In A Highly Polarised India, Here’s Why I Refuse To Take Political Sides

Posted by Simran Keshwani in Politics, Society, Staff Picks
April 11, 2017

The case at hand is no doubt a very sensitive and volatile one. I firmly believe that if you go to the extreme left, you end up on the right because the world is round.

My case rests on broad arguments of the Marxist ideology. The ideological strands directly or indirectly linked to praxis, Intellectuals belonging to the Trotskyite Fourth International and the New Left as opposed to the Capitalistic Right falling prey to ideological splits and separating their chaff from the grain along the same sieve, as is the case with any philosophical or methodological inquiry.

After the victory of the Russian Revolution, the most cataclysmic political event of the 20th century, the global Communist movement assumed importance as the active agent of social changes.

Former West Bengal Chief Minister and CPI-M leader Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee with CPI-M candidate from Jadavpur constituency Sujan Chakrabarty (R) and Kasba constituency Satarup Ghosh (L) candidate at election campaign rally in April 2016 in Kolkata. (Photo by Subhankar Chakraborty/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

The Communist manifesto and was seen as the penultimate nostrum in class struggle and there hasn’t been a moment of rest in the proletariat revolution against the pressures of a hostile capitalistic world, which according to Trotskyists, did not stand a chance unless socialist revolution quickly took over in other parts of the world.

Stalinists would argue totalitarianism in the name of proletarian struggle to triumph as the “socialism in one country” model holds insurrectionary against the illegitimate capture of political power in the hands of a few.

In the curious case of the Soviet Union, or in the case of the “Eastern Marxist” Mao Tse-tung, there has been prolonged tussle between (in Marxist terms) revolutionists and revolutionaries. In other words, between parliamentary Leftists and non-Parliamentary Maoist militants, which are the two divergent thought streams of the Indian Left, that draws its inspiration from the Chinese Soviet allegiances.

Having established that the Left stands divided in its interim approach, we now take up the case of Internationalism – a supposedly sexy word to associate yourself with, being an intrepid lovechild of the globalised era.

In Marxist terms, simply put, this term meant that the interests of the working class all over the world are the same and any proletarian revolution is International in its essence. With the victory of the Russian revolution, Moscow and the ruling Bolshevik party became the centre of the world revolution.

Communist leaders including Joseph Stalin (1879 – 1953) and Leon Trotsky (1879 – 1940) seen saluting in the street during the Russian Revolution. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

Later, when there was a serious split in the international communist movement, the leadership of the movement became bipolar.

The communists of India also faithfully reflected this split, which was phoney in nature, coloured in shades of corrosive nationalism and served sectarian national interests. Even though the Chinese Communist Party abundantly exposed itself as composed of diehard Chinese nationalist agenda, Maoists in India continue to profess its ideologically daft and flawed stance (the analysis propounded my Mao almost 75 years ago, who differed from Marx on the point of the requirement of working classes for ongoing struggles).

This dependency syndrome interwove itself onto the communist psyche in India. This is the main reason why it is natural to collectivise the militants and conformists in the common nomenclature of Indian “left”.

Having established further leakages in the ideological imperative of the Left and its collision with the Right, we now move to the defenders of Marxism as a scientific process of analysing social conditions. It never struck the apologists of the perspective of Dialectical Materialism that the basic theoretical formulations in physics as in any signs itself remain contentious an indeterminate as ever. Its amenability to interpretations puts it in the same baskets as theistic religions.

What would a Trotsky, Joseph Stalin or Pol Pot do? The same things in each other’s place probably. Ideologies are always subject to philosophical questioning. They can be so varied that self-professed proponents of the Left/Right can mouth slogans for the upliftment of the working classes carefully veiled as apologies for capitalism (demonetisation fiasco). It is also quite possible that the mask bearers of these dual faces do not see the inherent contradiction in their stance.

Does all political ideology ultimately conform to capitalism? Sadly, yes. Marxist political economics is a direct result of the developments of capitalism. Both implicitly believe in productive forces, yielding way for State Capitalism.

Is there a way out? Instead of “withering away of the State” and paving the way for socialism, revolutions across Kenya, Congo, Europe and India have resulted in creating a New Ruling Class. Present day China is the largest example of inequality indices under the name of “communism”.

Classic capitalism thrives on three broad parameters –

• Colonial loot and increased alienation
• rendering people propertyless
• accumulation of wealth at the behest of the primary sector

The so-called Socialist societies thrive at the very same motives as the Capitalist model. What then are our political stances reduced to?

For Delhi BJP President Vijender Gupta leading the motorcycle and scooters rally from Baratunti Chowk to Red Fort against the corruption in Common Wealth Games by Congress persons, at Sadar Bazar on October 30, 2010 in New Delhi, India. (Photo by Sushil Kumar/Hindustan Times)

Lastly, the environment. A snowballing of man’s violent interaction with nature has been ingrained in every Leftist rhetoric, but Marxist revolutionaries across the globe are nowhere in the fight for economically sustainable development.

On that count, there is no viable difference between a rapacious global Rightist and a Marxist ideologue. The emphasis has been and is on the acquisition of land, on the furthering of the “cause” and of the fastest accumulation. China sides as the leading example and India with its air of soot follows.

To conclude, let’s talk about the Caste system. A pernicious ill of the Savarna Hindu society that repressed anything that tried to cut through it – Buddhism, Jainism, etc.

The CPI, the Leftist vanguard party of India took a simplistic position on caste and thought the struggle for social equity would subsequently drive out the social ill. This led to the metamorphosis of the Communist Party is themselves becoming casteist. The derogate tree expression and Communist are very popular and justifiably so among the oppressed castes and communities.

Why are any challenges to the present political structure so threatening to the ruling classes? The answer lies in the premise of this article. All of India’s bourgeoisie dominate all of India’s markets which are internally protected by the government of India and any challenges from the oppressed, downtrodden to the existing political structure become threatening to the ruling classes.

This is why any feminist movement asking for greater autonomy, questioning of the indoctrination in education, reclaiming of forbidden spaces and increase in public conscience poses a far greater threat to the Ruling State. That threat goes beyond the “Left” and the “Right”, for there are none.

There is one gigantic oppressive machine that thrives on crushing the subaltern, the silenced, the queer and the other beneath its foot.