For Social Justice Sensitive Corrective Left Intervention

The current debate between the Communist Party of India (Marxist) CPIM and the Student Federation of India-JNU reflects the growing contradictions between the Left movement on crucial political and ideological principals. However, the possibilities to engage in this debate in defense of the progressive and revolutionary ideals are deemed as it remained restricted to mere campus level political activities and indulge in mud slandering on individual names.  

The disagreement shown by the SFI-JNU against the CPIM has a limited future as it hardly provides a programmatic corrective space to strengthen the Left movement. On the other hand the Party has understood this rebel group as a collection of ‘young adventurists’ who has shown disregards towards working in the mass organization and has disrespected the Party’s discipline. Such accusation reflects the inability of the party to engage with crucial political dissents in a democratic and reflective way. JNU as a space for critical thinking should be explored prudently to advance the people’s struggles towards its ideal ends.

We the undersigned members distance ourselves from this particular debate in order to bring in notice the crucial issue of social justice. In the above mentioned debate the concern related to the poor, working classes, Dalits, Adivasis and Muslims is consciously absent, making it a superficial discourse between alienated social elites.   

Left politics especially represented by the CPIM is in its one of the worst phases. A spectre of ideological and political questions is haunting the party. In the recently concluded 20th Party Congress of the CPIM (April 2012), it reprimanded the Congress and the BJP for their anti-people economic policies and pledged to form a non-Congress and non-BJP political alliance in the future. Therefore when the party contemplated  to provide an uncritical support to Pranab Mukherjee as presidential candidate it is read within the critical circle not only as a surrender of its newly drafted political resolution for petty bourgeois tactical line but also detrimental towards the growing struggles against the neo-imperialist onslaughts. Further, the tactical line of ‘gaining out of the fissure between TMC and the Congress’ by the party became the joke of the town as soon as Mamta Banerjee announced her support to the current President in office.

A Marxist party should have such a foundational understanding which can help it to serve the interest of the working classes. The party should activate its members to enhance the utilitarian merit of the deprived groups and must be engaged in developing revolutionary mass spirit for bringing greater transformation in the socio-economic spheres. In the era of neo-liberal economic policies, the working class people, under the leadership of the CPIM, are engaged in a consistent struggle for advancing the interests of the working classes, farmers and the forest dwellers. However, the entire Left movement in India appears impressive mainly on its programmatic understanding but has shown limitations in achieving impressive landmarks for the working classes. The organized Trade Union activities in Railways, Banks, Textile Mills and other Public Sector Units is facing brutal attacks since the inception of economic globalization and as the vanguard party of the working classes it has limitations in providing militant leadership to the struggling groups. 

In the current functioning of the Party the celebrated class perspectives appears compromised and distracted from its goal. The generalized argument of strategic political alliance in favor of the leading bourgeois parties has crippled the ideological merit of the Left movement and has turned the CPIM into a quasi ‘social democrat’ party in defense of the middle class political ideals. The party is relying more on tactics of political alliance to cover up its failure in mobilizing and unifying the oppressed and marginalized groups under the red flag. The failure of the Left movement to launch impressive and defining people’s movements has orphaned the oppressed groups and strengthens the imperialist domination.

Further, on social questions, the possibility that the growing political consciousness of the socially deprived groups can be utilized to build impressive alliances between marginalized groups has not been pondered upon. The limitations of the Left to provide vanguard leadership against social discrimination and in formulating radical policies for advancing representation of the Dalits and Other Backward Castes (OBCs) and Muslims in the public spheres has alienated these groups from the left movement.    

The party has to realize that the neo-liberal economic policies in India have created unprecedented class contradictions in the contemporary society. The rapidly mounting struggles by the poor city dwellers for basic human rights, agitations of Adivasis for the protection of their land and forest resources, the growing pleas against the demonization of Muslims as second rate citizens and terrorists, youths and students against privatization and lack of employment opportunities and the growing social and political consciousness amongst the Dalits and the OBCs for social justice. These are the reflections on the visible crises in the socio-economic and cultural spheres and cannot be resolved without building independent and aggressive struggles of the oppressed people against the upper caste hegemony and bourgeois middle class domination.   

The current crises because of the disagreements over certain political issues are important but it is still distant from the certain pertinent questions of majority deprived groups. The growing destitution of poor, marginalization and discrimination of women, Dalits and Adivasis, the exclusion and repression of Muslims in our quotidian life should become the primary concern of the Left in India. However, it seems that the Party is mostly indulge in petty bourgeois tactical issues than thinking to build impressive struggles for social justice and economic welfare of the poor deprived masses. On the other hand, the rebel group of JNU has also restricted its criticism mainly to the superficial tactical lines of the party rather than endorsing new radical political resolutions in favor of the poor struggling social and economic groups. 

There is an immediate need to open critically deliberation on the future of Left movement in India. One has to seriously reflect upon the social characteristics of the Communist party’s leadership and its impact over the ideological merit. The seer absence of effective representation of Dalits, Adivasis, Muslims and OBCs in the decision making bodies of the party and mass organizations has never became an issue of deliberation within the Left movement. Time has come to invite interventions from the deprived groups in deciding the future of Left movement in India. Also, the peripheral treatment to the question of social justice in the party program and political resolutions should not be tolerated further. The Communist party must build a people’s struggle by providing equal space to the class and caste questions against the growing bourgeois-brahmanical onslaughts.


Harish Wankhede, Rajiv Ranjan, Manzur Ali, Aftabh Alam, Sanjay Das and Mrityunjay Prabhakar