I also think that the Indian Left has to reinvent itself. But if it wants to reinvent itself then it has to also choose the path of such reinvention. Will it reinvent itself by making tactical alliance with ruling class political parties and their trusted agents? Will it reinvent itself by being subservient to the interests of the big capital and working against the interests of its basic classes of workers and peasants? Do not take it otherwise, but it seems that you have been pursued by neoliberal economics which has a peculiar version of progress and development. It precisely argues in terms of expansion of big capital and is essentially a growth obsessed project without a proper redistribution strategy. It argues in terms of trickle down theory and almost has a sense of charity and a civilisational overtone towards the exploited and oppressed people. However, contemporary neoliberal capitalism and its vision of development would inherently result into primitive accumulation of capital where large sections of poor would be displaced from their forms of living. In such a situation, the Left has to take a normative/ethical position. The Left has to resolve whether it is in favour of the corporate capital led progress and development (which is NOT the only way of progress and development) even with a cost of collateral damage like forcefully displacing peasants, petty producers, agricultural labours etc. OR it is going to defend the livelihood questions of its basic classes.
As far as India being a global power is concerned, I think it is just a fantasy of our country’s ruling elites which thinks that it is possible to become a global power even with such high degree of poverty and inequality. I must say that during the early colonial period of 16th and 17th centuries, many European powers like Spain, Italy, Portugal and Netherlands also thought of becoming a global power. History has shown that it was wishful thinking on their part when Britain and France became the two major global powers in the colonial era and finally, it was Britain which eventually became the winner in the colonial game. Thus, it is indeed wishful thinking to argue that India is going to be a global power with such massive levels of poverty, inequality and unemployment. The Left could have a say in Indian politics by becoming a relevant political force but you are aware that how it took wrong decisions, one after another, right after the 2006 West Bengal assembly elections, starting from the forceful land acquisition in Singur on the basis of a colonial law of 1894.
The Left started to gradually lose its support base in each election after 2006, starting from the May 2008 Panchayat elections. Now, we are all witnessing what a mess they are in. The presidential election is not inconsequential but it is a political election as the Left has always argued in the past. That is why they nominated a freedom fighter like Captain Lakshmi Saigal for the post of President in 2002 against the BJP led NDA candidate, APJ Abdul Kalam. In our constitution, the President has several discretionary powers, which might be misused if a long time staunch party loyalist occupies such a post. As far as the current decision of the CPI(M) to support the UPA presidential candidate is concerned, I think it would only harm the party in the long run. When the hasty decision on Singur was taken in 2006, I personally thought that it is the beginning of the end of electoral prospect of CPI(M) in West Bengal. The politically conscious Bengal electorates have given such a verdict that basically rejected the CPI(M) after 2006 in every elections. It was not the case in 2001 assembly election, when the CPI(M) won an impressive victory even after the formal alliance of the Congress and Trinamool and even after a section of media predicted about Left's defeat. In 2006 West Bengal Assembly election, the Left Front got 50.18% votes and the CPI(M) polled 37.13% votes. In 2009 Lok Sabha elections, the votes were reduced to 43.28% for LF and 33.09% for CPI(M) in West Bengal. In 2011 Assembly elections, the votes were further reduced to 41.05% for LF and 29.58% for CPI(M). Thus, one needs to ask what actually happened after 2006 that the CPI(M) is losing ground. The argument of unity of opposition between Congress and Trinamool led the LF defeat does not cut much ice simply because it cannot convincingly explain the actual reasons for the erosion of LF and CPI(M)’s own support base that began from 2008 Panchayat elections. Also, the unity of opposition argument is invalid because in 2001, the LF won convincingly with 199 seats and close to 50% votes. Perhaps, something is wrong in the kingdom of Denmark! Perhaps, something is wrong in finding easy solutions like copying Chinese model of development instead of doing hard work and sustained militant movements for the interests of peasants and workers instead of doing ritualistic token demonstrations.
With best wishes.
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