(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
May 24, 2009
Party Shall Draw Correct
Lessons And Move Forward
we go to press, the Congress-led UPA has staked claim to form the
government submitting a list of 274 newly
of the Lok Sabha. Additionally, a list
of 48 MPs has been received by the president of
The CPI(M) had all along, in the Political Resolutions of successive Party Congresses articulated the need for the creation of a third political alternative that can effect a progressive shift in the policy trajectory of the country. Such an alternative cannot, obviously, be a cut and paste arrangement on the eve of elections. This can only emerge through sustained popular struggles. There are no short cuts.
These election results, however, constitute the worst electoral debacle for the CPI(M). In the first elections that the CPI(M) contested, in 1967, after the battle against revisionism in the Indian communist movement and the formation of the Party in 1964, it had won 19 seats. In these elections, we have won only 16. All the four Left parties together have won only 24 seats. This requires a serious self-critical introspection and review in order to identify the mistakes and shortcomings and to draw proper lessons. This is absolutely necessary to regain the support and confidence of those sections of the people who have been alienated from the Left and to further consolidate and expand its influence in the future. This process has begun.
run-up to these elections saw the joining together of all
who made a determined bid to dent the Left electorally in its strong
bastions. During the course of the
Singur and Nandigram developments in
an anti-Communist gang-up against the CPI(M) has happened on earlier
as well. Soon after the formation of the CPI(M), there was a nationwide
repression let loose on a false charge that the CPI(M) was
of our leaders had contested elections from jail and won. During the
the 1970s, following the undemocratic
dismissal of duly elected United Front governments in
As we reach our readers, the UPA government led by Dr Manmohan Singh would have assumed office for the second time. Around the same corresponding time in 2004, hectic discussions were taking place for a Common Minimum Programme (CMP) that would be implemented by the then government. It was on the basis of this CMP that the Left had extended its outside support in 2004. This time around, there is a total silence of any CMP for this edition of the UPA government. This is not surprising because of the absence of the Left's support this time appears to have motivated the Congress and the UPA partners to ignore the pro-people approach which the Left brought to centre stage in 2004. Ironically, as the CPI(M) Polit Bureau statement says: “What stood the Congress in good stead (in 2009 elections) were some of the measures adopted by the UPA government like the NREGA, the Forest Tribal Act and other social welfare measures which were pushed through under Left pressure.”
It is precisely this absence of concern for pro-people policies that defines the role of the Left in the future. Given the growing burdens on the people due to the global economic recession and relentless price rise of essential commodities, it is clear that popular struggles forcing the government to adopt a pro-people policy direction will have to be mounted in the interests of our people. The CPI(M) shall, with determination, champion the interests of the people by strengthening popular struggles for better livelihood while, at the same time, it shall safeguard and further strengthen the secular democratic foundations of modern India.
May 20, 2009