Sunday, September 25, 2022

Communist Comback – The Time is Ripe

By The Editorial Team Updated: Oct 19, 2020 11:00 pm

In October 17, 1920, inspired by the success of October Revolution (1917) in Russia, a group of Indian revolutionaries decided to adopt Marxism-Leninism as a tool to establish the leadership of the working class and peasantries. They formed Communist Party of India. Since then, Communist movement in India has achieved many successes by leading various movements, namely anti-colonial struggle, Tebhaga Movement, Telangana Armed Struggle, Punnapra-Vayalar Uprising in Kerala, etc. All these movements made Communist Party a formidable force in Indian politics and propelled it to power in a couple of Indian states after Independence. But it seems that those ‘glorious days’ have deserted the Communist movement in India. Communist influence on Indian society is on decline since the beginning of the present century. Currently, Kerala is the only state in the country under Communist rule. Elsewhere it is fighting for existence even in its so-called citadel West Bengal and Tripura. Communism is on the wane in states like Manipur, Maharashtra, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Assam, etc. Not so long ago, there were more than 50 Communists representatives in Indian Parliament. But now the number has come down to single digits. More worrying is that there seems to be no hope for revival of Communism in the country soon.

What went wrong for the Communists in India? Why is it drifting into oblivion so fast at a time when the hardships of labourers and peasants have increased manifold? When Communism was first introduced in India, people, especially from the working class and peasantry saw hope and expected the ideology to ensure their proper place in society. It is for the Communist leaders to ascertain the causes of its downfall. But according to commoners, disenchantment to the Communist movement in India has been a result of the deviation from Communist ideology. For example, today, even the Communists do not talk about the success of the ‘Kerala Model’ introduced in late fifties which proved that it was not necessary for a state to become rich to ensure improvements in living conditions of the people. Such changes can be made simply by increasing expenditure on welfare. If today Kerala has the highest literacy and lowest mortality rates in the country, it is because of the support provided by the government to usher in social change. It’s a pity that all Communist governments which came to power in later years in other Indian states had never shown any inclination to adopt the same policy. Rather they showed signs of tilting towards capitalism, forgetting the interests of the working class and peasants.

Yet, all is not lost for the Communists in India. Present situation is still conducive for their return, provided they stick to their original ideology with a pragmatic and progressive approach. It should keep on voicing the grievances of farmers and working class without showing even slightest tilt towards capitalism. Thus in its centenary, the Communists should take a vow to go back to basics in-order to remain relevant in Indian politics.

By The Editorial Team Updated: Oct 19, 2020 11:00:49 pm