After the defeat of CPM in Tripura, Polit Bureau Member of the Party Brinda Karat said that BJP was able to win elections by flexing money and muscle power. The Left leader is not ready to analyse its defeat. Such approach is an insult to the people’s mandate in the state.
Our Leftist leaders should not forget that if elections were won on the strength of money then only millionaire and billionaire would get elected. In fact, the defeat of the Communists in Tripura is due to mistaken arrogance of intellectualism and hypocrisy of the party. Elections are not won simply by delivering speech in Jawaharlal Nehru University. To win election one has to work for the welfare of people. You have to participate socially with masses in their hour of grief and happiness. You should be like one of them. To make foothold in any state hard work and strong endeavour are needed. You can’t march ahead on the strength of people like Kanhaiya ‘Azadi’ Kumar. By cursing the nation you will not get votes.
Reason for waning of Left
The Left Front ruled the state for 25 years. It was defeated by a party in Tripura which had a vote share of less than 2 per cent in the previous election. The Left Party’s strength has been reduced from 49 seats in 2013 to 16 seats in 2018. From Prakash Karat to Sitaram Yechury, the Anglicised leaders of the CPM should try to find out why their party is diminishing from the political arena. Anti-incumbency cannot be the only factor for the defeat of the Left Front in Tripura. The Left leaders of the likes of Yechury and Karat can only take out candle march. It appears that they are unable to launch any effective people movement in the country. As a result of this people have started rejecting them.
Well, the nation had seen their real face during 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 note that people present at the meeting thrashed the Communists and forced them to leave the ground.
Another reason of waning influence of the Communists is their regressive policies; 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 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 other issue. Theyhave also failed to work on ground to strengthen their base. On the contrary, the Communists ran NGOs and accepted funds with the help of the Congress government. The leaders misused the NGOs funds and indulged in unnecessary expenses.
In 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 recently concluded assembly election. The Left leaders asked where they have lost in Tripura and it was the defeat of Congress Party. The Congress polled just 2 per cent of votes compared to 36 per cent in the previous assembly election. No wonder, after sometime there will be no one to remember the Communist Parties in the country. The Left Front is now reduced to a one state Party in Kerala. The Left Parties are unable to attract youths to their fold in any part of the country except the students of Jawaharlal Nehru University(JNU).
Of total elected representatives of the Left only 6.5 percent are under 25 years of age. Leaders of the Left Parties are full of elderly people. There is hardly any young leader in the Left Front. According to a report of the CPM in the Vishakhapatnam convention of the CPM out of 727 delegates who attended the meet only two of them were under 35 years of age.
Now let us take up West Bengal. The Left Front led by the CPM ruled the state for a period of 34 years from 1977 to 2011 without any break. Jyoti Basu, who served as Chief Minister of the state for long duration was a powerful leader. But the CPM has been facing defeat in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha polls.
In the past few decades, the Left Front is following its own line that goes against the public sentiment. When the entire nation was praising and taking pride in the surgical strike carried across the Line of Control in Pakistan, the Communists were questioning the veracity of this operation. They were demanding proof of the surgical strike from the government inside and outside the Parliament.
The Left Parties who claim to be the champion 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.
How much they care about Dalits?
There is a saying in Hindi “Hathi ke daant dekhane ke aur, khane ke aur”. The Communists have been demanding reservation of jobs for Dalits in Private Sector. But one can hardly find a Dalit in its Polit Bureau. Members from Upper Caste dominate the Polit Bureau. When a reporter asked this question to Prakash Karat he looked skeptically. Till now only upper caste Brahmin, Kayastha and some other high caste people have been occupying key positions in the party. The CPM watchers say that though the CPM talks of ‘caste-less society’ it is dominated by upper caste leaders.
Because of their duplicity, the ground is fast slipping out under the feet of the CPM. Present day leaders have lost touch with the masses. There was a time when the Communists could boast of tall leaders like Harkishan Singh Surjeet, BhogendraJha, Sripad Amrit Dange, Indrajit Gupta, Chaturanan Mishra, Ram Avatar Shastri, Somnath Chatterjee and Bhupesh Gupta who led the Left Front. These leaders were men of integrity. Even while people differed with them, they always had high regard as public held them in good esteem.
R K Sinha
(The writer is a Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha)