The latest Assembly election of five states of the country yielded chequered results. The Congress, one of the two major bourgeois parties now in the opposition in the national scene, emerged with overwhelming majority in Chhattisgarh, and as the single largest party in the states of Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh. In all the three states it ousted the BJP from power which now forms the Union government . In Rajasthan the Congress was in an alliance which fell one short of the majority mark, managed thereafter. In Madhya Pradesh it was marginally ahead of the BJP. In Telangana a regional bourgeois party, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, comfortably retained its power pushing the Congress back and in Mizoram the Mizo National Front, also a regional party, wrested power from the Congress. Finer details revealed a few more noteworthy features. The first and the foremost, taken together, all the five states turned away from the BJP. Chhattisgarh ended a 15-year long BJP rule. In Rajasthan, the Congress took the rein ultimately with support from its allies and others. In Madhya Pradesh the number of seats gained by the Congress equalled the number lost by the BJP. Though the former handed over a few seats to the BJP it had in the Vindhya region, it ultimately won the rat race for the kurshi or chair. In Telangana and Mizoram, the BJP had to remain satisfied with one seat each.
To judge this result further, the first point is what was the ambience in which the elections took place. In one word, it was marked by an intense anti-BJP-RSS current in people flowing underneath all outward humdrums in media and social-political domain. People seemed to be coming out of the spell of the pleasantries of the rhetoric of Narendra Modi, the prime minister. The four and a half years of BJP rule at the Centre and for different spans in a number of states, definitely provided the background. His party winning the 2014 Loksabha election by overwhelming margin, Narendra Modi entered Parliament jubilantly touching the ground at the entrance of the ‘sacred citadel of democracy’, as he theatrically termed it. Before or immediately after the election with equal, if not more, drama he made promises to the people. He vowed to bring achche din or good days for the country. He glibly assured a fairly fat sum for the bank account of each Indian poor. He boastfully called for a ‘Make in India’ drive to boost sagging industry, with which slogan he also tried to allure the huge army of unemployed with the day-dream of plenty of jobs. There were many more. But as days passed by, the BJP leaders including the party president Amit Shah, even openly admitted that those pledges were nothing but chunawi jumla or election stunts; achche din vanished into thin air with prices rushing sky-high to torment people and add more and more profit to the monopolists and their corporate. Demonetization, again dramatically clamped at midnight with the pious declaration to curb black money and terrorism, left so-called targets unscathed. But it surely made bank accounts run dry for not only the poor and middle class , but also small and middle businessmen. GST, proclaimed to be a single tax for the country, turned out to be multi-stage and multiple bunch of taxes which added fuel to the fire of woes of the business sector in particular and people in general with its complexities and more price hike. Sagging industry bogged down deeper into mire with workers and youth with or without jobs, frantically looking fora way out. Hit by the market economy of the reigning capitalism, the peasantry, with huge cost of all they needed for cultivation and the meagre price they got in return from the market, were trapped for their life in debts which dragged them to taking their own life in thousands while others are languishing. On the whole, the BJP rule left the economy shattered for people and brought down heaven for the rich and celebrities to race for the leading positions in the world. As for the sacred democracy, the regimented saffron brigade of the RSS-BJP and their fringe organizations unleashed a multipronged reign of communal terror. It included cow-vigilantism, cruel minority and dalit bashing and lynching, mindless atrocities on women and children, killing of radical thinkers, annihilation of any opposition in the name of nationalism, anti-terrorism and development, destruction of all leading social-cultural-political, even legal institutions packing them with RSS- BJP activists or supporters, saffronization of education to wipe out the vestiges of scientific , secular education still remaining, spread of obscurantism, bigotry, distortion of history and even distortion in textbooks, and fanatic communalism to fan up blind faith and bring about dehumanized submission in mass mind. With such socio-political overbearing, the ruling powers tended to bring the country under their total dictation, with people gasping for life in a shattered economy and insecure society.
Naturally in consequence, strong resentment gradually turning into wrath even protest and resistance, were accumulating in the hitherto confused mass-mind temporarily mesmerised with media hype for Modi-Shah couplet. Peasants started refusing to bow down; they were murdered for protesting, yet they thronged in tens of thousands and took to streets. Workers-students- youth and people at large sought for every chance to vent out their feelings. Opinions started gathering against saffronization of education, demolition of school education through no-detention policy and higher education through various measures and curbing of autonomy of educational-social-cultural institutions by any and every means. People were becoming vocal in public against rampant price-rise, shameless brushing aside of poll-pledges, meaningful silence of the leader at the helm of the country, the Prime Minister, even in the face of most serious, brute atrocious attacks on women-children-minority and dalit people, while posing stage-managed man-ki-baat (i.e., opening mind) to narrate some wishful achievements. People were also speaking out vigorously against the ravaging effects of demonetization, GST and such other measures. The said assembly elections were held amidst all these. And, as usual for recent elections in the country, the present elections too proved farcical. There was no genuine concern for people’s problems; no serious political issues touched upon. Instead the monopoly-controlled media along with other administrative machineries made it a point to unleash a frantic campaign to misguide and misdirect people’s rising sentiment against the ruling RSS-BJP. They feared it might tend to develop to the extent of questioning the exploitative capitalist system. So there were crocodile tears for the peasants. And most prominently, there were liberal flow of money, accompanied by incessant and unbridled mutual hate campaign and slandering among the political parties, particularly the Congress and the BJP, that too mostly including below-the-belt personal attacks. The Congress had been discarded and driven out from power by people for their nakedly pro-monopolist anti-people rule. That made way for the BJP to come to power. Now sensing people’s mindset increasingly turning against the RSS-BJP combine, the same Congress jumped into the fray to reap the harvest. The ruling class, the monopolists, also got the scent. They came out with their moneybag-media and ancillaries to stand behind the Congress to push it up. The results were as narrated above, though those were far from a total rout of the RSS-BJP. There were marginal differences in some cases; sometimes the fight was neck-to-neck, see-sawing. Nevertheless, the discredited, disowned Congress, fondly being nicknamed by the monopoly-backed media as the ‘grand old party’, has again been pushed to ride the Trojan horse of power in three vital heartland states of the country.
The second issue in judging the election result in question is, how could it turn out to be so? How could the monopolists once again befool the disarrayed, devastated masses of common people to toss them as a shuttle between the two most favoured bourgeois parties, the BJP or the Congress, thereby keeping the two-party parliamentary system go on well-greased and amply fuelled? The answer is plain and evident as daylight. There was no alternative present for the people which could have made the monopolists and their machineries including media think twice before playing this game.. And such an alternative could be found only in a viable and genuine left and democratic combination at the core with other regional or such forces ready to stand against the rising fascistic menace of the RSS-BJP . Only such an alternative combination could have channelized the rising wrath of people against the economic onslaught and political- cultural- even social-familial overbearing of the RSS-BJP combine into formidable mass movements on each and every burning problem of people’s life and livelihood. And if and when any election would have come in course, the struggling people could have fought that election led by their genuine leadership to be found in the left and democratic forces. They would not have to seek for forces once discarded. But to the dismay and disadvantage of the oppressed, exploited people, the forces which still claim themselves and are known to a section of people as leftists, even big lefts, did not bother about taking up this task of developing and strengthening this alternative which people needed. On the contrary, they, namely the CPI- CPI(M) as well as their allies, preferred to tow behind the Congress with the hope of earning some benefits in the parliamentary politics, a few seats here and there, some hobnobbing in the corridor of power. And while doing that they did not care to fight against and resist the dangerous ideology of the RSS-BJP combine and would not, for sure, do it even in future. On the contrary, in the name of fighting that combine, they branded and still brand the Congress secular, which itself all through played communal cards whenever needed for their vote politics.
Anybody with real concern for people’s misery will note that this kind of politics has taken its toll, as could be expected. Once more with all fanfare the bourgeois parliamentary system of the Indian capitalist state has successfully accomplished another electoral fiasco, a nasty game for money-media-muscle and administration. They play together and have played this time too, to gauge the mass mind, chalk out the requirement and desire of the ruling class , the monopolists and then arrange the pawns, knights, bishops etc. to bring the checkmate, that is to push up a favoured, subservient force making it acceptable to people and bring it to power to ensure smooth continuation of the exploitative system as usual. This time it has dangerous consequences whatever be the facts and figures of the last assembly elections. Not only an anti-people disowned force could make a comeback. In the aftermath of the elections and using their results, there is well-vamped propaganda at different levels, to refurbish the fallen image of that force, the Congress.Neither the RSS-BJP combine and their fringe organizations could be isolated decisively. Side by side, even the real viable force for people, the genuine left and democratic combination could not be evolved to give defeat to both these partners of the bourgeois two-party system. People remain in the same dungeon. Erasing how the Congress fleeced people to the skeleton through years since independence, they are again being dragged into the illusion of solving their problems through election with all tall talks and day-dreams only to wait for the next election, At the same time, the urgently required intense ideological struggle could not be generated against the vicious campaign of this RSS-BJP combine that they have been carrying on in the name of Hindutva and religion.
This way the said assembly elections were over. Now keeping their results before people, attempts are being made to also manipulate the ensuing parliamentary election. The bourgeois petty bourgeois parties which cannot but act as faithful subservient political managers of the ruling monopolists for their own survival and nourishment, as also those claiming themselves as leftists, but keen to remain in the corridors of bourgeois power, are enthusiastically joining the bandwagon. They look primarily at one singular goal. They wish to ensure that the rising mass resentments against the RSS-BJP rule do not go too high and too deep as to question and endanger the existing system. Rather no stone is being left unturned to see that people’s wrath is neutralized, channelized and consumed into the hollow, fruitless whirlwind of bourgeois vote politics. So, the question people really confront is what is to be done in the face of this barrage; what the situation demands, how to achieve it.
Repeatedly in the past, people of this country have found, as also struggling people over the world have also witnessed, that exploited, oppressed masses face no alternative but to develop powerful people’s movement, united and sustained to wrest even the minimum relief from the rulers of their heartless exploitative discriminatory capitalist system. Today people must again come to their senses. With the ruling class, the monopolists, playing newer and newer tricks to keep their exploitative system running , the people have no choice other than to fight for every burning issue of their life and livelihood. And such movements cannot end in one strike or two, in one massive demonstration or a few. Those must be organized to build up into sustained struggle of the masses of all sections of oppressed toiling people. So those movements must be united, sustained and based on ideology of struggle, which latter in the present case cannot be anything but genuine leftism. Unity and organization built on such ideology would stand in people’s good stead in multiple ways. Those will provide them with the bulwark to fight against the rising fascist menace of the RSS-BJP combine. Equipped with correct fighting ideology , those will prevent people from being misguided and misled into the vortex of parliamentary politics, in concrete terms of today in India, into the clutches of the two-party parliamentary facade thwarting the cunning campaign the ruling class , the monopolists are presently hatching with the ensuing parliamentary election in view. Such a bulwark once launched and developed in the correct ideological-political line, as well as on the edifice of higher culture-morality and ethics will not only prove as people’s real alternative, it will help them beto freed of the thousand and one confusions and aberrations, including the present dangerous growth of rabid communal- sectarian thoughts to intoxicate mass mind more and more with heinous thoughts and ideas. It is high time that people stand united, compelling the hesitant political forces to stand with them in one rank against the emerging fascist menace of the RSS-BJP and give them a crushing defeat. The defeat must be on the ground as well as in the ensuing election, if and when it comes to be. In any case, the menace must be thwarted, for the sake of the country and its common toiling people.