CNN-IBN and The Telegraph organized a debate on the forthcoming Assembly Elections in West Bengal. In the debate the two main contending parties were represented. The video of the program is embedded below.
General Secretary of the CPI(M), Prakash Karat answers a wide range of questions related to the ongoing assembly elections in various states in the country. Excerpts and link to original piece.
The diplomatic cable writers and the US State department staff say it quite clearly as to what they think is ideal for the US vis-a-vis West Bengal - greater engagement with the opposition in the state led by Mamata Banerjee and the overthrow of the longstanding Left Front government. The motives are not mentioned but there are no illusions. It is in the best interest of US imperialism that the Left loses in its citadel in the country. Here is pasted verbatim the Cable 230353: unclassified and commented upon thus by The Hindu newspaper - "U.S. government should ‘continue to cultivate' Mamata". It is left to the conscientous voter to decide if they should leave the fertile grounds of West Bengal - most of it owned by the ordinary people of the state because of land reforms - to be cultivated by proxy by the United States through the aegis of that lady. The cable, accessed by The Hindu through Wikileaks follows -
The left parties have called for protests during US President Barack Obama's three day visit from November 6th to November 8th to India. This pamphlet, issued by the Communist Party of India (Marxist), explains the reasons for the protests. The details of the protests' call can be seen here.
Paper Presented by CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat on "Victor Kiernan and the Left in India" at the Conference in honour of Victor Kiernan, Cambridge University, October 22, 2010
Much is being written these days, especially in the context of West Bengal, about what is wrong with the CPI (M). For a Party that has been in power in the state for more than three decades, this is hardly surprising. But if a Party has been in power in a state for more than three decades, then something must also be right with it. Besides, no matter what the outcome of the forthcoming Assembly elections, it would still be the case that almost half of the electorate in the two most intellectually-advanced states in India, West Bengal and Kerala, would have voted in them for CPI (M)-led formations. What explains this, and also the fact that, notwithstanding all its omissions and commissions, the CPI (M) still continues to attract some of the finest young minds of the country?
Live streaming of the Extended CC Meeting of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) being held in Vijayawada.
In the recent period, alongwith a number of critical discussions on the electoral set-back suffered by the CPI (M) and the Left in last Lok Sabha elections, there have been some questions raised about the practice of democratic centralism as the organizational principle of the Communist Party. Such critiques have come from persons who are intellectuals associated with the Left or the CPI (M).
Prabir Purkayastha's article on the Left, 2009 Elections and beyond. Originally published in the Centre for Policy Analysis' journal.
Democratic centralism has generally been accepted as the principle for building communist organisations, whereas it was only meant to address the organisational demands of a particular historical context in Tsarist Russia. By institutionalising centralism and leaving democracy undefined, this organisational form has fostered authoritarian tendencies and undermined the growth of new ideas in the working class movement. This is seen in India where the engagement of the communist parties with democracy has remained ad hoc and untheorised.