Current Position Of The Indian Communists…
With five Indian provinces (Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and West Bengal) gearing up for local Assembly Elections, the Leftists are seen to have started appeasing a Minority Community (Muslim), possibly for the sake of their survival. It seems that they tend to forget the fact that pursuing such votes with an eye towards an electoral victory at the cost of Secular tenets might turn out to be a huge political blunder.
In the eastern Indian Province of West Bengal, leaders of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) are desperately trying to perform well in the polls that to be held in March-April 2021 by relying on Abbas Siddiqui, a Muslim cleric and the Pirzada of Furfura Sharif, who recently floated his own party Indian Secular Front (ISF). Siddiqui, taking advantage of the current political situation in the province, stole the limelight during a mega rally at the Brigade Parade Ground in Kolkata on February 28, 2021. Abbas did not hide his political ambition on that day in the presence of the CPI-M leaders and leaders of the Indian National Congress (INC), the Grand Old Party of India. The cleric declared that he made a pre-poll Alliance with the Communists and the INC in order to prove his weight in the electoral politics. In the process, he hinted that his ISF did not have much accountability towards the Alliance, as well!
Still, it is seen that the Leftist parties and the INC have joined hands with a cleric to challenge the ruling Trinamool Congress (a regional political outfit in India) and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the upcoming election. So, it is flagrant that this Alliance has been formed to achieve small and rather narrow short-term interests. Now, the question arises here is: Why have the Left parties abandoned their Secular ideology and formed an Alliance with a prominent Sectarian leader? Perhaps, the Indian Communists have decided to back Siddiqui’s reactionary (as seen earlier in his expressions about world affairs) and opportunistic politics, only to taste electoral success.
The People in the Left Front are well aware of the fact that Siddiqui had supported terror attacks by Muslim fundamentalists in France, and used un-parliamentary language against Member of Parliament Nusrat Jahan in the past. They also know that he is not a representative of the minority community, but a symbol of the backwardness in that community. By making Alliance with such a person, the Leaders of the Left parties may have established the fact that they become Pseudo-Secular.
Surely, the CPI-M and other Left Parties would bring up two arguments in favour of this pre-poll alliance. Firstly, an alliance with Siddiqui has been necessary considering the needs of the hour, as it might help them secure a part of the Muslim votes. Secondly, the cleric, as an ally, would learn to control his emotions, and to become a Secular Democratic person in the process. However, the Left leaders have forgotten the fact that Siddiqui’s control over the Muslim community in West Bengal has not yet been tested. Hence, it is not a wise decision to join hands with such a person, or to give so much importance to his newly-formed so-called Secular outfit. More importantly, there would definitely be talks about his past activities, even if Siddiqui controls himself in the interests of the Alliance. There is also a possibility that his backward social and political position will remain as it is; although it does have the counter-argument that he can shape his future in a different way!
The eastern Indian Province of West Bengal is going through deep political and social crisis, as of now! The emergence of Hindutva Politics has already caused quite a bit of damage to the province; and now, the Left parties, who had been in power in West Bengal for 34 years, have started bonding with the Muslim Communal Forces in order to secure their place in the mainstream politics! In other words, they are actually strengthening the position of Hindutva Politics in the province.
Is it because of the Left parties, the Provincial Politics would revolve around the religious identity in future? It is hard to believe that the Indian Communists cannot realise this. The fact is they have decided to rely on petty politics, considering the idea that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend“, which has functioned in various guises from the ancient days, is out-dated. There is an ancient Indian proverb that suggests that two opposing parties can or should work together against a common enemy or that they are also enemy’s. The earliest known expression of this concept is found in a Sanskrit treatise on Statecraft, Kautilya’s Arthashastra, which dates to around the 4th Century BC, while the first recorded use of the current English version came in 1884. During the World War II, this concept was used by the Americans, Britons and Russians who teamed up against Adolf Hitler.
The idea that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” functioned in various guises as foreign policy by Allied Powers during the World War II. In Europe, tension was common between the Western Allies and the erstwhile Soviet Union. Despite their inherent differences, they recognised a need to work together in order to meet the threat of Nazi aggression under the leadership of Hitler. Both US President Franklin D Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill were wary of the Soviet Union under the leadership of Joseph Stalin. However, both developed policies with an understanding that Soviet co-operation was necessary for the Allied War effort to succeed.
The Indian Left parties’ only aim, seemingly, is to topple the Government run by a Regional Party, and not to protect the people of West Bengal from Communal Politics. Of course, the current Government has hardly much credibility; as it has been ruining the province for the past 10 years without much headway in a positive direction. However, the Left parties are not confident enough to defeat this Government without playing the Communal Cards. During their rule from 1977 to 2011, the Left parties had appeased the Muslims to secure 30% votes, and now, they are again trying to win election by securing those 30% votes. Perhaps, they would admit in future that they made another Historic Blunder… but, will that not be too late?
It seems that the Indian Left leaders and their supporters have a lot to learn from Italian Marxist Philosopher Antonio Francesco Gramsci (January 22, 1891 – April 27, 1937) and French Marxist Philosopher Louis Pierre Althusser (October 16, 1918 – October 22, 1990). The time has come for them not to confine themselves in the theories of Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong…
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