CPI(M) is facing a tough time in West Bengal under the lumpen rule of Mamata Banerjee. The situation reminds one of the dark days of semi-fascist terror. Not only CPI(M), but the entire working class movement in West Bengal is facing repression under her oppressive rule. She has the support of the entire reactionary elements in state and was trying to get support from other parts of the country using the presidential election as an opportunity.
It is politically right that, CPI(M) has decided to pitch camps against Mamata by supporting Pranab, the nominee of the Congress. This is a pressing local or regional need and should not be overlooked, in the name of some illusory all India policy. Such situations need to be provided for in the revolutionary politics of a vast multinational country like India.
Neither Congress nor BJP as well as no regional party should be seen as untouchable in the present phase of India's Peoples Democratic Revolution, wherein the primary task is building up a revolutionary party, which has to be federal in character like the Soviet party before the founding of CPSU in 1952(?). CPI(M) should use this occasion for the re-thinking of its organizational-political strategy which is getting out of synch with Indian realities. Nehru had tried to develop a multinational state inspired by the USSR model, and looking back one may say, it was a fair success. And, I believe, despite its dissolution within seven decades, USSR was a giant step forward, historically.
Working class movement is slowly reorganizing itself worldwide, to catch up with the post-Soviet situation ideologically, politically as well as organizationally. CPI(M) and its West Bengal unit have plenty to contribute in this re-envisioning process. Sensibilities of the middle class intelligentsia should not stand in the way of facing up the challenge of emerging fascist rule. CPI(M) leadership has done well by endorsing the sentiments of the working class movement in West Bengal.
Chairman, Cochin Centre for Policy Initiatives
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