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Declining of CPI-M in Indian Politics
Sagarneel Sinha
Declining of CPI-M in Indian Politics
PHOTO : Prakash Karat, hapless CPi-M. TIWN File cartoon

The battle within the CPI(M) is only rising as the time passes on. Once again the topic is of course the alliance with the Congress party. Bengal unit led by party general secretary Sitaram Yechury wants the party to ally with the Congress.

On the other hand this proposal is vehemently opposed by the Kerala unit led by former general secretary Prakash Karat. The recently held three day party's central committee meeting discussed the issue without drawing any conclusion. If the reports are to be believed, out of 63 present in the meeting 32 favoured Karat and the rest favoured Yechury.

The split is clearly visible in the party with both the camps arguing for their own political line. Both do agree that Modi led BJP government has to be ousted and the party has to join the secular parties. But the the fight is on whether to go for alliance. Karat camp focuses on movements with all other secular parties without going for any alliance or electoral understanding. Yechury's camp particularly the Bengal unit is favouring an alliance with the grand old party.

The party is facing existential crisis. The party with 9 Loksabha and 8 Rajyasabha MPs and ruling Kerala and Tripura with no signs of recovering in its once stronghold West Bengal is losing its prominence in the country. Party's stronghold Tripura which goes to polls in early 2018 seems to be shaky with the surge of BJP. Thanks to the weakening of the Congress in the state. Also, in Kerala, the BJP’s eying the Hindu votebank is going to adversely affect the party as the Hindus are the traditional voters for the party in the state. In the three day meeting, party didn't have time for to discuss on poll bound Tripura, its stronghold where BJP is emerging as an alternative. It is to be mentioned that BJP gained strength mostly due to the defections of the Congress workers after the party's opportunistic alliance with the Congress in West Bengal last year.

Will the alliance with the Congress help the Marxist party to revive its fortune? Already, the party has lost almost all of its fortunes in West Bengal due to its unholy pact with the Congress. It can be recalled that in 2004 Loksabha elections party had 43 MPs and taking along the other three left alliance partners the number stood at 62. Left Front led by the party supported the Congress led UPA. However, the left got reduced to 24 with the party getting only 18 seats in 2009 general elections. It shows that party's support to the Congress cost heavily to the party. The trend continued in the 2014 polls when the left got only 12 seats with CPI(M) getting only 11 seats ( 2 party supported independents). 2014 showed the anti-Congress wave and CPI(M) too got worstly affected due to its support to the Congress in 2004. Result was BJP got all the anti-Congress votes that also in the Left strongholds like West Bengal where BJP got 17% - mostly the left votes.

The main issue which the party is not discussing is the party hasn't been able to present it as an alternative to Congress and BJP to the Indian people. In 1984 Loksabha elections BJP got only 2 seats, which is having 282 seats today. It's because the party was successful to present it as an alternative against the Congress, Socialists Janata parivar and the Communists. BJP though allied many times with the socialists janata factions but never compromised its ideology. It’s this never compromising ideology the party founded in 1980 was quick to wrest the opposition space from the socialists and the communists and gave the first full time non-Congress government which was once thought as an “impossible task”. Today the saffron party is not only ruling the country but its ideology is spreading in the country. CPM has many similarities with the BJP – both are cadre based parties and both don't promote one-family culture like the Congress party

The reason for decline is the party's blind faith on “revolution”. There can be no doubt over the legacy of Karl Marx. The great man who will always be remembered as an ideologue whose thinkings were for the poor toiling tortured working class. But Karl Marx derived theories belong to a time when there was no visible democracy and there was oppression in the name of religion especially in  Europe and its neighbouring areas. That's why it is needed to analyze Marx's ideas according to that period and today's world is completely different from that period. Marx didn't propose any new ideas. The ideas presented by him were already available in ancient Indian culture. The culture highlighted the need to multiply own wealth as far as possible and distribute a fraction of wealth to the poor. Multiplication of wealth is capitalism and distribution of wealth is socialism. Even communist China says that capitalism (the present stage of China) comes before the stage of socialism. Marx talked of the same view. Only difference is in Indian culture for socialism to come revolution is not required, it is the last option.

CPI(M)'s class struggles between the rich and the poor will only help to create hatred and violence between them, not a society of peace required for sustainability of socialism. Socialism is a value. According to Indian culture, socialism is possible through spiritual awakening. The rich and wealthy persons have to be taught the knowledge of nature. Then only the person having abundance of wealth will distribute to the needy in the society. Thus socialism can be established in a peaceful way.

The ideology of the party has heavily focussed on internationalism and atheism. In a country like India where religion is regarded as a culture, the party's ideas don't fit. Party's belief in proletariat dictatorship goes against the parliamentary democracy of the country. Party opposes every central government whether of Congress or BJP. At present too party is talking to oust the BJP government without giving a proper alternative knowing that bunch of different ideological political parties allying together have never been successful in governance. All these factors are affecting the party to expand in the Indian culture and system. This is the reason that cadre based ideological BJP is successful in Indian politics but not the CPM despite being a cadre based ideological party like the former! BJP draws its ideology from the country where it stays. Party should have debated on these issues rather than discussing on alliance with Congress bringing the party on the verge of a split at a time when it is facing existential crisis. The Congress itself is facing a crisis and taking help from it is just like a blind man taking the help of another blind to cross the path!

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