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Why the Left is withering away

R K Sinha |

Talking to reporters after the defeat of the CPM in Tripura, the Politburo member of the party, Brinda Karat said that the BJP was able to win the elections on money and muscle power. The Left leader is not ready to analyse the defeat. Such an approach is an insult to the people’s mandate in the state.

Leftist leaders should not forget that if elections were won on the strength of money then only millionaires and billionaires would get elected. In fact, the defeat of the Communists in Tripura is due to the mistaken arrogance of intellectualism and hypocrisy of the Party.

Elections are not won simply by giving speeches in Jawaharlal Nehru University. To win an election one has to work among the people.

You have to participate socially with the people in their hours of grief and happiness. You should be like one of them. To make a foothold in any state, hard work and strong endeavor are needed.

The Left Front ruled Tripura for 25 years. It was defeated by a party which had a vote share of less than 2 per cent in the previous election. The Left has been reduced from 49 seats in 2013 to 16 seats in 2018.

From Prakash Karat to Sitaram Yechury, the anglicized leaders of the CPM should try to find out why their party is disappearing from the political arena.

Anti-incumbency cannot be the only factor for the defeat of the Left in Tripura. The Left leaders of the likes of Yechury and Karat can only take out candlelight marches.

It appears that they are unable to launch any effective people’s movement in the country. As a result, people have started rejecting them.

The nation had seen their real face during the Indo-China war of 1962. In Baratuti locality of Delhi, the Communists had even dared to organise a meeting in favour of Communist China after the war in 1962. It is interesting to recall that those present at the meeting thrashed the Communists and forced them to leave the ground.

Another reason for the waning influence of Communists is their regressive policy. Many factories, small and big, were forced to close down resulting in sharp rise in unemployment. Because of their anti-labour policy, the trade unions of the Communist parties have lost their hold among the working class.

The Left leaders have failed to leave any imprint on social and political map of India on any major issue. The Left Party leaders also failed to work on the ground to strengthen their base.

On the contrary, the Communists ran NGOs and took funds with the help of the Congress government. The leaders misused the money and indulged in unnecessary expenses using NGO funds.

On a news channel, one CPM leader was meekly trying to convince people that the party was still a leading force in Tripura with a vote share of 44 per cent in the just held assembly election.

The Left leaders say it was not they but the Congress which was the loser in Tripura. The Congress polled just 2 per cent of votes compared to 36 per cent in the previous election.

If such specious arguments are advanced, after sometime there will be no one to remember the Communist parties in the country. The Left Front is now reduced to one state, Kerala and is not able to attract youths to its fold in any part of the country.

Of the total elected representatives of the Left only 6.5 per cent are under 25 years of age. Leaders of the Left Parties are mostly old people. According to a report of the CPM in the Vishakhapatnam convention of the party, only two out of 727 delegates in attendance were under 35 years of age.

Now let us take up West Bengal and the rule of the Left Front led by the CPM. The Left Front ruled the state from 1977 to 2011, 34 years without a break.

Jyoti Basu, who served as chief minister of the state for long, was a powerful leader. But after him the CPM has been losing elections of Lok Sabha and state assembly one after another.

In the past few decades, the Left Front is following a line that goes against public sentiment. When the entire nation had taken pride in the surgical operation across the Line of Control in Pakistan, the Communists were questioning the veracity of the surgical strike. They were demanding proof of the strike from the government inside and outside Parliament.

The Left Parties who claim to be the champions of the poor and downtrodden should be asked if they have launched any agitation for the cause of the poor and the working class, or against price rise and rising unemployment.
There is saying in Hindi “Hathi ke daant dekhane ke aur, khane ke aur”.

The Communists have been demanding reservation of jobs for Dalits in the private sector. But one can hardly find a Dalit in their Politburo. It is full of members of the upper castes.

When a reporter asked this question to Prakash Karat he looked askance. Till now only upper caste persons have occupied key positions in the party. While the party talks of a ‘caste-less society”, it is dominated by upper caste leaders.

Present day Communist leaders have lost touch with the masses. There was a time when the Communists could boast of tall leaders like Harkishen Singh Surjeet, Bhogendra Jha, Amrit Sripad Dange, Indrajit Gupta, Chaturanand Mishra, Ram Avatar Shastri, Somnath Chatterjee and Bhupesh Gupta. These leaders were men of integrity. Even when people differed with them, they were always held in high esteem.

The writer is a BJP Member of the Rajya Sabha.