By Kushan Niyogi
India is a land of strange happenings, and limiting them to the connotations of just being “strange” would be glaring injustice to the country itself. The happenings are fantastical, almost as if the Indian state has turned into a Wattpad fan fiction novel. The sex and the murder are kept at a minimum; however, anyone’s guess as to how limited it is.
Thus, it brings us to the latest addition in the fantasy series called Indian politics, wherein your political beliefs are only limited to your mindset, and you are free to let go of the mainstream ideals. Keeping that in mind, let me go a step further to introduce you to the strangest alliance one could ever envisage in their lifetime—Sanjukta Morcha.
As it turns out, I am running a bit ahead of myself here, so let’s break the entire happening down into seemingly little bits.
Everyone must have been privy to having that one group of kids hanging out at your school where everyone belonged to different lingual groups but had adapted Hindi (or English, if you are fancy) as their common tongue. But all they do is barely survive through the ordeal. In much the same way, the Sanjukta Morcha comprising the Left Front parties and the Indian National Congress is one such alliance that barely survives the ordeal.
An emblematic orgy of ideologues, the CPI(M), CPI, All India Forward Bloc, alongside other Left parties, formulate their ideology alongside the precipice of Centre-Leftism and Islamic Socialism.
The commemorative formation of the alliance in 2016 was referred to as a hotchpotch of ideologies, yet their common goal was the same — to topple the Trinamool-led government. In tandem with the 2016 elections, a certain statement from the 21st party congress of the CPI(M) comes to mind:
“The main direction of our attack should be against the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) when it is in power, but this cannot mean having an electoral understanding with the Congress.”
It was about the formidable opposition party of the BJP that had captured power in the Centre 2 years prior. The alliance with a “ruling class” party such as the Indian National Congress was certainly out of the question. Thus, it is anyone’s guess as to what made them have a change of heart.
The incessant need to live up to their initial political presence has undone their tantamount presence in Bengal’s political scenario. Much of it can be accorded to their want to let go of their political ideologue drop of a hat.
The people do not seek to vote for an alliance that has juxtaposed itself with a myriad of other political ideologies portrayed in the 2016 legislative elections itself. The Left+Congress Alliance had secured their presence as the main opposition but at the cost of securing a measly 70 seats instead of TMC’s 211.
This should have been indicative of what Bengal’s people wanted, yet, they went onwards with the same strategy as they contested in the 2021 legislative elections.
The original members of the Sanjukta Morcha, the Left Front and the INC, through thick and thin, have always been heralded as the true representatives of secularism in our country. When most major political parties have given into the demands of appeasement on religion and caste, the LF and the INC stood steadfast in their disdain for the same. At least, that was the case in Bengal up until 2021.
As 2021 reared its head and ISF supremo, Abbas Siddique, became an official member of the LF+Congress-led Sanjukta Morcha. The joining of the Indian Secular Front marked a strange administrative decision by the alliance leaders as it was marketed as an Islamic party. The Sanjukta Morcha had decided to harpoon with the sentiments of being a secular and minority inclusive alliance could not have been done in a worse way.
The ISF has its proprietorship with the Rashtriya Secular Majlis Party, and with the supremo, it is anyone’s guess as to the party being a clarion call for a better representation of minorities in mainstream politics.
However, most misread the situation, and with no fault of the Sanjukta Morcha’s apex members, they failed to have any foresight into the public’s perspective. Maybe their insinuation concerning the public was misplaced, but one cannot blame the public either as the inclusion of the ISF can be easily bestowed upon tokenism rather than any form of empath and call for equality.
Surya Kanta Mishra may have had the entirety of his political career figured out, but he couldn’t see this blunder through.
With a mishmash of politics becoming the curtain call for political homogeny with often mixed results, it’s anyone’s guess as to what is to become mainstream politics in the country. One cannot hark a certain ideal while mixing in with another. Similarly, they cannot claim to be any different from a minority appeasing party while appeasing minorities themselves.
If you want to see a good left front party and government, look at Kerala, for West Bengal’s left has certainly lost its way.