladesh war the chauvinistic nationalist atmosphere came to the forefront.

WB: How Hindutva Organizations Rose During LF Government Rule 

After the defeat of Indira Gandhi in 1977, the Left Front government came to power. They declared to give relief to people of Bengal and claimed that their government will become a weapon of mass movement. Over the decades it has been proved to be a false claim. In the initial years definitely, there were some reforms in rural sectors and government sector, but gradually it followed the footsteps of neoliberal economy since 1990.

West Bengal was the first state to approve SEZ in the name of ‘development’ and land reforms were stopped. They started occupying lands for multi-national corporations and started contractual employee recruitment in government sectors. Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, the then Chief Minister of West Bengal from CPI(M), in an interview said, “I am clear in my mind. This is capitalism……I have to follow capitalism.” (Hindustan Times, July 20, 2007)

Corruption and nepotism went hand in hand, agriculture was in crisis and manufacturing sectors were destroyed. Non-farm sector flourished in rural Bengal with development of a ‘new rich’ community of real estate businessman, contractors and suppliers in different government and non-government sectors. This new social force was recruited from CPI(M) party cadres or inducted inside the organization.

They were the resource for CPI(M)’s fund, muscle power and mass mobilization. Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, on numerous occasions demonized worker’s rights including referring bandhs as ‘bad’ and gherao as ‘illegal’. (The Economic Times, August 27, 2008) He also expressed his concerns over trans-border migration from Bangladesh without any statistics and once stated that “Madrasas are cradle of terrorist activities.” (The Economic Times, October 21, 2014) Believe it or not!

Therefore, even in the period of Left Front rule in West Bengal there was no significant difference from other states in terms of economics and politics.

What Was the Position of RSS and BJP During Left Front Rule?

Till 1989-90, RSS-BJP was very weak in the political life of West Bengal. RSS membership was less than 5000 till then, but by 1997 it went up to 400,000. The number of Purna Swayamsevaks rose from 2227 to 50,000 while the number of branches went up from 2500 to more than 12000 and organizational districts from 14 to 28. During this period Ex-DG & IG of West Bengal Police joined BJP. During this period West Bengal Police had 3000 RSS cadres. In 1996 BJP’s share of vote was around 6% in both Parliamentary & Assembly election but in 1998 it was around 10% in Parliament and Panchayat elections. The RSS led schools had 160 full time teachers in 21 schools with 4282 students.

Moreover, different political parties starting from CPI(M) to TMC aligned with RSS led BJP in different phases of their electoral politics in West Bengal.

Present Scenario and Our Task

The emergence of BJP should be related with the gradual strengthening of contractor, promoter and supplier in the economic life of West Bengal. It started from Left Front regime and became stronger during TMC rule. The TMC leaders, including their family members starting from top to bottom, have been involved in Ponzi schemes, grabbing money from government projects, illegal sand and coal mining and real estate investments. They have developed their down-the-line chain from city to village. The landowner, land mafia, money lender, trader nexus are the controllers of the socio-political life of West Bengal. These social forces introduced Ganesh Chaturthi, Hanuman puja, Tara Ma worship etc. .and has strengthened the Brahminical milieu in West Bengal. These festivals are part and parcel of this local crony capital. They have founded temples in their locality to create their social base. Many TMC leaders, including recent TMC deserter SubhenduAdhikari, has been reported to form huge numbers of Hanuman temples in their constituencies.

Those Affected by Ponzi Schemes in West Bengal

The erstwhile BJP had a basis among traders or Baniyas. This newly risen social force also has similar class character to the Baniyas. They are not related to production and that may be a reason to find a pull towards BJP. The corrupt businessmen and TMC leaders when faced with the carrot and stick policy by BJP through CBI-ED and Amit Shah – JP Nadda concert are opting for BJP. In last Panchayat election people had seen that TMC did not allow any opposition member to fight freely in their election. It is true that same thing happened in BJP ruled Tripura but people are aggrieved at this undemocratic activity.

The erstwhile ruling CPI(M) and Left Front partners, though talking loud in all-India forums, are essentially tailing behind Congress. In the name of fighting TMC and BJP, their middle and lower rank cadres in connivance with BJP have voted for BJP in the last Parliamentary election in 2019. They coined the slogan of ‘Ekushe Ram Chhabbishe Bam’ meaning Ram or BJP in 2021 election and Left Front in 2026. This has proved that the social base of the leadership of CPI(M) over thirty four years of their rule has been transformed into a reactionary character.

The socio-economic situation and the reason for the emergence of Brahmanical fascists in our country has been dealt by many scholars. They have shown their relationship with crisis of imperialism & Indian state. The same reasoning is true for West Bengal, but West Bengal also has some special reasoning: with a sizeable Muslim population in the state, with a Muslim dominated neighbour country and having a riot ridden history of partition, RSS has been successful in developing a campaign against Muslim ’other’. They have made false propaganda against the population growth of Muslims in Census, their trans-border migration to India, their terrorist activities etc. among common people of West Bengal.

The political forces starting from Congress, CPI(M) to TMC did not fight against this false propaganda. They were afraid of losing Hindu votes. The Brahmanical fascists’ campaign reached its height during Shila Pujan, Rath Yatra and demolition of Babri Masjid. No political force starting from CPI(M) to TMC had any alternative socio-economic agenda to fight them. That is the reason why we are here today.

There are few left organizations and liberal intellectuals who are propagating the ‘No Vote for BJP’ as the prime slogan to combat the BJP fascists. For the last few years, they were not involved in building any serious united program against BJP. They were busy in discussing how to fight fascism – from below or above? Unfortunately, this call is being welcomed by TMC. The misrule of TMC has created this favourable situation for BJP; therefore, this type of call will be limited amongst its coterie of cadres. Until and unless a united movement is built against BJP’s anti-people policies this type of call for vote will fail to affect common people.

It must be clearly understood that any good will or wish to electorally vote against RSS-BJP clique will definitely fail today unless it combines the day to day burning issues of people. The parliamentary way is not the main form to fight fascism. Anti-fascists have to take control of the streets. The farmers of north India have shown the way. This is the lesson from history as well. It is up to the revolutionary democratic forces to decide which path they are willing to follow.

[Dr Amitabha Chakrabarti is a Marxist intellectual and renowned cardio-thoracic surgeon based out of Kolkata. He is also a political activist who has been associated with the Marxist -Leninist movement for the last four decades.]

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