Home > Archives (2006 on) > 2009 > December 2009 > World Communist Meet in New Delhi: My Impressions and Suggestions

Mainstream, Vol XLVII, No 51, December 5, 2009

World Communist Meet in New Delhi: My Impressions and Suggestions

Tuesday 8 December 2009, by Chaturanan Mishra

The Eleventh International Meeting of the Communist and Workers Parties took place in New Delhi on November 20-22, 2009. At its conclusion there was a public meeting at the Capital’s Mavlankar Hall. It took the shape of a mass reception for the delegates who participated in the Meeting. I attended the function. From the dais the slogan—“Workers of the World, Unite!”—was repeatedly raised. On hearing the slogan I told my CPM friends: “….but the workers of India must remain divided!”

The International Meeting gave no call for an immediate global action to counter the global recession. In fact this Meeting should have been convened when the recession began. And instead of a hall meeting a big mass rally should have been organised; that would have enthused our people as well as the world delegates. That was essential as such an International Meeting of the Communist and Workers Parties was being held for the first time in India.

The gist of the decisions of the International Meeting was presented at the public meeting-cum-mass reception by a very intelligent Indian comrade who said that just as the child delivered could not be put back into the womb, so also socialism born out of the November 1917 Revolution in Russia will remain ever alive despite all its defects and that socialism is the only solution to the capitalist crisis. The comrade perhaps forgot that the more than seventy-year-old baby of socialism had already re-entered the womb of capitalism!

The decisions of the International Meeting, I think, will fail to remove the mass demoralisation and disinterest towards socialism caused by the fall of the Soviet Union which was the bulwark of socialism the world over.

Socialism should have been redefined to attract the people in general—and not only the working class which was not politically capable of running the state in any country despite the entire twentieth century working in its favour. Even in the Soviet Union the workers were were onlookers when their factories were taken over by the capitalists.

I think for a new definition of socialism we should consider what the anti-communist Ieader, the hero of the ‘violet revolution’ Vaclav Havel, who is now the President of the Czech Republic, told the Newsweek correspondent in the issue of the periodical dated September 9, 2009:

Correspondent: What is your response, two decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall, to the surge of nostalgia for former Soviet times across Eastern Europe?

Havel: Older people experienced their first joys in those times and it shapes their remembrance today. There are objective grounds for this nostalgia because the Communists cared for the individual from birth to death, something that has gone missing today (that is, under capitalism—C.M.).

What does this mean? It means that socialism stands for every citizen. And therefore all the citizens (not the working class alone) should be made convinced of this and rallied for socialism. This kind of new approach is the need of the hour.

There is now a growing opinion across the world for ensuring what is called ‘inclusive growth’. The UN’s Stiglitz Committee is also in favour of inclusive growth. Our Planning Commission too advocates inclusive growth. It is thus for us to concretise the mechanism for guaranteeing that the individual is adequately cared from the ‘womb to the last breath’ and mobilise the people to compel the government to accept that mechanism.

¨

Another vital issue which the International Meeting should have highlighted was that relating to democracy. The Meeting should have declared that the Communist and Workers Parties attending it stand for democracy (including the right to form Opposition parties, the right of the Opposition to function in the polity, the right to free press, the right to independent judiciary) as the CPI and CPM have done. Such a declaration would have attracted the masses to the communist movement, with the clear understanding that mass organisations will not operate under party control.

The Meeting also failed to note that the Chinese trade unions and Communist Party don’t strive to build a world movement of trade unions and Communist Parties as the Soviet Union did when it was in existence. The recent meeting between Barack Obama and Hu Jintao gives a measure of the promixity of the US to China. With its huge purchase of US security bonds China is helping the US dollar to regain its power in the realm of world currencies. China is the US’ biggest creditor today. The International Meeting did not discuss the ramifications of this phenomenon. The fact is that at this specific moment the US needs Pakistan and China more than it needs India. Let us not ignore the words the US military commander in Afghanistan lately uttered: “Increasing Indian influence in Afghanistan is likely to exacerbate regional tension and encourage Pakistani counter-measures.”

Likewise if the Taliban emerges victorious in Afghanistan or the US quits that country and thereafter Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Taliban join hands to attack Kashmir, that would pose a formidable challenge to India.

Henry Kissinger once said that while capitalists repeatedly think and ponder over the steps they would take and eventually adopt measures to save themselves, Communists go on parroting the old stuff.

I have written this piece with this purpose of throwing up some suggestions while giving my impressions of the International Meeting. I hope this won’t be misconstrued, misunderstood and/or taken otherwise.

The author, a veteran Communist leader, was the Union Agriculture Minister in the United Front Governmentat at the Centre (1996-98). He was also the President of the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) for sometime.

ISSN : 0542-1462 / RNI No. : 7064/62 Privacy Policy Notice Addressed to Online Readers of Mainstream Weekly in view of European data privacy regulations (GDPR)