AKG Bhavan’s crisis of identity
The last central committee meeting of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) was held between 13 and 16 December but the CC document on current political developments, adopted there in Agartala, is yet to be made public and uploaded in the CPI (M) website. This is unmistakably a reflection of growing differences in the party in sync with the unprecedented enveloping identity crisis in the history of India’s largest Leftist party, at least in the open or parliamentary sphere of Indian democracy. A few veterans among CC members snapped fingers at top party leaders like the general secretary Prakash Karat and Sitaram Yechury for their inability to ‘lead the party with vision ‘to foresee the future and interpret the trends and direction of the country and the role the party ‘is expected to play’. And the practice of blame-game to blame one another – reflection of despondency and despair- is not quite rare. In fine, the CPI(M) is internally in a serious crisis, although Karat’s speeches paint a rosy picture for reasons best known to the brass. Maybe, the rank and file, they think, can’t absorb the shock of disclosure of the not-at-all encouraging situation in the party organisational hierarchy.
Karat stated in his inaugural speech at the state organisational plenum of the party in Kerala at Palakkad, once the party’s citadel on 27 November that CPI(M) and the Left alone can conduct a credible struggle against the neoliberal policies of Congress and the communal polarisation agenda of the BJP. The outbreak of ‘massive high level corruption in public space and government not accidental but an inevitable outcome of Neo liberal regime. The reign of UPA for the last nine and a half years is associated with high price rise, growing unemployment, massive corruption. People are looking for an alternate to the bankrupt policies of Congress’, he stated. But the disastrous performance of CPI(M) in the elections to five state assemblies, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram and Rajasthan, the party failed to retain three seats in Rajasthan and lost security deposits in 48 out of 54 seats contested, late alone the lack of vision and the disconnect with the masses, but for which the AKG Bhavan would not have underestimated the potentials of the toddler Aam Aadmi Party and its people-friendly slogans. The CC communiqué at the end of CC meeting at Agartala cautiously observed, ‘The lesson from the Delhi election is that where there is a viable alternative to the Congress and the BJP, the people have extended support to it. This explains the success of the Aam Aadmi Party which was able to win 28 seats,’ but is mum about why the still-conceited leadership failed to read the mood of the masses, reflected in the growingly large attendance in AAP campaign meetings.
Time was when the reports of central committee documents of the CPI (M) used to be released or uploaded in the website within four or five days after the CC meeting was over. For instance, the Report On Current Developments, adopted by the CC at its two day meeting 29 and 31 January 2004 in Hyderabad, the document adopted at the three-day CC meeting, ended 26 June 2007 was uploaded on CPI(M) website on 30 June 2006 .The gap between the end of CC meeting and publication of the CC document began to widen since the setback of the party in the three-tier panchayat polls of West Bengal in 2008. All this was a sequel to the extremely myopic and irregular way of land acquisition of land for Tata Motors at Singur and policy-announcement for land acquisition at Nsndigram for a chemical and petrochemical complex. Too obsessed with the mood of industrialisation and urbanisation at any cost to impose on the people of a state, saddled with high employment and exodus of job-seekers to other cities like Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune, Bhubaneswar, Chennai and Mumbai, mandarins of Muzaffar Ahmed Bhavan, the state headquarters of CPI(M) in Kolkata in association with the erstwhile chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and commerce & industry minister Nirupal Sen – both politbureau members somewhat hegemonistically imposed several disastrous decisions on the Left Front partners whose frequently raised objections were pooh-poohed. Bhattacharjee, state secretary Biman Bose and other state leaders from Bengal were cautioned by CC and P B members of Kerala, central party headquarters (A K Gopalan Bhavan) and other states of industrialisation under the neo-liberal canopy (with grossly inadequate number of direct employment) and inevitable collateral damage, affecting the economically weaker sections, but all in vain.
On the contrary, CC members who were pungent in pulling up the Bengal comrades and Left Front government were at times reminded that the lion’s share of expenses of A K Gopalan Bhavan, used to be incurred from financial resources made available by the Bengal party organisation.IPA