Saturday, 9 December 2017

Resorting to Demagogy, Hypocrisy and Bigotry, Parties of Capitalism, Lock Horns in Gujarat Assembly Polls!

-Rajesh Tyagi/ 10.12.2017

First phase of polls to Gujarat Assembly is over yesterday with a heavy 68% turnout of voters. Poll results will be announced on December 18.

Polls were scheduled to take place on 9 and 14 of this month for 182 seats in the unicameral Assembly, out of which 13 are reserved for scheduled castes and 27 for schedule tribes.

In view of the heavy voter churnout, Psephologists would predict an anti-incumbency wave. Albeit the corporate media is potraying a clear win for BJP in the polls.

Since the announcement of the polls, the two rightwing parties of the Indian elite, Congress and Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), have resorted to a dogfight raking up the issues that hardly relate to the needs of the workers and toilers. Both parties have made zealous efforts to sideline these issues to appeal to most backward sentiments of the electorate based on caste and religion. Issues like widening gap between the rich and the poor, price hike, communalism, rising crime, widening unemployment etc. have been put on backburner.

The election commission has delayed the polls in Gujarat, despite opposition from all quarters, to enable BJP to bargain and steal maximum time to dilute the effects of GST after demonetization.

Demonetisation and GST are two big planks of rival contentions in the polls. The two measures that caused great loss and hardships to the people, go to discredit of the ruling BJP. However, the opposition has failed to bring up any serious resistance to these measures in the past and present. Instead it has deceitfully permitted the two measures to go smooth to implementation by withholding any real protests against them. The fact goes that all bourgeois parties are contributors to the neo-liberal regime of capitalism and fight each other only to sit in its pilot crew.

Both the ruling BJP and the Congress have locked horns in run up to political hypocrisy, religious orthodoxy and communal bigotry. The hindu supremacist BJP, has continued, especially after 2002 communal carnage in Gujarat, where more than two thousand muslims were killed and more brutalized, maimed or raped, to present Gujarat as a model of ‘good governance’. This ‘good governance’ obviously implies fascist butchery against the minority community as a sequel to establishment of Ramrajya, a fundamentalist Hindu majoritarian state. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the then Chief Minister of Gujarat in 2002, when the BJP government under him had systematically planned and executed the pogroms. Since then, a communal divide between the hindu-muslim communities engineered and sustained by the BJP, in this vastly hindu majority state has facilitated the sustenance of the rightwing hindu supremacist governments of BJP.

Soft peddling hindu chauvinism, Congress, in turn, relies upon its own sectarian appeals to the same communal sentiments of majority community alongside its appeals to minorities. During election campaign, Congress President Rahul Gandhi, visited temples flaunted ‘janeu’, the holy thread, a symbol, associated with communal and caste chauvinism, to make a plea for his own association to the most reactionary sentiments of conservative and backward sections of the electorate.

In order to appease the right wingers inside and outside the Party, Congress has not only cornered its own left wingers but has purged them at first opportunity. At the eve of Gujarat polls, the forced exit of Manishankar Ayyar last week for naming Modi as a mean element, is a link to this chain.

Leaning upon the rightwing and failing to pose any challenge to ruling BJP, Congress has instead followed the BJP in its footsteps. It has ratified almost each and every policy of BJP on strategic aspects, offering opposition if any only to negligible details. Congress has supported BJP on its policy in Kashmir, surgical strikes in Pakistan, Demonetisation and GST. The fact goes that this very policy regime was in-situ during the previous Congress rule at the centre. Not only demonetisation and GST existed on the cards of Congress, but the Congress governments had been pioneer of neo-liberal pro-investor and pro-big business policies that BJP government under Modi is implementing with double force.

While bourgeois opposition facilitates the implementation of the liberal regime and its anti-people policies set in motion by fascists in power, the Stalinist left poses this opposition as the only viable alternative to fascists. In their turn, the parties of bourgeois opposition like Congress as well the Stalinist left have implemented the very same pro-investor and big business and policies wherever they had come to power. It were Stalinists who banned the strikes in IT sector in West Bengal and carried out brutal repression upon the peasants to facilitate the grabbing of their lands by big corporate- Tata in India and Salim in Indonesia.

Bourgeois, as well as Stalinist opposition, has failed to offer any viable alternative to the BJP in Gujarat polls. Only reinforcement that they could summon to their strength, consists of core casteist and reactionary elements, the young Turks- Jignesh, Alpesh and Hardik. In their turn, these young Turks are all cold, apathetic and hostile to socialism and working class. Even in their demagogy they have miserably failed to offer anything to the workers and toilers.

Recent years had been witness to a widespread mass resentment against the policies of successive BJP governments in Gujarat as well as at the centre, which these casteist elements have succeeded in stifling, manipulating into intransigent channels of identity politics.

Turning its back completely upon the working class in Gujarat, the Stalinist left instead of its independent mobilization, has assisted in tying the workers and youth that follow it, to the bourgeois opposition bogey led by Congress. All hopes of the Stalinist left are focused upon the bourgeois opposition led by Congress.

Unable to offer any alternative program, the Congress led bourgeois opposition and Stalinists, both are passively relying upon the fall of Modi Government by default of its own misrule. These sages have unbridled faith in destiny!

In view of absence of any serious challenge to itself in Gujarat Polls, almost certain of its victory in the polls, BJP itself has not cared even to project any local leadership or a even a concrete program, rather has relied upon the already weakened and receding wave of Narendra Modi.

The political spectrum in Gujarat is confined to contest between the bourgeois parties and leaders. The left under Stalinists is nothing more than a tutelage of bourgeois opposition, so miserable not to secure for itself even a paltry role in the poll contest. Under ploy of fighting ‘fascism’, Stalinists have assisted only in subordinating the working class and the youth to bourgeois parties and leaders. Stalinists are opposed to any and all independent mobilization of the working class to pose a direct challenge to fascism and capitalism. Paying only lip service to the cause of socialism and working class, the Stalinists propose to exchange blows with fascism within the precincts of capitalism and bourgeois democracy. They are hostile to our proposition that the fight against fascism is the class fight of working class against capitalist regime degenerating into and leaning upon fascism. Stalin himself termed fascism as dictatorship of bad elements of capitalism, saving and insulating the ‘good’ ones inside it. He sought these good elements in Chiang Kai Shek, Hitler, Churchill, Nehru and Truman, his disciples are searching for them in Rahul, Lalu, Jignesh, Alpesh and Hardik.

Elections are an important arena of political struggle that can be used as a rostrum for independent class mobilization of workers and toilers in direct opposition to capitalist-landlord parties and leaders. The false left leaders, but prevent the working class from mobilizing and posing themselves as an alternative to fascism and capitalism. Their calls for ‘democratic and secular’ alliances are cover-ups for their maneuvers to bind their followers workers and youth behind the bourgeois parties and leaders. Endorsing this clever intrigue on the eve of Gujarat elections, Sitaram Yechuri, General Secretary of the largest Stalinist party CPIM, insisted for a broad political alliance with Congress and other bourgeois parties that can be roped in, against the ruling BJP. 

This opportunist alliance, proposed by Stalin through his handmaid Dimitrov in 1935, between the working class and bourgeois parties, since gone down in history as ‘popular frontism’ has been an instrument to subdue and subjugate the working class and the youth to the yoke of so called ‘democratic bourgeoisie’ that stands a thousand miles closer to fascists than the working class. Given a chance to opt between the rule of communists and fascists, this democratic bourgeoisie, without hesitation for a moment would opt for fascists. Proposing a popular front with bourgeois opposition parties, Yechury has referred to Trotsky that Trotsky also proposed a united front against fascists. Nothing can be more far from the truth than this. Trotsky was hostile to the any alliance between working class and the bourgeoisie. Both Lenin and Trotsky agreed completely that the Bourgeoisie has got no role in revolutionary struggle. While tooth and nail opposing Popular Frontism of Stalinists, Trotsky has proposed a class alliance, a united front of workers of different political views and parties, followed by toilers, against the fascists. In stark opposition to Stalinists, Trotsky has characterized Fascism as a “Terrorist social movement of capital in crisis”.

Whatever may be the result of the polls in Gujarat and despite the terminal crisis that it faces, capitalism is confronted with no serious threat from the side of working class that keeps sitting on the fences of political spectrum. Fascism is the result of this political impotence of the working class and a punishment to it for this impotence. For it, Stalinist leaders and their bogus program and understanding of ‘democratic revolution’ is responsible that has proved to be an inexhaustible reserve of bourgeois democracy. The role of these lefts is reduced to an auxiliary force to keep the so called ‘democratic bourgeoisie’ in power and defend it to keep its power intact.

Neither the liberal bourgeois parties nor the Stalinist left presents any program or answer to fascism. Resistance to fascism can only be organised as part of overall opposition to capitalism. Fascism hoot cares for poll results. Bourgeois democracy is just a temporary vehicle for it. It must be countered by the working class and the toilers behind it, in every street.

The task before the conscious workers and youth, is the independent mobilization of the workers and toilers on class axis that in turn implies the political education and organization of the advanced sections of the proletariat into the party of revolutionary Marxism- the Workers’ Socialist Party.

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