People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 23

June 15 , 2008


Whither RSP?

By Political Commentator

THE Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) has adopted a stance which is harmful for Left unity nationally and for the strengthening of the Left Front in West Bengal. The decision taken at its recent central committee meeting and the utterances of some of its leaders like Kshiti Goswami and Abani Roy indicate this trend.

After the central committee meeting, the RSP announced that it will convene “a conclave of left parties, groups and like minded intellectuals” to discuss about the formation of  a “broader left front”. There is no harm in striving to broaden the Left Front. But how does the RSP propose to go about it?  The RSP leadership stated at the press conference that they are inviting parties like SUCI, naxalites and Maoists.

One of the invitees the SUCI recently forged an alliance with the Trinamul Congress during the panchayat elections in West Bengal. Is that what qualifies them for attending the conclave? Does the RSP consider such an alliance characteristic of a Left party?

A clue can be found about this in the manner in which Kshiti Goswami, who attended the press conference after the central committee meeting commented about the Trinamul. He said: “Though we have not yet analysed the political character of the Trinamul Congress, we refuse to believe that she (Mamata Banarjee) heads a reactionary party.  Singur or Nandigram, she tried to support the issues we fought for.”

To this, he added that the CPI(M) could not be called a Left party only because of its name. So the reasoning is clear. According to this 'revolutionary socialist”, the Trinamul Congress is not a reactionary party but the CPI(M) cannot be called a Left party.  From this, one can gather that the RSP leader tacitly approves what the SUCI has done. It is this absurd dialectic which governs the call for a conclave.  

Abani Roy writing in the pro-BJP newspaper The Pioneer (June 7, 2008) has gone further and explained that this step constitutes “a warning to the CPI(M).”

The Maoists are the other invited guests to this revolutionary get together.  In West Bengal alone, more than 30 cadres of the CPI(M) have been killed by the Maoist gangs in the last two years. For Kshiti Goswami and Abani Roy, the Maoists are the real Left. For the former the CPI(M) is not a Left party and for the latter the CPI(M) leaders are “more evil” than life-long capitalists. The CPI(M) should presumably still be grateful, that it is atleast being invited.

Abani Roy, in his anxiety to demarcate from the CPI(M), has crossed all borders of political decorum. The RSP was a part of the Left parties call nationally and the Left Front's call in West Bengal for a general strike against the petrol price hike. Yet, he condemns this strike in West Bengal by stating that the CPI(M) “used threats and intimidation to enforce a bandh”  on June 5. Can there be a more hypocritical and deceitful position than this?

One can understand political criticism and different views expressed by the RSP but such low level tactics do not behove a leader of a party who is a partner in the Left Front.

The Left Front in West Bengal is a product of decades of class struggles and mass movements.  The past history of the Left movement tells us that when the ruling classes sharpen their attack on the Left, there have been vacillations and even desertion.  One should not forget the lessons of the early seventies.  Disrupting the Left Front is a coveted desire of the reactionaries and communalists. The RSP should ponder, whom the actions and statements of some of its leaders are serving at the present juncture.

The CPI(M) is prepared to discuss all political and policy questions with its Left Front partners, so that differences are ironed out and unity strengthened. This is what the people of West Bengal and the country want. It is for the RSP to decide whether it wants to be part of this process or aid those who wish to disrupt Left unity.