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The Curious Case of the Not-So-Communistic Communists

November 25, 2008

As per popular definition:
Communism is a socioeconomic structure and political ideology that promotes the establishment of an egalitarian, classless society based on common ownership of the means of production and property in general.
In political science usage, the term normally designates, a totalitarian system of government in which a single authoritarian party controls state-owned means of production.

That is why, I often cannot suppress my amusement when people in India claim that they are communists. You find people all over India (and especially Kerala) who claim that they are commies and I, often am pulled into many a meaningless and worthless debates.

People, who blatantly make such claims, do not realize that they more often than not, talk about Socialism and not Communism. I find this the case, especially in Kerala where people who belong to the despised “bourgeois” class claim that they are commies.

Giving a proper definition to words like Socialism and Communism are again worthless as people have long moved away from Marxism (which I think is the purest form).
People, all over the world have always picked what was advantageous to them and thus giving shape and meaning to words like “Stalinism”, “Leninism”, and “Trotskyism” and many many more!!!

I do not wish to digress here as this topic is about Communism and India.
In this setup called “India” that we have, I unfortunately believe that it is absolutely imperative that we have the CPI (M) as a major political power. Note, I use the word “unfortunately”. Yes, though Ideologically, I often wish that we have no Commie parties in India, practically, I realize that they do play an important role in the functioning of the “Real India”. I say this, largely because of a single inherent human vice: GREED!!!

A lot of CPI (M)’s principles are for the Aam aadmi (common man) and without them, there would not have been anybody to guide and help the poor and downtrodden.

India is a country where:
The poor die of hunger when there are surplus grains in the granary.
Caste and Religion are interfering with the functioning of a “Secular” country.
There are a lot more examples which tell us that we need a moderating factor to give “Dignity” to the common man.
The more I read the manifesto and see the functioning of the CPI (M), the more I believe that they stand for Socialism and not Communism.

Unfortunately Indian Communistic Movement needs a reality check. They should realize that Industrialization, wealth creation and Job creation are some of the most important things that India needs to improve upon. I unfortunately get the impression that they are not willing to accept change (like Indo-US nuclear deal, nandigram incident) due to age old beliefs and traditions.
Whether they like it or not, the world has moved beyond Imperialism and Nobility. Their standing in the way of Industrialization will ultimately lead to the destruction of PAX INDIKA (Indian Peace) as people without money and jobs are more liable to start an agitation.
Another thing which I hate about the commies is their liking for revolution (in India, comes out in the form of hartals and bandhs). I would rather profess a Fabian approach for the same.

Lastly I also believe that, instead of harping on “Wealth Redistribution”, they need to start talking about “Wealth Creation” which I believe will ultimately only help the Indian cause. The spending power of Young India is turning many a heads and for this to continue, we need more and more people to get affluent (through wealth creation).

And I do sincerely believe that India will improve as a nation, only when it takes interest in being a being a major industrial power but NEVER EVER at the cost of selling the DIGNITY of the poor!!!!!!!!!
A bit of both (which we already have in our democracy) is what we need, though we have a long way to go!

I find the situation poignant, when politicians like the rich “Vijaykanth” and “Karunanidhi” claim to be a communist and Marxist respectively.

In Kerala, I often get asked the question on whether I am a Communist or a Capitalist. My answer to one and all has always been the same:
“An ideal Socialist and a practical Capitalist”
I hope that in the coming years, commies atleast convert to being Socialists as communism is not what India needs.

Every single Indian has the right to move forward and a nation only crawls as slow as the slowest citizen…………………..
Jai Hind!!

15 Comments leave one →
  1. Vinay permalink
    November 25, 2008 4:28 pm

    De dont search for perfectness of ideology in societies .The very search of perfectness lead to the making of ideaologies .Its a fact that we all know that the only thing that does not change is change and same is applicable in ideologies . Every body wants to grow monetarily and psycholologically this very want propells all the ideas (it can be good for some one and bad for others .Searching for an utopia even in a communist world is one thing that even communist wont do. So ali this blog of yours is true in unrevealing the hypocracy among communist in India but is it that different with other ideologies of secularism socialism etc… .Give it a thought . In the end nowdays we are all hypocrites accepting whatever comes in the way and saying that wahatever has gone wrong is becaue of someone else. And the only one who was saying everything right was “me” and nobody took it . All the while i was only saying and was doing nothing…. . So machu stop criticising people for what they say and do and start thinking were you also that different

  2. Ajit permalink
    November 25, 2008 5:39 pm

    what you say is absolutely right…
    Every ideology started because there was a certain need, but then people degrade it……..
    utopia never exists,the same is the case “Rama Rajyam”….
    but we have got to improve… only that justifies having a civilazation or a country..
    Yes, criticising is easy but someone has got to do it 🙂
    and also I believe that if I practise what I preach.. it atleast makes a difference to the people around me…

  3. Does it matter permalink
    November 26, 2008 4:45 am

    Today, all these terms – capitalism, socialism and communism are fast becoming meaningless.

    Private profit and public bailouts happening in the US today are surely not the original definition of Capitalism..

    U are right, it is eventually about public welfare – the end result needs to be achieved. Not the ideology for the sake of it..

  4. Ajit permalink
    November 26, 2008 4:52 am

    yes I agree, with what you say.
    America is moving towards socialism (can be interpreted this way)…..
    Yes, it is the leader of the free world and the land of capitalism, but when the chips are down as in this recesssion, the government had made some moves which seem to be socialistic….
    the best combination has to be found out… and the best for the people…. and ideologies should be set aside.

    Karl Marx has stated that, the world would eventually evolve into a state which is communistic….
    but I just cannot accept this statement as I think it is wrong.

  5. Ajit permalink
    November 26, 2008 5:07 am

    and DIM,
    please do not stop writing….. or should I say blogging 🙂

  6. Vivek Bisen permalink
    November 26, 2008 8:05 am

    A good attempt to focus on so-called “Indian Communism”.

    But the concept of “Wealth Creation” is something that needs more elaboration as it is a bit confusing mantra in itself. The author had to reason in favor of “Wealth Creation”. This concept might mislead many; if not explained clearly.

    In my opinion “Wealth Redistribution” and “Wealth Creation” should go together.

  7. Ajit permalink
    November 26, 2008 8:28 am

    Yes, I stress on the point of “Wealth Creation” because, that is exactly what has been missing for the Indian people.
    Ultimately, we are all seekers in Life and Money is important for ever one of us, so instead of wealth redistribution, why not focus on creation….
    The more money people make, the more, they will believe in the “INDIAN DREAM”….
    and it will give Hope to countless people in india

  8. Joey permalink
    November 26, 2008 9:02 am

    What ever you have written here is completely your point of view about the subject. But it would have been better, if you had analyzed a couple of things (mentioned below) and given a broader picture.

    What is the stand of communist parties (there are quite a few like CPI (M), CPI, RSP, FB etc) over various issues in the country. We cannot say that all their stands are stupid. I would state one eg: here. The privatization of the Government PSU (especially profit making PSUs like NTPC, BHEL etc) they clearly opposed it, which I feel that it was very good thing. Selling these companies would get some cash for the government, but not good in future. Likewise some good things are also there…

    Then about nadigram(I am not able to understand why you have mentioned it as an example of opposing industrialization, actually it’s the other way round), I guess they tired forced industrialization there, but didn’t work out and Buddadeb (WB CM )became a dictator in people’s mind.

    So when somebody had asked to write about communism, you could have given clear picture of what it’s all about and different perspective of it, rather than expressing your view. But I really feel that your view is perfect for our country, India as I also believe in the same, “An ideal Socialist and a practical Capitalist”

  9. Ajit permalink
    November 26, 2008 10:47 am

    The reason I mentioned Nandigram is because:
    According to me, the mindset of the people after rule by the LEFT change…. that is why I have mentioned the concept of revolution in my article…. the violence that followed in nandigram, I believe is partially because of the mindset of the people that they need to oppose industrialzation At all costs…
    Joey, how many times have we seen in college, that students took matters into their own hands and how many times have we both seen the “SFI marches” and call a hartal on issues that did not even affect us.

  10. Indian Home Maker permalink
    November 26, 2008 11:24 am

    Finally got to read this post 🙂 Had the page open all morning!

    Ok I read Ayn Rand’s ‘Atlas Shrugged’ – it’s totally pro-capitalism. And it’s good, but them there is a risk of the poor never reaching anywhere if they are totally abandoned in a country like India.

    Loved your take on ‘wealth creation’ v/s ‘wealth redistribution’, because if you give the poor fish to eat, they will eat one day, if we teach them how to fish they will probably start a fish pickling industry 🙂
    I agree that we need “An ideal Socialist and a practical Capitalist” 🙂

    I always feel that Nehru’s ideas of a Socialist Democracy were needed at the time and I am glad we have moved from there. I am all for free enterprise today.

    About privatization, I think government should not be doing anything except governing and everything else like railways, PSUs and all should be left to the citizens. See how our tele-communications and air traveling has boomed to the benefit of all of us.

    It seems anything that belongs to the Public (or state) belongs to nobody! And those who are in a position to take any advantage fleece the state run organizations…
    A good amount of my impressions are from the book I mentioned, may be biased/confused!

  11. Ajit permalink
    November 26, 2008 6:55 pm

    hey IHM,
    I agree with most of the things that you said…
    but again, though people say that the Indian Bureaucracy is one of the worst, it also provides employment to a lot of people….
    we do need the government regulators in many aspects as that is one sure method, we can guarantee employment and “Dignity of Labour”……
    (spoken by the socialistic side of Ajit)

  12. Ajit permalink
    November 26, 2008 7:01 pm

    (as an afterthought)
    I also need to add that we as Indians are not yet ready to accept full capitalism….. or the free market scenario….
    it will take time, but it can be achieved!

  13. Ajith permalink
    December 25, 2008 5:28 am

    Ajit, this is a really good write up. I have no doubts that communist ideologies are awesome. In Kerala we had some near perfect communists in the past. We cannot forget EMS and co who had the guts to execute land reforms effectively. However today’s communists are fake, they are not pure.
    Communist methodologies need to change as per the changes in the world without changing the ultimate aim – to reduce the difference between rich and poor.

  14. Ajit permalink
    December 26, 2008 3:43 am

    That is what I was trying to say in my blog….
    if the ideology of communism changes, it stops being Commie….

  15. Ajit permalink
    December 27, 2008 10:05 am

    and pure commies do not exist anywhere…. not in Cuba nor in USSR.

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