Brief note for Saranath meet ( 3-4 Dec. 2022 )
In Gwalior meet on 17-18 Dec. 2022, there was a consensus to defeat the divisive politics of repression of the RSS-BJP in 2024 elections, as immediate task of people's politics. It was also decided to create a conducive environment for politics of change so that RSS-BJP could be defeated. The meet accepted the 20-point programme and the note presented for it. On October 10, 2022, a convention was organised on employment issue in New Delhi. It was widely discussed because of Prof. Arun Kumar's paper presented there. In this continuation, today's meeting is taking place. This phase is characterized by the onslaught of global finance capital- hindutva nexus and the resistance against it. The task of people's politics, too, hinges on opposing it.
To understand today's people's politics, it won't be irrelevant to refer to post-independenc politics. Congress was generally known for serving the interests of big business houses and land-owners. Opposed to rightist forces, apart from Congress, were the socialists, communists and Ambedkarites. Generally, their politics was known as people's politics. However, these groups and parties of people's politics, then, could not evolve programmatic unity. Only in late 60s and 70s, an understanding of political front developed among them. However, in the name of defeating Congress, Jan Sangh was not excluded from the alliance. Also, no permanent unity could be forged. In late 60s and early 70s, two specific streams emerged out side the parliamentary politics. Rejecting parliamentary politics, one section of the Communist movement was identified with Naxalbari peasant uprising. On the other hand, JP emerged as leader of partyless anti-establishment politics. Naxalite movement faced brutal state repression and scattered in absence of mass support.
Despite remaining in Sarvoday movement, JP was never away from politics. He put forward the idea of people's government ( Jan Sarkar ) taking together the student-youth movement of Bihar and Sarvoday forces supporting him. He remained committed to partyless politics. But to combat the autocracy of Indira government, while opposing the emergency, he could only succeed in the formation of Janata Party. However, people soon got disillusioned and Congress returned to power in 80. In 80s, the identity politics started acquiring concrete dimension. The popular peasant movement of those days, too, claimed to be apolitical. The decade of 60s and 70s was witness, not only to political changes, but also to major transformation at social and cultural level. Religious festivals, which were generally local and full of diversity, turned into mega events and vulgar religious shows. It was in this phase, when , in order to combat the politics of numerical strength of social justice, Congress was seen manufacturing Hindu identity. The politics of hindu hegemony led Congress to get Babari Mosque unlocked. In 80s, Congress on the one hand yielded to Muslim fundamentalist forces, on the other, let the politics of hindu identity flourish. Secularism, instead of rational this-worldliness, became tool of vote-politics. This dualism of Congress politics, proved conducive for advancement and strengthening of BJP politics.
By the advent of 90s, entire economic scenario was transformed. Mixed economy was dislodged and replaced by new economic and industrial policy. Global finance capital got opportunity for a free run. This market economy has no social concern and , in essence , it is anti-democratic. As a result, assault on democratic rights increased. Democratic space went on shrinking. There was massive cut in social security measures. It is because of this liberal economy, that global finance capital and corporates have become determining force of Indian economy. On the basis of mutual cooperation, global finance capital and hindutva have forged nexus. PM Modi is 'glorified ' leader of this alliance and he is busy developing an authoritarian/fascist regime.
Tactical orientation of people's politics : It is incontrovertible that people's politics has to be multi-dimensional and it has to work on many levels. It's immediate and highest task is to defeat the politics of RSS and BJP. Therefore, it must cooperate with anti-BJP forces. But this cooperation must be transparent and based on independent policy. We won't tail behind any pro-corporate party. Raising mass issues, we have to take initiative at many levels. Grass-root work has to be systematised and developed. We must continue national intervention on the issues of employment, social security, communal harmony and nationalism. Formation of Save Nation group is first step in that direction. The task of saving nation is multi-dimensional in itself. We must continue to work for defending sovereignty of the country from global capital and national unity from divisive forces, in defence of regional autonomy, cultural-social diversity and civil-democratic rights. The politics of social justice must be for annihilation of caste and communal harmony, instead of gaining power on the basis of numerical strength. The awakening of national ethos against global capital is the key to resolve today's political, social and cultural contradictions.
Like trade union movement, today's well-known peasant movement, too, is facing stagnation. Save Nation group must establish dialogue with them and have detailed discussion on the causes responsible for stagnation of the movement. Without evolving as an independent political force, peasant movement can't achieve it's goal. It must also help in the evolution of people's politics. JP, certainly advocated partyless politics but in order to combat Indira autocracy, he had to indulge in Janata Party like coalition politics. Today, also, is the phase of fascist politics. So we don't have to forge unprincipled unity with any political party, but must gradually develop policy for organisation and front. We should interact with all democratic individuals, groups and organisations to join Save Nation group.
Akhilendra Pratap Singh