By S. Sudhakar Reddy
The five-day 23rd Congress of Communist Party of India held at Kollam, Kerala, from April 25, 2018 will be by generations to come for the historic decision of the Congress to take all measures to unite and consolidate the growing consensus among political parties as well as the general masses against RSS-BJP and also against Narendra Modi. It will also be remembered for the unity and political maturity of the delegates reflected clearly in all the debates, discussions and finally in the decisions taken both political and organisational. All the top leaders of Left parties who greeted the Congress too confirmed the urgent need to unite all secular, democratic forces to save the nation and people from the onslaughts of the communal, fascist forces in power at the Centre and in 15 states.
Unite All in the Congress unanimously decided: “In the present situation, there is the need for widest possible mobilisation of all secular democratic and political forces and their mass organisations to counter the neo-liberal and fascistic offensive of the Modi government and RSS. It cannot be looked as a political alternative or electoral alliance. We have to take initiatives to mobilise all those who are ready to join the battle against fascistic offensive of the RSS. A mass resistance is the need of hour. Creating a platform of all secular-democratic and left forces is necessary to counter the fascistic offensive.”
Having adopted that, the Party Congress spelt out clearly the electoral tactics to achieve that: “There cannot be one tactics for the entire country, though there is the common goal of ousting the BJP from power. Electoral tactics has to be worked as and when the party faces an election. In states, the tactics has to take into consideration the objective political situation in a given state and co-relation of political forces there. No bourgeois secular party can be excluded. Apart from furthering our march towards building a left and democratic alternative, the electoral tactics should also ensure due representation to the party in a House going to the poll. Representation in elected bodies should start from winning seats in panchayats and other local bodies.”
Detailing the tasks to be undertaken by the party the Congress said: “Despite concerted attempts by the ruling dispensation, corporate controlled media and various outfits of the RSS to distract the people’s attention from real socio-economic issues, various segments of the people have started challenging the policies of Narendra Modi government. From farmers to bank employees, youth and students to Dalits, every segment is on move. CPI has to take lead to coordinate and give a political shape to these struggles. Its goal is to mobilise the people for ousting the BJP from power.”
Reiterating that socialism is our future, the Congress said that all the struggles and ideological campaigns to defeat the poisonous offensive of the RSS controlled BJP government will definitely enable the party “to build a people’s alternative to complete the tasks of democratic revolution paving way for a socialist order in India”.
It needs to be mentioned here that there were hundreds of amendments and all of them were positive confirming the firm consensus within the rank and file of the party for the broadest unity of secular, democratic and left forces along with Dalits, other minorities, intellectuals and civil society to fight back the fascistic onslaughts. It is only a matter of pride to record here that it is the CPI which first give such a call for an united platform, though in the fight against the common enemy, it does not matter much as to who gave the call first. The focus should be on dethroning the anti-people forces from power.
The Party Congress through various resolutions adopted highlighted on the burning problems facing our people and the negligence of the RSS-BJP government led by Narendra Modi towards those problems. The Congress underlined that it is a government of the corporates for the corporates.
Sitaram Yechury, General Secretary, CPI (M) in his address clarified his party’s stand in the inaugural session of the 23rd party congress of CPI, as follows.
As far as economic developments are concerned, during last 4 years of Modi’s rule economy has dipped into deep crisis. Gross Domestic product has slowed down to around 6% now. Agriculture is in unprecedented distress. Unemployment and under employment have become more burning issues.
The prices of basic commodities are rising and the government in a way is encouraging it by repeatedly increasing the fuel prices. Till date, the government has increased tax on petrol and diesel nine times. This affects not just those who drive SUVs but also the poor and the middle class. There is widespread corruption in this government — the biggest example is the Rafale deal. Also they have miserably failed on their promises like bringing back black money or employment generation.
The NITI Aayog has recommended to government to target the public sector units either to dismantle or disinvest. Most of the PSUs are having huge area of land. Under their control. The aim of disinvestment is to make this land available to either corporates or real estate owners and land mafia besides weakening the public sector which is the lifeline of Indian industry. Demonetization and hasty implementation of Goods and services Tax Act have further added to the problems of the economy.
Norms of FDI are being altered every day in order to allow FDIs in retail trading, railways, defense etc. So called surgical attack on black money proved to be futile exercise as 99.8% of demonetized currency came back to banks. That means black money is being converted into white money. But government spent 8000 crore rupees on printing of new notes for no result. According an official survey due to demonetization 2.24 lakh companies pulled their shutters down and 90 lakh people have become jobless. BJP’s promise of corruption free government has become deceit. Amit Shah’s showed an increase of 300% of assets in 3 years while mentioning in affidavit submitted while filing nomination to Rajya Sabha. His son’s business profits have increased to 16000% within a short term.
The Political Review report warned that “while carrying forward the neo-liberal agenda with more vigour, the BJP regime is also spearheading a campaign of hatred, alienation, distrust and violence between religious communities. The growth of communalism has affected every sphere of life by creating a false and narrow sense of Bharityata or Indian-ness. This notion has been evoked many times by right-wing reactionary leaders. Attacking the food habits, dressing and cultures of the so called ‘foreigners’, the government and RSS are creating a sense of ‘otherness’ while pushing forward the aggressive and majoritarian agenda of Hindutva with utmost contempt for democracy, constitution and institutes.”
It further said that “the Sangh Parivar and its government are eager to cover up their colossal failures on every aspect of governance since 2014. Religious space and myths are cleverly interwoven with communal fanaticism to detract people’s attention from their pressing problems of everyday life — hunger, poverty, unemployment, price rise and attacks on Dalits, Adivasis, minorities and women. In this ideological battle, it is to be made categorically clear that Hindutva has nothing to do with Hindu religion as followed by vast majority of the people in our country. We should bear in mind that fascism is trying to make inroads in country and every aspect of people’s lives with its classic traits of racial pride and allegiance to finance capital. A close watch on social, economic and political developments of the country would underline this fact. These developments urge us to be more vigilant, responsible and dynamic to rise up to take up the challenge of the situation.”
In this crucial situation the Party Congress decided to concentrate on our organisation by giving it reorientation and by rejuvenating it. “We have to take the reports of Party Congress down below in order to implement them. We have to cultivate our party members to practice collective reading of these reports. All of us are doing many sacrifices including not paying proper attention towards the day- today needs of our families. Our aim is to create a revolutionary situation in order to complete two stages of revolution.”
Though the political situation is not in favour of the Left, we should not forget that “our weapon to fight our enemy will be our organisational strength. There are certain comrades who believe that continuous mass movements will alone set right our organisation. Some other set of comrades believe that just economic battles will lead to perfect organization. Another set of comrades will be busy throughout the day in making representations on various issues without involving either victims or beneficiaries. Some comrades confine only to give political reports and conducting political classes. All these concepts are good but only any one such concept will not help to strengthen our organization. We have to balance political reporting and adequate political education and simultaneously leading economic and political battles.” “Theory without practice is useless and practice without theory is futile.”
A stronger CPI with democratic initiatives for widest possible mass struggles from the joint platform of all secular, democratic and left forces against RSS-BJP offensive is the immediate task entrusted upon every CPI member by the 23rd Party Congress. Let us do our best towards this task! (IPA Service)
The writer is CPI general secretary