People's Democracy

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


No. 52

December 26, 2010



Dichotomy in Govt’s

Proclamations And Practice


THE plenary session of the AICC was held at Burari, in rural Delhi at a time when the Congress-led UPA government is being battered by corruption scandals, one after another. The triumphalist mood engendered by the May 2009 Lok Sabha elections has dissipated. Relentless price rise, an intractable agrarian crisis and narrowing employment opportunities have severely dented the “aam admi” platform of the Congress. The organisation is facing increasing problems -- the revolt by Jaganmohan Reddy in Andhra Pradesh and the failure to achieve any breakthrough in the Bihar assembly elections being pointers.


Faced with the avalanche of corruption and the loss of credibility of the prime minister and the government in tackling such scandals, the Congress leadership decided that offence is the best form of defence. It accused the BJP of hypocrisy while talking about corruption and correctly pointed to the record of the NDA government and the present Karnataka government. However, the political resolution has accused the CPI(M) too of actively indulging in corruption in the states where it runs governments. The Congress party knows very well that not a single minister in the Left-led governments is facing a corruption charge. The speech of the Congress president sought to put the Congress on a high moral pedestal as far as corruption is concerned by claiming to have taken prompt action in removing chief ministers and ministers even before corruption charges were established against them. What is not admitted is that the chief minister of Maharashtra and others had to be removed when it became untenable for them to continue in office in the light of mounting evidence of wrong doing.


There is no sign of realisation that the Congress party has become steeped in corruption due to the nexus of big business and government which has developed under its dispensation. The Congress leadership sees nothing wrong in having its ministers in government promoting the interests of big corporates and getting favours in return. The refusal of the UPA government to have a joint parliamentary committee enquiry into the 2G spectrum scandal stands out as an example of how the Congress refuses to come to terms with the rot that has set in the higher echelons of the government.


Both the political and economic resolutions adopted in the session seek to portray the party as pursuing social democratic policies. This is just a camouflage. The economic resolution talks of the rights of the people as the centerpiece of its policies of inclusive growth.  The right to work, the right to education, the right to land, the right to food etc. But there is a curious dichotomy in the proclamation of these rights and the practice of the government. The economic resolution declares that “the right to land has been, by and large, assured to the tiller of the land”. This breathtaking pronouncement ignores the fact that land reforms have not been implemented in most states except in a limited fashion. All over the country the peasantry is being dispossessed of land thanks to the policy of helping the land grab by the corporates and mining companies. The right to food remains a distant dream for the millions who are hungry and malnutritioned. The primary responsibility for this is the central government’s policy of eroding and limiting the public distribution system. The resolution vainly tries to put the blame on the state governments.


The resolution talks of the key role for the public sector when the Manmohan Singh government is busy selling off shares of the most profitable public sector enterprises. It tries to mislead the people by assuring that having 51 per cent equity will ensure government control. The right to education is being curtailed by the new policies of the UPA government which seeks to promote an elite educational system catering to the better off and privileged sections through rampant commercialisation and privatisation.


On the political issues, the political resolution attacks the CPI(M) and the Left by making the false allegation that in West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura there is a cycle of violence for political or electoral advance. In West Bengal, the Congress party is playing the role of a junior partner to the Trinamul Congress in its violent assaults on the CPI(M) and the Left. In districts like Murshidabad and Burdhaman, the Congress party is resorting to physical attacks on CPI(M) cadres. In Tripura, the Congress has the history from the time of Rajiv Gandhi of allying with the separatist forces which have been indulging in terrorist violence just to weaken the CPI(M) and the Left Front. In Kerala, the Congress party does not have any hesitation in joining hands with the caste and communal forces to fight the CPI(M) and the LDF.


The political resolution resorts to a canard by accusing the Left parties of working in tandem with the BJP in opposing the Congress and the UPA.  The CPI(M) and the Left are opposed to the economic and foreign policy positions of the Congress and the UPA government. In fact it is the Congress and the BJP that have a common approach of following neo-liberal economic policies and a pro-US foreign policy.


The foreign policy resolution reads like a report card of the external affairs ministry of the UPA government. It seeks to mask the reality that India has moved into the orbit of the United States as far as foreign policy is concerned. One of the Wikileaks cables from the US embassy in New Delhi stated with satisfaction that Indian officials are coordinating foreign policy with the United States, though they are loathe to admit this publicly. The resolution states that “The traditional leadership role of India in leading from the front the Third World and movements for emancipation of Asia and Africa has evolved into a 21st century leadership for an equitable global order.” If only this were true. There is no doubt that India has abandoned the leading role in the third world and movements for emancipation. What has replaced it is a quest for becoming a “global power” under US auspices.


On the completion of 125 years of its foundation, the Congress party shows symptoms of decay which has set in due to the corrosive effects of becoming an instrument of the big bourgeoisie naked for power and privileges divorced from the problems and issues of the “aam admi”.

 (December 22, 2010)