Aniruddha Babar, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science
Minimizing the complexity of variations in the political opinion to a scale of left or right is common discussion in the public discourse. It is also very convenient assumption of modeling in Political Science. From historical perspective, the role of communist party in the year of 1942 is a much maligned one. The communist party had committed a tactical blunder during that period by not supporting the ‘Quit India’ Movement; the fact of which the communist formations in the country have accepted. However, communists stayed a significant category during the freedom movement and also thereafter, which has resulted in making India undergo the new alignment in its politics with distinct characteristics. The periodization of the political systems of India is debatable and it is also basically acceptable that there were a minimum of 2 key political alignments in the history of independent India prior to the current alignment of Indian politics that includes a party of the right wing that attain a majority in the parliament of India.
Dr. B.R. Ambedkar identified social structure of India as a “Building without staircase” which ghettoized the Indian society that makes populist agitation difficult and shifts the entire focus of political mobilization to caste-identity; hence the identity politics soon became a major characteristic of Indian politics. Moreover, the people of India are oriented towards religious identity too that further resulted to the shift of the politics in the orientation of more fragmented lines along religion and caste which has been more prominent after 1989, which was the beginning of the growth of neo-political movement of Hindutva Politics and degradation of communism.
In India most of the parties are left or center left wing, however, this is relevant in the sense that they happen to use the strength and power of the government for doling out the favors towards their castes and supporters which made them powerful political pressure groups. However, the electoral fundamental of these parties, like that of the Samajwadi party in the state of Uttar Pradesh appears to be very constrained however, the recently made BSP-Samajvadi alliance in Uttar Pradesh has a capacity to cause untimely tremors in the Pradesh politics impact of which will be observed up to 7 Race Course Road.
Since 2014, India has entered into a newer state of political alignment with the developments in power-dynamics of the BJP which is one single right wing party against a multiplicity of parties in the right wing movement.While most of the success of BJP is because of the ‘cultivated’ popularity of Narendra Modi, however, there are various structural aspects (for e.g. underground work of RSS cadres, tactful use of mass media, mobilization of Dalit-Muslims Votes and also the financial resources) as well. It has been seen that the right wing party politics has been successful in consolidation of the society which is more focused on saffron or Hindu section of the society as compared to the various formations of communist parties. The center left political parties such as the Congress Party have not done much for transforming the structural dynamics of the poorer or lower caste groups, notwithstanding, the performance of Congress in Karnataka State Poll catalyzed the change in the power-dynamics in Karnataka’s political play-ground. However, Bahujan Samaj Party still holds its position as the third largest National Political Party in India which has been battling on political fronts to lead the “Ambedkarite Bahujan Movement of Dalits and Tribalsin the chaos of the power-politics between BJP and Congress. The victory of N.Mahesh of Bahujan Samaj Party in Karnataka State Poll 2018, who defeated Congress A.R. Krishnamurthy gave sufficient evidence as to what the cadre based party like BSP can do to make political life of BJP and CONGRESS miserable.
The role that communist parties have played in Indian politics has become obsolete. The communist politics became a victim of the wrath of its own ideology which could no longer bear the weight of the expectations of modern India. Moreover, Communist leaders failed not only to transform their core political beliefs to connect with the changing needs of the nation but also failed to give a concrete vision of growth which resulted in the shifting of political spectrum of modern India towards right wing politics. However, there will never be a complete shift in the entire political system.
The communist’s parties, however, have been successful in alienating the communist philosophy from the youth by propagating the irrelevant ideology of class-politics. Moreover, the Revolutionary communist ideology of a ‘Classless society’ has always been irrelevant to the Indian society which is based on the structure of graded social inequality.
Communist ideology was never able to form roots in the soil of India; however, it nourished the political ambitions of the supporters of ideology in the states like West Bengal and Kerala. Moreover, the failure of Naxal Movement in radical politics and its transformation into the so called Naxalite-Maoist insurgency shows how the people’s movement deviated from its path. Therefore, the failure of overground and underground politics of communist parties and armed groups raises serious questions as to the future prospects and political validity as well as relevance of Left wing communist politics in India.
Notwithstanding, It is a fact that when right wing is getting stronger, the left wing needs to balance the scale. However, in the interest of the future of Indian Constitutional Democracy, Centre-left parties and the left wing Formations of Communist Parties and other secular forces will have to bear a historical responsibility to ensure the balancing of the country’s political system in effective manner. Moreover, the right wing will consider to it as a scale for providing better governance to the country, which makes the presence of Left and Centre Left inevitable.
Degree of Thought is a weekly community column initiated by Tetso College in partnership with The Morung Express. Degree of Thought will delve into the social, cultural, political and educational issues around us. The views expressed here do not reflect the opinion of the institution. Tetso College is a NAAC Accredited UGC recognised Commerce and Arts College. The editors are Dr Hewasa Lorin, Tatongkala Pongen, Seyiesilie Vupru, Vikono Krose and Kvulo Lorin. Portrait photographer: Rhilo Mero. For feedback or comments please email:firstname.lastname@example.org.