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Home > 2024 > Left parties in a fix trying to figure fascist forces and class enemies | (...)

Mainstream, VOL 62 No 11, March 16, 2024

Left parties in a fix trying to figure fascist forces and class enemies | Arun Srivastava

Friday 15 March 2024

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While the Marxists are engaged in a fierce battle against their class enemy Mamata Banerjee, TMC chief, even at the risk of facilitating the rightist BJP to win the Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal, the RSS has taken over the command of the electoral battle in Hindi heartland, specifically in Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, to ensure the defeat of the secular forces and particularly of the INDIA bloc.

This polemics of the left has created a lot of confusion in the political circles, as the TMC has also been an ally of the INDIA bloc though it was the consistent incongruity on major issues of minimum programme and lack pf initiative to move ahead for seat sharing that made her threaten to walk out of the bloc. Curiously it was Mamata who had christened the opposition forum as INDIA. It is obvious that she may not be a believer in Marxism, but she certainly does not represent any rightist force.

For tactical reasons, the Marxists could have worked out an electoral understanding with her. They could well have opposed her in the assembly elections which would held in 2025. The prime motto of the Marxists should have been to defeat the rightist and fascist BJP. This reminds of the historic blunder committed by a senior Marxist leader in withdrawing support to Manmohan Singh government on the issue of UPA government seeking support from US on the nuclear deal. Later at the 21st Congress, the party accepted that it was a mistake on its part to withdraw support to the UPA government in 2008.

The Marxist leader was also confused about whether to describe the BJP as a fascist organisation. It is sad that India’s biggest left-wing party has been debating how best to fight the revitalised onslaught of Hindutva forces. In sharp contrast, a non-Marxist Rahul Gandhi through his Yatras has put the rightist party on its toes and has forced it to redraw its policies and politics. The worst political confusion that gripped the Marxist came out in public in 2021 when it bracketed TMC with BJP.

There is a significant difference between the attitude of the Left parties in Bihar and Bengal. While in Bihar the left led by the CPI(ML) Liberation has been trying to build a greater forum of the secular parties, waiting patiently for seat sharing and favour joining hands with the forces opposed to BJP, in Bengal, the priority appears to be more on self-glorification and nursing inflated ego.

In his work One Step Forward, Two Steps Back: The Crisis in Our Party Vladimir Lenin defended his role in the 2nd Congress of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party, held in Brussels and London from July 30 to August 23, 1903. Lenin examined the circumstances that resulted in a split within the party between a Bolshevik ("majority") faction, led by himself, and a Menshevik ("minority") faction, led by Julius Martov.

Their action also reminisces the historic advice of Stalin to the five Indian communist leaders who had met him in Soviet Union. He had advised them to evolve the struggle which suited the Indian condition. It appears that the Marxists have not taken lesson from past developments. It appears for them defeating the rightist BJP has attained less importance. Some people may feel embarrassed but the fact is they should take lessons from the leaders of Bihar INDIA bloc. They are keen to accommodate the opponents of Modi with the simple mission to defeat him. These leaders are aware of the fact that if somehow BJP comes to power for the third term, they will completely obliterate the democracy and will not allow space for the opposition to operate. They will not even stick to the façade of parliamentary institution and its functioning.

While Rahul Gandhi has been striving to present an alternate narrative before the people of the country and pledging to fight for Dalits, EBC and proletariat, the worst neglected section of the society in his words, his partymen in Bengal have been busy in the game of one-upmanship. Their approach is certainly not objective and pragmatic.

The secular and leftist leaders should have realised that they would have settled their differences with TMC, after the Lok Sabha election. Defeating BJP instead should have been their mission. It is really sad that these people have taken Modi very flippantly. With RSS providing the necessary support system and helping Modi to further strengthen his Hindu majority face particularly in the Hindi belt should have turned them extra cautious. CAA will no doubt further polarise the Hindu votes, it would be used to deny the Muslims to exercise their fundamental right to vote. Implementation of CAA would witness widespread persecution of Muslims.

The clarity in the political moves of the CPI(ML) in Bihar is clearly visible in its decision to wait for the assembly elections. For it the prime mission is to remove the fascist BJP from power. Already its senior leader from Karnataka Anant Kumar Hegde had told publicly that the party would change the existing Constitution once it gets 400 seats. In fact Modi has been seeking for 400 seats only this in view. The party is otherwise sure of winning the election, but to accomplish its mission to implement Hindu Rashtra agenda it is imperative that it must win 400 seats.

For the RSS the war against secular forces does not revolve around its prestige or ego. Instead, it is the fight for survival and more of its existence. The secular challenge to the political hegemony of RSS further escalated after Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra. The RSS did not ever imagine that the people who were mute spectators to the repressive governance and polarisation of the society on communal lines by the Modi government and Sangh would ever muster the courage to open up and register their protest.

But it happened and the testimony to the outrage of the common people has been the two internal surveys that RSS carried out in the Hindi heartland with primary focus on Uttar Pradesh. Having come to know from its own internal survey that the ground base of the saffron brigade was grovelling in UP, the RSS held two closed-door meetings of its senior state leaders and pracharaks in Amethi and Luckow last month. The feedback was quite devastating. It bared open the failures and anti-people policies being pursued by the BJP governments in the state.

The frustration and anger of the people against Narendra Modi, especially against Amit Shah and Yogi Adityanath was at its peak. The people were reluctant to accept the BJP rule even for a day. But they were scared of speaking out the truth for fear of being persecuted and tortured. Uttar Pradesh has witnessed blatant violations of human rights and police torturing innocent people. Even journalists who dared to point out the wrongdoings had to cool their heels in the jails even without trials.

Infuriated at this feedback, RSS leaders summoned Modi and Yogi to its Delhi meet held in the first week of March. Two major decisions were made at the meet. First, to implement the CAA; a mechanism to sooth the hurt feelings of the Hindus and second to review the PM Kisan Yojana. The surveys had unravelled that farmers had started addressing the central as well as UP governments as cheats. They have been giving Rs 2000 from one hand but taking away Rs 24000 from the other hand.

Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) is a new Central Sector Scheme to provide income support to all landholding farmers’ families in the country to supplement their financial needs for procuring various agricultural inputs related to agriculture, encourage adoption of modern techniques in the crops to obtain optimum yield and to meet domestic needs. Under the scheme, all landholding farmers’ families shall be provided the financial benefit of Rs. 6000 per annum per family payable in three equal instalments of Rs. 2000 each, every four months. It was announced on February 1, 2019, during the Interim-Union Budget 2019 and was effective from December 2018.

Modi launched the Yojana on February 24, 2019, in Gorakhpur. PM Modi transferred the first instalment to 1 Crore farmers of Rs. 2000 each ahead of the Lok Sabha Elections 2019. It was supposed to reduce the liquidity constraints and easing access to credit. At present 2 crores, 56 lakh farmers of Uttar Pradesh are covered under the scheme. Out of the total 10 crore 46 lakh beneficiaries under this scheme in the country in 2018-19, more than 26.93 per cent belonged to U.P alone.

RSS sought to know from Modi and Yodi about the social acceptance of the scheme. Unfortunately, the survey exposed its fallacy. No doubt the farmers were getting this money but the costs of fertiliser, seeds and inputs have skyrocketed. They were not even getting MSP. While Modi and Yogi have been telling the world that they have been trying to empower the farmers. But in reality, they have been caught in the web of the pauperisation. Farming is turning unproductive.

In May 2022 to assess the impact of this scheme on the farm income of the beneficiaries, a study was already conducted by the Agro-Economic Research Centre of the University of Allahabad, Prayagraj taking 2020-21 and 2021-22 as the reference year. In this context, 120 beneficiaries and 120 nonbeneficiaries were selected from 4 districts of 4 different economic regions of Uttar Pradesh. Though the researchers pointed out that due to socio-economic disparities prevalent between urban and rural regions in the country, farming communities have often struggled with financial prosperity, both governments did not take it seriously and it remained to be a populist exercise.

BJP and RSS are under obligation to coexist, to live together irrespective of whether they like each other. The constraints are many for RSS than for the BJP and its public face Narendra Modi. RSS cannot dream of losing the 2024 Lok Sabha election as its entire philosophical and political edifice has come to sustain the state power. BJP might not feel the extreme nature of pain of losing the election, but the RSS will virtually cripple once the BJP loses the election.

As is known across the country and often it has been topic for drawing room discussion, the future of BJP is resolutely tied to the verdict from the people of Uttar Pradesh. The mood of the electorate from UP has a major bearing on the voters of the nearing states. But this time the hostile attitude of the people has unnerved the RSS leadership.

RSS leadership was quite harsh to Yogi for projecting Rs 2000 as the major financial gift to the farmers. The sources maintain that it was at the Delhi meeting, that RSS instructed to expand the cabinet. It was only after this directive that Dalit leader O P Rajbhar and one more minister was inducted in the cabinet.

In all probability the Left leaders must have analysed the reasons that conjured the saffron leadership to remove Manohar Lal Khattar from the Chief Minister of Haryana. He was installed as the CM on 26 October 2014 at the instructions of the RSS leadership. Significantly he was removed at the directions of the RSS bosses.

In the eyes of the RSS committed the gravest crime of alienating the Hindus by unleashing police force against the agitating farmers. His culpability could not be ignored as he had resorted to this action at the behest of senior BJP leaders. The RSS which has a very strong and dedicated support base amongst the Jats, post the 2013 communal riots in west UP, now stands completely isolated. Not only that the Jats have mended their social relations with the Muslims of the zone. This would prove to be detrimental to RSS.

The primary task before the newly installed chief minister Nayab Singh Saini is to win over the trust of the Hindus and also to break the bond of friendship between Hindus and Muslims. No doubt this is a daunting task, but Saini has to come up to the expectations of the Sangh leadership.

As a major move to win over Hindus and scare the Muslims, it was at the Delhi meet the RSS leadership directed Modi to implement CAA. This has been a strategic move to change the Muslim-majority character of the region. The move just two months ahead of the Lok Sabha elections would deepen the sense of insecurity amongst the Muslims.

Notifying the rules after four years of adoption in Parliament has already caused panic amongst Muslims not only in Haryana but across the country. Already apprehensions are being expressed that they may not be allowed to vote on the plea that nationality is yet to be ascertained. After the act receiving parliamentary approval in December 2019 and subsequent presidential assent, the CAA had sparked widespread protests nationwide. Many opposition parties criticised the law, labelling it as “discriminatory”. The protests and police responses led to the loss of over 100 lives. The women had taken the lead in protesting against the move.

According to the 2019 amendment, migrants who arrived in India by December 31, 2014, and faced “religious persecution or fear of religious persecution” in their country of origin are eligible for expedited citizenship. But the Act would not benefit the persecuted Muslims. It is clause which has shaken the confidence of the Muslims. Though the Modi government advises the Muslims not to worry and get carried away by the rumours, the Muslims feel it would be a tough proposition to prove that they are Indians and have been residing for pretty long time, as they have no papers to prove their nationality.

While the Marxists are engaged in a fierce battle against their class enemy Mamata Banerjee, TMC chief, even at the risk of facilitating the rightist BJP to win the Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal, the RSS has taken over the command of the electoral battle in Hindi heartland, specifically in Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, to ensure the defeat of the secular forces and particularly of the INDIA bloc.

This polemic of the left has created lot of confusion in political circles, as the TMC has also been an ally of the INDIA bloc though it was the consistent incongruity on major issues of minimum programme and lack pf initiative to move ahead for seat sharing that made her threaten to walk out of the bloc. Curiously it was Mamata who had christened the opposition forum as INDIA. It is obvious that she may not be a believer in Marxism, but she certainly does not represent any rightist force.

For tactical reasons, the Marxists could have worked out an electoral understanding with her. They could well have opposed her in the assembly elections which would held in 2025. The prime motto of the Marxists should have been to defeat the rightist and fascist BJP. This reminds me of the historic blunder committed by a senior Marxist leader in withdrawing support to the Manmohan Singh government on the issue of UPA government seeking support of the US on nuclear deal. Later at the 21st Congress the party accepted that that it was a mistake on its part to withdraw support to the UPA government in 2008.

The Marxist leader was also confused about whether to describe the BJP as a fascist organisation. It is sad that India’s biggest left-wing party has been debating how best to fight the revitalised onslaught of Hindutva forces. In sharp contrast, a non-Marxist Rahul Gandhi through his Yatras has put the rightist party on its toes and has forced it to redraw its policies and politics. The worst political confusion that gripped the Marxist came out in public in 2021 when it bracketed TMC with BJP.

There is a significant difference between the attitude of the Left parties in Bihar and Bengal. While in Bihar the left led by the CPI(ML) Liberation have been trying to build a greater forum of the secular parties, waiting patiently for seat sharing and favour joining hands with the forces opposed to BJP, in Bengal, the priority appears to be more on self-glorification and nursing inflated ego.

In his work One Step Forward, Two Steps Back: The Crisis in Our Party Vladimir Lenin had defended his role in the 2nd Congress of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party, held in Brussels and London from July 30 to August 23, 1903. Lenin examined the circumstances that resulted in a split within the party between a Bolshevik ("majority") faction, led by himself, and a Menshevik ("minority") faction, led by Julius Martov.

Their action also reminisces the historic advice of Stalin to the five Indian communist leaders who had met him in Soviet Union. He had advised them to evolve the struggle which suited the Indian condition. It appears that the Marxists have not taken lesson from the past developments. It appears for that defeating the rightist BJP has attained less importance. Some people may feel embarrassed but the fact is they should take lessons from the leaders of Bihar INDIA bloc. They are keen to accommodate the opponents of Modi with the simple mission to defeat him. These leaders are aware of the fact that of somehow BJP comes to power for the third term, they will completely obliterate the democracy and will not allow space for the opposition to operate. They will not even stick to the façade of the parliamentary institution and its functioning.

While Rahul Gandhi has been striving to present an alternate narrative before the people of the country and pledging to fight for Dalits, EBC and proletariat, the worst neglected section of the society in his words, his partymen in Bengal have been busy in the game of one-upmanship. Their approach is certainly not objective and pragmatic.

The secular and leftist leaders should have realised that they would have settled their differences with TMC, after the Lok Sabha election. Defeating BJP instead should have been their mission. It is really sad that these people have taken Modi very flippantly. With RSS providing necessary support system and helping Modi to further strengthen his Hindu majority face particularly in the Hindi belt should have turned them extra cautious. CAA will no doubt further polarise the Hindu votes, it would be used to deny the Muslims to exercise their fundamental right to vote. Implementation of CAA would witness widespread persecution of Muslims.

The clarity in the political moves of the CPI(ML) in Bihar is clearly visible in its decision to wait for the assembly elections. For it the prime mission is to remove the fascist BJP from power. Already its senior leader from Karnataka Anant Kumar Hegde had told publicly that the party would change the existing Constitution once it gets 400 seats. In fact Modi has been seeking for 400 seats only this in view. The party is otherwise sure of winning the election, but for accomplishing its mission to implement Hindu Rashtra agenda it is imperative that it must win 400 seats.

For the RSS the war against secular forces does not revolve around its prestige or ego. Instead it is the fight for survival and more of its existence. The secular challenge to the political hegemony of RSS further escalated after Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra. The RSS did not ever imagine that the people who were mute spectator to the repressive governance and polarisation of the society on communal lines by the Modi government and Sangh would ever muster courage to open up and register their protest.

But it happened and the testimony to the outrage of the common people has been the two internal surveys that RSS carried out in the Hindi heartland with primary focus on Uttar Pradesh. Having come to know from its own internal survey that the ground base of the saffron brigade was grovelling in UP, the RSS held two closed door meetings of its senior state leaders and pracharaks in Amethi and Luckow last month . The feedback was quite devastating. It bared open the failures and anti-people policies being pursued by the BJP governments in the state.

The frustration and anger of the people against Narendra Modi, especially against Amit Shah and Yogi Adityanath was at the peak. The people were reluctant to accept the BJP rule even for day. But they were scared of speaking out the truth for the fear of being persecuted and tortured. Uttar Pradesh has witnessed blatant violation of human rights and police torturing innocent people. Even journalists who dared to point out the wrong doings had to cool their heels in the jails even without trials.

Infuriated at this feedback, RSS leaders summoned Modi and Yogi to its Delhi meet held in the first week of March. Two major decisions were made at the meet. First, to implement the CAA; a mechanism to sooth the hurt feelings of the Hindus and second to review the PM Kisan Yojana. The surveys had unravelled that farmers had started addressing the central as well as UP governments as cheats. They have been giving Rs 2000 from one hand but taking away Rs 24000 from the other hand.

Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) is a new Central Sector Scheme to provide income support to all landholding farmers’ families in the country to supplement their financial needs for procuring various agricultural inputs related to agriculture, encourage adoption of modern techniques in the crops to obtain optimum yield and to meet domestic needs. Under the scheme, all landholding farmers’ families shall be provided the financial benefit of Rs. 6000 per annum per family payable in three equal instalments of Rs. 2000 each, every four months. It was announced on February 1, 2019, during the Interim-Union Budget 2019 and was effective from December 2018.

Modi launched the Yojana on February 24, 2019, in Gorakhpur. PM Modi transferred the first instalment to 1 Crore farmers of Rs. 2000 each ahead of the Lok Sabha Elections 2019. It was supposed to reduce the liquidity constraints and easing the access to credit. At present 2 crores, 56 lakh farmers of Uttar Pradesh are covered under the scheme. Out of the total 10 crore 46 lakh beneficiaries under this scheme in the country in 2018-19, more than 26.93 per cent belonged to U.P alone.

RSS sought to know from Modi and Yodi about the social acceptance of the scheme. Unfortunately the survey exposed its fallacy. No doubt the farmers were getting this money but the costs of fertiliser, seeds and inputs have skyrocketed. They were not even getting MSP. While Modi and Yogi have been telling the world that they have been trying to empower the farmers. But reality has been they have been caught in the web of the pauperisation. The farming was turning unproductive.

In May 2022 to assess the impact of this scheme on the farm income of the beneficiaries, a study was already conducted by the Agro-Economic Research Centre of University of Allahabad, Prayagraj taking 2020-21 and 2021-22 as the reference year. In this context, 120 beneficiaries and 120 nonbeneficiaries were selected from 4 districts of 4 different economic regions of Uttar Pradesh. Though the researchers pointed out due to socio-economic disparities prevalent between urban and rural regions in the country, farming communities have often struggled with financial prosperity, both governments did not take it seriously and it remained to be a populist exercise.

BJP and RSS are under obligation to coexist, to live together irrespective of whether they like each other. The constraints are many for RSS than the BJP and its public face Narendra Modi. RSS cannot dream of losing the 2024 Lok Sabha election as its entire philosophical and political edifice has come to sustain on the state power. BJP might not feel the extreme nature of pain of losing the election, but the RSS will virtually cripple once the BJP loses the election.

As is known across the country and often it has been topic for drawing room discussion, the future of BJP is resolutely tied to the verdict from the people of Uttar Pradesh. The mood of the electorate from UP has a major bearing on the voters of the nearing states. But this time the hostile attitude of the people has unnerved the RSS leadership.

RSS leadership was quite harsh to Yogi for projecting Rs 2000 as the major financial gift to the farmers. The sources maintain that it was at the Delhi meeting, RSS instructed to expand the cabinet. It was only after this directive that dalit leader O P Rajbhar and one more minister was inducted in the cabinet.

In all probability the Left leaders must have analysed the reasons that conjured the saffron leadership to remove Manohar Lal Khattar from the Chief Minister of Haryana. He was installed as the CM on 26 October 2014 at the instructions of the RSS leadership. Significantly he was removed at the directions of the RSS bosses.

In the eyes of the RSS committed the gravest crime of alienating the Hindus by unleashing police force against the agitating farmers. His culpability could not be ignored as he had resorted to this action at the behest of senior BJP leaders. The RSS which has a very strong and dedicated support base amongst the Jats, post the 2013 communal riots in west UP, now stands completely isolated. Not only that the Jats have mended their social relations with the Muslims of the zone. This would prove to be detrimental to RSS.

The primary task before the newly installed chief minister Nayab Singh Saini is to win over the trust of the Hindus and also to break the bond of friendship between Hindus and Muslims. No doubt this is a daunting task, but Saini has to come up to the expectations of the Sangh leadership.

As a major to win over Hindus and scare the Muslims, it was at the Delhi meet the RSS leadership directed Modi to implement CAA. This has been a strategic move to change the Muslim-majority character of the region. The move taking place just two months ahead of the Lok Sabha elections would deepen the sense of insecurity amongst the Muslims.

Notifying the rules after four years of adoption in Parliament has already caused panic amongst Muslims not only of Haryana but across the country. Already apprehensions are being expressed that they may not be allowed to vote on the plea that nationality is yet to be ascertained. After the act receiving parliamentary approval in December 2019 and subsequent presidential assent, the CAA had sparked widespread protests nationwide. Many opposition parties criticised the law, labelling it as “discriminatory”. The protests and police responses led to the loss of over 100 lives. The women had taken the lead in protesting against the move.

According to the 2019 amendment, migrants who arrived in India by December 31, 2014, and faced “religious persecution or fear of religious persecution” in their country of origin are eligible for expedited citizenship. However the Act would not benefit the persecuted Muslims. It is the clause which has shaken the confidence of the Muslims. Though the Modi government advises the Muslims not to worry and get carried away by the rumours, the Muslims feel it would be a tough proposition to prove that they are Indians and have been residing for pretty long time, as they have no papers to prove their nationality.

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