25 December 2005

Eighty Years of Communism in India

/RAJ MISHRA AND RAJESH GOPALAN
The Association of Indian Progressive Study Groups (AIPSG), a contingent of the progressive forces worldwide, marks the 80th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party in India by drawing a balance sheet of the struggles of the communist, revolutionary and progressive forces and placing its own work in the context.

The balance sheet is a positive one even though retrogressive forces in India and abroad have recently seized the initiative to turn the wheel of social progress backwards. Internationally, the US has created the space for all the retrogressive forces to be on the offensive against the social rights of the people. Medieval values such as "might- is-right", "dog-eat-dog", "everyone-for-oneself", etc. have come to the forefront to replace the value of "all for one and one for all" that the socialist and communist forces had unfurled in the 20th century. The US has openly called upon Indian rulers to espouse the path opened up by the US in return for American support to India to emerge as a major imperial power. Democratic and progressive organizations have been charged by history to define afresh the ideals and values to guide the contemporary struggles for social progress within this situation and are ably rising to the occasion.

The growth of communism and communist politics in India after the Communist Party was founded in Kanpur on December 25, 1925 in the midst of the anti-colonial struggle changed India's political landscape in a fundamental way. It placed on the agenda the creation of a state power of workers and peasants by workers and peasants to end all forms of oppression and exploitation. Eighty years later, and nearly sixty years after colonial rule formally ended in India, the idea of workers and peasants wielding political power to bring an end to the oppression and exploitation finds widespread support and sympathy inside and outside India. Even after many splits and the fragmentation of India's communist movement, the ideal of one communist party leading the people with one revolutionary program for social, economic and political transformation reverberates around India. Progressive people all over the world support the strivings of the Indian communist, democratic and progressive forces to create a revolutionary leadership which could rally the workers, peasants, women and youth of India in one powerful movement to bring about thoroughgoing transformations.

Since 1968, Indian Progressive Study Groups (IPSG) have worked abroad to organize political actions in defense of struggles of Indian people against social, economic and national oppression. After the founding of the Association of the IPSG's in 1990, the policy to unite people in common struggle has become the cornerstone of AIPSG activities. With enthusiasm, IPSGs and the AIPSG have supported the progressive political movements and the efforts of Indian communists to create the united front of workers, peasants and middle strata around a common political program for thoroughgoing renewal of India. They have rallied progressive activists abroad by organizing actions to unite people politically to oppose state terrorism, communal violence, national oppression, violation of rights, war preparations, privatization reforms etc. in India. The study programs of the IPSG's and AIPSG have defined the aims of the struggles in India and of Indian people abroad at each turning point, providing the necessary ideo-political elaborations for the AIPSG to remain in step with the changing national and international environment and without compromising the ideal of social progress.

After eighty years of communist politics in India, the issue of compromise - compromising the interests of the workers, peasants, women and youth of India with that of a minority of big business houses and land owners who control the economic and political power in India - has emerged as the biggest obstacle for the people of India to establish a political power that would end their exploitation and oppression. Today, the political power in the hands of the big business houses of India, legitimized through a corrupt electoral process, negates the rights of the people. India pursues the agenda of a reactionary world power preparing for war. The politics of the Communist Party of India, the Communist Party of India (Marxist), the Communist Part of India (Maoist) and most other fragments of the communist movement that began 80 years ago is mired in the compromising politics, often bordering on betrayal. The largest communist groups seem to have abandoned the aim to end exploitation and oppression of humans by humans on Indian soil. They are fine tuning their political positions to come to power through the corrupt electoral process to run the existing Indian State more effectively than the BJP, the Congress or the Socialist Parties to transform India to a major imperial power.

On December 25, 2000, on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the founding of the communist party in India, the progressive, patriotic and fighting forces comprising activists from every decade of the 20th century since 1925 assembled in Kanpur at a rally organized under the leadership of the Communist Ghadar Party of India. This gathering unanimously resolved to work towards uniting the working class and people around one revolutionary program, led by one communist party in whose ranks will militate all the communist and revolutionary forces of India. Today, much work still remains to be done for this goal. It can be safely said that the largest communist groups in India have not accepted the aim of building one revolutionary movement with one program under one communist party to end exploitation and oppression on Indian soil. Some others have gotten mired in sectarian politics and ideological divisions or are busy settling scores with each other while the work for building a united front of workers and peasants goes unattended. The work of the Communist Ghadar Party, which turns only 25 years old on December 25, 2005, must be commended within these circumstances.

The formal end of colonial rule in 1947, the India-China war in 1962, the armed peasant uprising of Naxalbari in 1967 and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 required the reorganization of Indian communist and progressive forces to wage the struggle for people's power in new ways. In each stage, weaknesses in the movement led to a disintegration of the compromising forces and realignment of the advanced forces. Taken as a whole, the people's movement was weakened in each stage due to lack of revolutionary leadership. Today, in the post 9/11 world, most communist groups in India have taken up liberal politics, the politics of strengthening capitalism and reforming its excesses by themselves coming to power through elections. This is a new development, an abandonment of social democratic politics when communists presented the program to build state monopoly capitalism as their aim.

On balance, the AIPSG's current program to unite people behind the aim of India's political, economic, social and national renewal by fighting for rights corresponds to the need of the progressive movement to end all exploitation and oppression of Indian people. An uncompromising stand against India's rise as a major imperial power at this time will assist the movement against economic privatization and war preparations. The Indian State, the Indian business houses and the parliamentary parties are ruthlessly pursuing a number of political reforms to shed off colonial vestiges and present India as a modern State, worthy of being recognized as a world power within the retrogressive political space defined by the US. The AIPSG considers the political struggle to derail this retrogressive agenda of the US and India and a thorough exposure of the liberal illusions about an imperial India as the most immediate struggles to open the path for India's progress.

1 Comments:

Anonymous ashok chavda said...

Very interesting,

I must say you are catalysts to change my views on communism in India. I would like to learn more about communist ideology and how can it be utilised in the present scenario of Indian society.
Ashok

ashokchavda@rediffmail.com

15/10/07 9:41 PM  

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