It will take perhaps a few more months for the politburo to make yet another historic confession that Marx has failed in the market. But the present round of assembly polls in the CPM dominated states of Kerala and West Bengal have exposed the ideological bankruptcy of the Marxists as never before.
On the economic and the diplomatic front the CPM has failed to influence the UPA. Now the Marxists are themselves turning capitalists. This is an interesting confession that the West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya made the other day. The comrade said that his government is practicing policies of capitalism. ?Here we are practicing policies of capitalism. We are not practicing socialism. We do not want to raise slogans like ladai, ladai, ladai chai (fight, fight and fight) and close down factories.? This is not the first occasion that the Chief Minister has expressed his frustration with Marxism. Only that this time he was more explicit than ever before. May be it is this that has made Buddhadeb the darling of capitalists.
But is he out of sync with his politburo? Difficult to say. The battle in Kerala between the pro-market and no-market factions has in the latest round gone in favour of the latter. Unfortunately the liberalisers have come to be known in ideological circuits as power hungry opportunists. The comrades in Kerala are still in the forefront brutally destroying cash crops of middle class farmers for taking to more profitable pattern of cultivation. And they were till the other day threatening to close down private professional educational institutions.
The Congress accusation that the comrades have been acting as roadblocks in all development initiatives in Kerala has put LDF on the defensive in the poll campaign. Now the party is echoing the West Bengal Chief Minister in Kerala.
More breathtaking is the party somersault on the communalism front. Some analysts suggest it is the emergence of the new left. Others more impartial see the end of Marxism in the CPM as it existed so far. The replacement of the radical jholawalas by the market savvy mobile brigade.
See the predicament. A year ago, when Prakash Karat became the party general secretary he vowed to take the party back on the Stalinist mould. Emphasis on ideology, a departure from Harkishan Singh Surjeet model of wheeler-dealing communism and fight the majority and minority communalism with equal gusto. EMS Namboodiripad, whom Karat projects as his role model had terminated the party'sdecades long association with the All India Muslim League to demonstrate his dislike for all brands of communalism. Making shrill secular noises became the CPM'sfavourite pastime. The CPI(M) Deshabhimani web site still shows Prakash Karat'sarticle where he says, ?The Congress leadership in Kerala is marked by its willingness to join with all varieties of communalists. The People'sDemocratic Party (PDP) led by Mahdani, which is an extremist Muslim organisation has declared support for UDF.? This was on April 29, 2001.
What has happened to you now, comrade? The CPM in Kerala in this election is in alliance with all the jehadi terrorist outfits in the state. The PDP, the All India Muslim League, Jamaat-e-Islami and the notorious Kanthapuram Musaliar, allegedly the mastermind and godfather of many Muslim desperados.
Those who are a trifle sympathetic to the Marxists would say that the Left is enjoying the best of both the worlds. And if the opinion polls are any indication of the mood of the electorate they can very well claim that theirs is an embrace of death for the Congress, they gain by association and the Congress is the loser.
But this is only part of the story. The only rationale of their support to the UPA, is supposedly to contain the BJP, a job in any case this opportunistic front has failed to achieve. After the UPA assumed office, the BJP has taken over reins in two important states of Bihar and Karnataka and formed its own government in Jharkhand.
There is no basic difference on economic policies between the Congress and the BJP, laments Prakash. In a recent interview the CPM general secretary said Manmohan Singh government'sforeign policy is pro-US and it is not pursuing an independent policy. ?The government shows greater alacrity in pushing ahead with the policies which are in tune with the demands of international finance capital and corporate interest. Such are… FDI in retail trade and privatisation of airports… full capital convertibility.? He further complains that many CMP programmes have been given short shrift by the UPA.
Yet the comrades are cheering Manmohan Singh. Rather many of them are in competition to prove how market friendly they have become. Have the Marxists come to realise the futility of advocating an outdated economic agenda? Or are they deceiving themselves in their shameful pursuit of power? After all, power corrupts and power without responsibility corrupts absolutely.