The Resolve of December 18 : We Must Rise to the Occasion

As 2010 draws to a close, the country is witnessing an unprecedented spate of mega scams. The 2G spectrum scam alone is estimated to be of the order of Rs. 176,000 crore – 2,750 times the size of the Bofors scam which had once rocked the country and led to the downfall of the Rajiv Gandhi government which enjoyed a massive 400-plus majority in Parliament.
What however makes the current spate of scams unprecedented is not just their enormous magnitude, but the range of institutions afflicted by the spreading rot.  The Delhi Commonwealth Games turned out to be a mega circus of corruption. The Adarsh Society scam in Mumbai has exposed the corrupt nexus involving chief ministers, top bureaucrats and the Army top brass. The Radia tapes have revealed the intimate links between governments, big corporations and influential mediapersons. The Supreme Court has objected to the appointment of a tainted official as the Central Vigilance Commissioner. Accusing fingers have also been raised against the judiciary itself, both from within the judiciary and without. From the Prime Minister’s Office to Chief Ministers in key states – be it Congress-ruled Maharashtra or BJP-ruled Karnataka, from the Army to the judiciary and corporate media, all ruling class parties and pillars of the state-system are today under the scanner.
This clearly shows that corruption has emerged as the essential bridge between bourgeois economics and politics in the era of liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation. This is the lubricating oil that runs the machine of state-power and corporate power in India today. The rulers had of course made a contrary claim while initiating the new policies two decades ago. We were told that market-driven policies would clean up the system by abolishing the licence-quota-permit raj. But there is now overwhelming evidence to show that the market is gobbling up everything, subjecting the entire decision-making process to a shadowy market mechanism where every law of the land is thrown to the winds and all resources of the country and rights of the people are sacrificed at the altar of corporate power and greed.
An all-pervasive agrarian crisis which has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives of Indian peasants, sky-rocketing prices that are daily pauperising large sections of the toiling masses, draconian laws and repressive campaigns that are bent upon throttling every voice of reason and dissent, and now this epidemic of corruption which is fast landing the system into its worst crisis of credibility – this is the big picture of today’s India. The ruling classes and the UPA government are trying to combat this crisis with American certificates declaring India as a ‘key strategic partner’ and an ‘emerged power’ and promises of a permanent seat in the UN Security Council. But as the recent Obama visit clearly showed, India’s partnership with the US may guarantee a bailout package for a crisis-ridden America, but for India it is certainly no passport to prosperity.
The more the Indian ruling classes cling to the US imperialism in the name of a strategic partnership, the more the US deepens its intervention in India and seeks to use India as a vehicle of American interest and influence in Asia. This only weakens our independence and vitiates our security environment. A recent study has also estimated that more and more Indian wealth is fleeing the country in search of grener pastures and safer havens abroad. Between 1948 and 2008, the country has been drained of an estimated Rs. 20,000 billion, and this outward flow has only been accelerating in recent years.
It goes without saying that this unfolding situation calls for a much bigger and much more assertive role of revolutionary communists to strengthen people’s struggles on different fronts. In 2010, the Party took a couple of important initiatives in this direction – the launch of the All India Kisan Mahasabha in May and the formation of the All India Left Coordination in August. Together with the agricultural labour front, the peasant front is going to play a crucial role in the coming days not only from the point of view of resisting the agrarian crisis and advancing the campaign for land reforms, but also in terms of strengthening the anti-imperialist battle of the Indian people. The AILC too has made a good beginning, and it has already demonstrated some potential to attract the attention of serious Left forces in different parts of the country. In the coming days, we must make every effort to strengthen the AILC and carry it forward in the cherished direction of radicalization and rejuvenation of Left politics in India.
While most of our efforts and initiatives in 2010 yielded encouraging results, the results of Bihar Assembly elections have certainly come as a rude shock to the entire Party and all our friends and well-wishers. The continued presence of the Party in the legislative arena was the source of an added political profile for the Party not only in Bihar but in Left circles all over the country. Now that the NDA has swept the Bihar polls, rightwing forces and dominant sections of the media will surely try to use this sweeping victory of the NDA to mount an anti-Left offensive. The BJP having tasted extraordinary success in Bihar is bound to step up its role in Bihar and also try and use its success in Bihar for a countrywide rejuvenation of the BJP and the NDA. This will undoubtedly introduce new elements of tension in the political situation and we must boldly face every eventuality with our consistent anti-feudal anti-communal role. 
The Party will surely learn every lesson that needs to be learnt and take every measure that needs to be taken, but electoral reverses cannot and must not be allowed to dampen the spirit and weaken the role and initiative of a revolutionary communist party like the CPI(ML). The Party will take the electoral shock in its strides and even use it as a “shock therapy” to strengthen the movement and streamline the organisation, and in no way will it allow reactionary forces to rob the people of the hard-won gains of decades of revolutionary struggle.
This 18th of December, along with Comrade Vinod Mishra we also remember Comrade Ramnaresh Ram (Parasji) who breathed his last on October 26 after giving his very best to the communist movement and the people for more than sixty years that changed the face of Bhojpur and much of erstwhile central Bihar. Comrade Ramnaresh Ram’s long political journey from the days of freedom struggle through the historic struggle of Ekwari (his native village in Sahar block of Bhojpur district) to the glorious assertion of the rural poor against feudal oppression and domination will remain a treasure house of inspiration for generations to come.

Comrade VM and Comrade Parasji played a historic role in reorganising and reviving the CPI(ML) after the setback of the early 1970s and also in upholding the revolutionary banner of Marxism and communist movement in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union when weak-hearted communists had started wavering and deserting the communist movement. This 18th of December, the entire Party takes a collective vow to carry forward their glorious and inspiring legacy. This 18th of December, we rededicate ourselves to the revolutionary communist mission of the CPI(ML) and to the challenge of fulfilling the unfinished tasks of all our martyrs and departed leaders. We inherit the legacy of learning from mistakes and turning defeats into victories. Let us rise to the occasion with renewed and stronger resolve and take the Party forward with bold and energetic steps.