Main points on the basis of the talk with Akhilendra Pratap Singh, Member, National Working Committee of Swaraj Abhiyan by senior journalist Santosh Bhartiya of Loud TV India about the political initiative required in the present situation:

(Akhilendra Pratap Singh in this conversation has expressed his views about the new ideology and strategy in the present situation, pointing out the ideological and practical shortcomings of old political experiments and learning from his experiences. It is the current political truth that at this time the finance -capital funded BJP-RSS government has strengthened its hold not only in the political but also in the social / cultural sphere and it is moving very fast towards establishing fascist system in all the areas. Now it is not possible for the political party of a single caste or class to defeat it, whether it is Bahujan politics or whether it is socialist politics. So far the casteist / social justice model of Bahujan and socialist politics has failed badly and in a way it it is strengthening the Hindutva agenda of the BJP / RSS.

Therefore, as Akhilendra has said that at this juncture it is necessary that the forces  opposing totalitarianism in the country as well as civil society should come on a political platform, create a multi-class platform, bringing all the oppressed communities, castes and classes in it. The BJP-RSS can be given an equal challenge and they can also be defeated.

Since 2012, we have been working on the model of peoples politics in the districts of Sonbhadra, Chandauli and Mirzapur in Uttar Pradesh through All India People’s Front by forming a common front of Dalits, Tribals, labourers, farmers and various communities since 2012 in which we are also getting a very good response. We have fought two Lok Sabha and one Assembly elections as  AIPF. Our work has expanded to Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Karnataka, Haryana, Delhi, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.

Therefore, all the friends are requested to openly consider Akhilendra ji’s suggestion in this conversation for creating a multi-class democratic forum and give your suggestions / ideas in this regard and if you agree then become a participant in it. Any other name of the stage can also be named unanimously.

URL of Loud Talk on Loud TV India :

https://www.facebook.com/LoudIndiaTV/videos/393897244926544/

  • R. Darapuri, National Spokesperson, All India People’s Front)

On the question of failure of the Left to become people’s movement, Akhilendra Pratap  said that In India, the Left is generally taken to mean the Communist Party. I see the Left as a democratic movement. I consider three streams in it. First stream is Communist Party formed in 1920. The second one was the CSP (Congress Socialist Party) of Acharya Narendra Dev and Jai Prakash Narayan. The third important stream was represented by Dr. Ambedkar. He advocated state socialism. I consider him also as part of left movement. The impact these 3 streams should have made in Indian politics, could not be realised. While searching for the answers, I found that our communist organisations were not suited to Indian conditions. This form of organisation originated in Europe particularly Russia. Taking a lead from their orientation, it was experimented in India. These organisations could not comprehend the social reality as well as the realty of agrarian society. Nor they could translate it into politics or ideology. I believe that the socialist experiment going on since 1934, exhibited more maturity in the field of politics. Till 1955 when Acharya Narendra Dev was active, efforts made by him for developing Marxism in Indian context were closer to Indian conditions. Dr. Ambedkar formed Indian Labour Party and he wanted to cooperate with the Communists. Communist Party could not benefit from that opportunity also.

Their thought process did not match with the realty of the country. Gandhiji had a better understanding of the stage of Indian society and here was not space for socialist revolution. The slogans of Communists were socialist slogans. But, actually, India needed a national democracy. There was need to further advance the journey of democracy. Need of the hour was to unite the Socialists, followers of Ambedkar and Gandhians who were not ritualistic and institutionalised. As per the goals of Gandhi ji in his last phase, big change was desired. There was need to build a people’s/mass party, which may be called multi-class party. But it was not done.

Lohia, in Panchmadhi called upon people from different philosophies to join his party.  Acharya Narendra Dev commented on this. Further discussion was needed on it. He had said that class struggle, democracy and planning should be retained. After the formation of Praja Socialist Party, Lohia’s experiment could not maintain the balance of class. Rather, it became balance of caste which ultimately degenerated into casteism. Nothing was learnt from the experiments of caste movement in South India. Laloo and Mulayam can be seen in this context.

Akhilenda  said that there was need of synchronization and adjustment with all those forces whose ultimate goal was socialism but were currently engaged in democratic movement, working for people’s democracy. I am not talking about front, but need to forge organic link, as Mao did in China or Congress under Gandhi ji’s guidance comprised of various parties and ideas. Such experiment was needed then. But Communist Party could not experiment it. Anyway, there is again a favourable time.

When it was asked that communists fought many battles for peasants, but they did not accept them as their leader, Akhilendra said that Communists always faced a crisis of praxis. They could never evolve the strategy and tactics independently, as per conditions of the Indian agrarian society. There was a split in their work style. Theoreticians and practitioners were a different set of people. There could not be proper synchronization and integration between theoreticians and those Dalits, Tribals, OBCs, and Upper Caste people who were struggling at the grassroots level. He said that characterisation of state had certainly changed despite various divisions. But regarding the basic questions in Indian context viz. land and agrarian issue, class and caste question, women issue,  question of Tribals and other oppressed communities, Hindu- Muslim question, and above all the question of nationalism, which incorporates peaceful resolution of border dispute etc., a consistent policy framework and programme could not be formulated.

Even today, the Communist parties have the structure of the war period, while we are working in a parliamentary democracy. There is no organizational structure suited to parliamentary democracy. It remains a crisis, which still needs to be addressed sooner or later, because the old structure and old-fashioned political understanding, especially with the theoretical questions will not be able to carry forward the movement. It is good that today they are trying to address the question of caste along with class.

He said on a question that as far as Kanu Sanyal or Charu Majumdar is concerned, Charu Mazumdar did a major experiment. There was a crisis in this thinking because capitalism survived longer than was expected. People associated with the Communist Party thought that if a great Bolshevik Party was formed, there would be revolution, while capitalism  developed in India in various forms, whether it was industrial capitalism or today’s finance capitalism. It gave birth to such productive forces which have strengthened the system. The action that should have taken place in accordance with these objective conditions did not happen. He said that there was spirit of dedication in the new experiment of Charu Majumdar, but the political understanding was contrary to the Indian reality, so the movement could not make headway.

One of its experiments was definitely made in Bhojpur, where attempt was made to solve the question of caste and class. The IPF was also formed but that experiment, too, could not go ahead.

The Maoists, who have remained there, have a base among the Tribals of a particular region, but it is not possible for them to sustain and advance the movement further.

In the context of the current situation of the country, Akhilendra said that it is the dawn of a new era. The RSS and the BJP are moulding the country in tune with the finance capital. Efforts are being made to make the entire political system authoritarian from within. There is a need to create a big democratic platform against it. It should not be a front but an organic relationship, as Congress did during freedom movement. This is a period of experimentation and we are engaged in this experiment and it is developing.

Initially, the right wing was very weak, From Congress to other organizations and the left parties were working among the workers, yet how did the right wing become so dominant?

On this question, Akhilendra said that all the pro-people currents in India could not come on one platform and work together with one programme. Congress miserably failed. So a vacuum was created. Neither the Dalit nor Socialist movement came together.

In the nineties, the right-wing forces filled that space after VP Singh’s experiment failed. The opposition forces remained mute spectator or many socialists joined hands with them (the BJP). Communist parties could not carry forward that experiment in India. Neither could they resolve the question of caste and class, nor could they develop any specific area to tackle the threat of authoritarianism, they also could not take any initiative at the national level.

Was the weakness of leftist ideology behind this?

Akhilendra said that the basic work that was to be done in India was to develop politics in the agrarian society, to accommodate broader forces within its fold, especially the farm-labourers and the poor peasants and the wider sections of the peasants. But everything was confined to the workers movement and the trade unions. The farm-labourers were also not systematically organised. The acceptance in farmers’ movement could not be gained.  There was no acceptance in the middle class, too. The crisis of theoretical understanding of Indian society continues till today. It’s (the Left) organizational form is not in accordance with the Indian democratic structure. The working style of leaders is office oriented. They should take their thinking to the masses and then learn from them and make new theoretical formulations. If this is not done, then the theory will become lifeless. If there is no practical knowledge, then the organization and politics will not improve. This crisis has been there from the beginning and it has further increased these days.

How do you see the time of two years in India? On this question he said that the danger is very big. India’s biggest threat is finance capital. For the first time finance capital is unilaterally promoting the forces of Hindutva. Internationally, India is moving towards America. The crisis has deepened in such times. Prashant Bhushan is being punished for expressing his opinion. Protests are also taking place. The forces of the Right Wing are still very strong today. They have turned the social structure in their favour. They create frenzy by creating border disputes with neighbouring countries. Circumstances are more in their favour. The crisis is deep, but it can be reversed. Along with civil society in the country, the forces opposing authoritarianism should come on a common political platform, create a multi-class structure. If all the oppressed communities, castes and classes are brought into it, then they can be given a fitting challenge and can also be defeated. The way of thinking has to be changed and political behaviour also has to change.

He said that I am involved in the movements taking place in the country. Many people of the Jai Prakash movement had become inactive, now they are becoming active again. I have organic relations with the Left parties. There is communication with Prakash Karat. Already I have better relations with CPI (ML) Liberation. When I was sitting on fast in Delhi, the representatives of CPI (ML) along with Justice Sachar, Prakash Karat, and late Com.Vardhan came there.

He said that BJP and RSS are bringing unnatural things in India. They do not match with Indian psyche and society. Plurality and diversity is our character. We are democratic in our character. Authoritarianism will not succeed in India. The ideas of modernity have to be taken afresh in the Indian context, not by imitating Europe. We have to mobilise the masses on this question.

S.R. Darapuri I.P.S.(Retd), National Spokesperson, All India Peoples Front &  President,Mazdoor Kisan Manch


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