The ‘Congress Question’ in the CPI(M) and the Problem of Historical Relevance

The CPI(M) is currently being rocked by an internal ‘debate’ over what has emerged, to put it in somewhat old-style communist speak, the ‘Congress Question’. I put the word ‘debate’ in quotation marks because, there is a touch of innocence to the way positions in support of a possible alliance with the Congress are being expounded by respected, senior intellectuals like Irfan and Sayera Habib in their letter to the party politbureau or Badri Raina in his article in a leading newspaper. These statements follow the dramatic exit of another widely respected Central Committee (CC) member, Jagmati Sangwan, from the party for precisely the opposite reason – of the CC going soft on the Bengal CPM for having gone against the commonly arrived at understanding in allying with the Congress. There is undoubtedly a potential debate here but since the common reference point in both – the Habibs’ letter as well as in Raina’s article – happens to be the recent election in West Bengal, one cannot help feeling that it is either a  ‘debate’ over a non-problem or is, at best, a question badly posed.

I say this for two reasons. First, the West Bengal CPI(M) [henceforth CPM-WB] is not really fighting any principled battle – all its exertions in West Bengal, contra Irfan and Sayera Habib, are directed, not against the proto-fascist Modi regime but against the Trinamool Congress whose local party apparatus is substantially what it has inherited from the CPM-WB itself. In the present context of West Bengal, what is urgently required is a different Left platform (with different faces that speak a different language) that can take the place vacated by the CPM-WB. In the absence of any such alternative, nothing can prevent the BJP from emerging as the main opposition party – and if that happens, that will be the end of any kind of Left politics for a very long time to come. A ramshackle CPM-Congress alliance as the opposition to the TMC is the surest way of making the Left (even in name) irrelevant in the state’s politics. The CPM-WB’s desire for an alliance with the Congress is motivated not by the need to defeat the Modi regime’s incursions but rather to return to power any which way. This seemed such a distant dream before the elections that the latter was prepared to go into an alliance with the Congress and entertain the possibility of a joint Congress-CPM-WB ministry, even as junior partner, were electoral fortunes to be reversed by the coming into being of the alliance. Thankfully, this possibility seems ever so remote now, following the election results, despite the alliance that we need not worry about it anymore. Continue reading “The ‘Congress Question’ in the CPI(M) and the Problem of Historical Relevance”

Islamic Banking in India – For Financial Inclusion of Muslims or to squeeze them further ?


(Photo Courtesy : http://www.malaysiagazette.com)

Faith based banking in a country which has secularism enshrined in its constitution ! Does not it sound anachronous ?

Well, as far as the present dispensation at the centre led by BJP is concerned – which has an altogether different take on secularism – it does not seem to think so. And that’s why it has gladly accepted the proposal by the Saudi Arabia based Islamic Development Bank (IDB) – an international investment organisation – to start its operations here. In fact this proposal is considered a positive outcome of PM Modi’s visit to Saudi Arabia sometime back.( April 2016) Although a date has not been announced when the Bank would start its operations here, all the formalities regarding its launching have been completed and even the city for its first branch in India has been identified. Ahmedabad would see the first branch of this Bank. Continue reading “Islamic Banking in India – For Financial Inclusion of Muslims or to squeeze them further ?”

Congratulations on the Completion of Two Years of Government: Reaction of JNU student, Bihu Chamadia

Guest Post by BIHU CHAMADIA

Congratulations on the completion of two years of government. But I just want to ask a simple one line question. Completion of two years but at what cost? At the cost of increase in the number of farmer suicides, at the cost of creating war-like situations in educational institutions, at the cost of acting as a catalyst of widening the gap between hindu-muslim, at the cost of increasing imports and decreasing exports. Celebration on such a large scale because of course it is the first ever government in the history of the world to complete 2 years of governance ! With on-going crisis in the country BJP spends 1000 crores on a programme for this celebration. We would have no problem if this money was yours but sadly it’s not its ours. So now to all the tax payers who had problem with JNU raising its voice I ask you have you people become blind and deaf or are suffering from amnesia and forgot how to read and write.

Well, you speak well Mr Modi but the problem is that you only speak. You and your whole cabinet knows that each and every student of these educational institutes can give you people a befitting reply to all your one liners but we choose not to. People laugh at what your ministers says and say what a fool but I have a completely opposite view. You people are not fool you people are smart, very smart indeed.  Your every policy and every one liner can have a nice reply. Continue reading “Congratulations on the Completion of Two Years of Government: Reaction of JNU student, Bihu Chamadia”

Reading Phule – Now No More Silences!

“Lack of education lead to lack of wisdom,

Which leads to lack of morals,

Which leads to lack  of progress,

Which leads to lack of money,

Which leads to the oppression of the lower classes,

See what state of the society one lack of education can cause!”

  • Jyotiba Phule

..Most people do not realize that society can practise tyranny and oppression against an individual in a far greater degree than a Government can. The means and scope that are open to society for oppression are more extensive than those that are open to Government; also they are far more effective. What punishment in the penal code is comparable in its magnitude and its severity to excommunication? Who has greater courage—the Social Reformer who challenges society and invites upon himself excommunication or the political prisoner who challenges Government and incurs sentence of a few months or a few years imprisonment?..

(Ranade, Gandhi and Jinnah, Address delivered by Dr Ambedkar on the 101 st birthday celebration of M G Ranade, 18 th January, 1943)

 Introduction

Understanding or rereading a historical figure – whose life and times have impacted generations of scholars and activists – who has been subjected to praise as well scrutiny by best brains of our times becomes a challenging task.  One gets a feeling that whatever has to be said has already been said and perhaps there is not much novelty left. An added challenge becomes when you are face to face with scholars/activists who could be considered experts on the issue having done more detailed and through work on the subject. Continue reading “Reading Phule – Now No More Silences!”

The Sin and the Error : Ravi Sinha

Guest Post by RAVI SINHA

…it takes an error to father a sin. ─ J. Robert Oppenheimer[1]

Future historians of India may well describe the past year as a year of political sin. This was the year in which the man who had earlier presided over the Gujarat Carnage was awarded the ultimate prize. The year saw an election that touched a new low marked by shallowness, vulgarities and lies – in no small measure by the labors of the man himself. Equally appalling have been the exertions of a large class of literati and glitterati to portray philistinism and inanities spouted by the most powerful mouth as wisdom of a visionary leader.

An entire country seems to have gone blind – unable to see that the emperor has no clothes. In this age of incessant television it should be obvious to anyone that the supreme leader does not carry conviction even when enunciating relatively higher banalities. He is at his natural best only when he mocks someone as a shehzada or slanders and vilifies an entire community through phrases such as ame paanch, amara pachees. It is an irony of history that the republic which had Nehru as its first prime minister has one now for whom even common mythology is too cerebral. He must vulgarize Pushpak Viman and Ganesha and reduce them to quackeries of aviation and surgery.

Misfortune of the nation goes beyond the man. Forces of the diabolic housed in the hydra-headed Parivaar can now accomplish the impossible. They can now occupy the political center stage without leaving off the lunatic fringe. They can adopt Gandhi without renouncing Godse; erect world’s tallest statue of a leader who had punished their forefathers for assassinating Gandhi; even co-opt Bhagat Singh without batting an eyelid about what he stood for and what he had to say about ideologies like theirs. They can further refine the art of doublespeak. Their “statesmen” can pave the way for corporate plunder and call it sab ka vikas (development for all). Their “ideologues” can advocate sab ka saath (inclusion of all) by exhorting Hindu women to give birth to a minimum of four children each, lest Hindus are reduced to a minority “in their own country”. Continue reading “The Sin and the Error : Ravi Sinha”

While “Exposing 300 days of Modi’s Rule”, Let us not fall into the Trappings of Old Congress Style Politics: Nayan Jyoti

Guest Post by Nayan Jyoti

SOME QUESTIONS IN THE CONTEXT OF MASS ORGANISATIONS OF CPI(ML)LIBERATION, CPI, CPI(M) & OTHERS INVITING CONGRESS, RJD, JD(U) TO DEFEND ‘SECULARISM, INDIAN CONSTITUTION, INDIAN NATIONALISM’

Janta Dal (United) leader Ali Anwar, in an ‘united’ program in Jantar Mantar on 19th March had a frank admission to make in the first 15 minutes of his speech: “Elections ki hi baat se shuru kare, to haan, hum sab milkar Modi ko harayenge” (“If we begin with the question of elections, yes, we will unite to defeat Modi together”). He was indicating a plain and simple ‘unity’ of convenience for elections, of a converging pole in Indian politics. He indicated: “Bihar assembly elections are waiting to happen.” He of course, remembered the theme of ‘secularism’ for the event and said, “now I will say a few ideological things” and did utter a few lines against the BJP-RSS.

Delhi’s Jantar Mantar on 19th March thus saw a (not very?) strange unity. Various “civil society and secular political parties, victims, artists, intellectuals” came together to organize an Exposing 300 days of Modi’s Rule program. Many of the organizers included mass organisations of the Left like AISA, AICCTU, AIPWA connected with CPI(ML)Liberation, and SFI, AIDWA, CITU, DYFI, AILU connected with CPI(M), and AITUC, NFIW, PWA related to CPI, among others. In these dark times of achhe din, where unity and collaboration of various left, democratic and progressive forces has come up with renewed necessity to fight the present regime, it becomes important for us to interrogate such attempts without any sectarianism. An important question that requires asking here is the basis of these ‘Unities’ and Forums being variously attempted. ‘Unity’ is definitely required in these times of combined attack of brutal neoliberal and communal attack, but standing on what ground, and in what direction? Continue reading “While “Exposing 300 days of Modi’s Rule”, Let us not fall into the Trappings of Old Congress Style Politics: Nayan Jyoti”

Footsoldiers in Search of an Icon

“The epitaph for the RSS volunteer will be that he was born, he joined the RSS and died without accomplishing anything.”-V. D. Savarkar

(D.V.Kelkar, “The R.S.S.” Economic Weekly ( 4 Feb 1950: 132) Page 36, The Brotherhood in Saffron,The RSS and The Hindu Revivalism, Andersen and Damle,Vistaar, 1986, Delhi)

 

Veer Savarkar was a Veer Purush who was not scared of death. He was a Shastra Upasak and Shaasrta Upasak: Shri Narendra Modi

May 29, 2013 Author: admin (http://www.narendramodi.in/)

I

Celebrations at the central hall of Parliament are a marker of the political ambience in the country.

The change of guard at the centre was very much visible at the place recently where the entire top brass of BJP including PM Narendra Modi were present to celebrate the birth anniversary of Savarkar. Modi described Savarkar as a prolific writer, poet and social reformer. “Tributes to Veer Savarkar on his birth anniversary. We remember and salute his tireless efforts towards the regeneration of our motherland.” Continue reading “Footsoldiers in Search of an Icon”