India needs it now

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Maoism is not a mission of murder, but a means of emancipation. The people who pose as Maoists do not appear to have understood this.

In writing the introduction to M.R.Masani’s famous book: ‘The Communist Party of India – A Short History’ (Derek Verschoyle, London, 1954), Guy Wint had mentioned of the two different political systems India and China had adopted in the initial stage and how economic achievement may justify which of the two systems is correct.

I am tempted to quote a few lines from the same.

“The contemporary history of Asis is strongly dramatic. In the two great land masses, India and china, new orders of government and society came into existence within two years of one another. In India, the Congress State succeeded the British Raj in 1947. In China two years later the Communist Party became master of the whole country, and dedicated it to the principles of Marxism, Leninism and Stalinism as interpreted by Mao Tse-Tung.

“The systems in India and China are opposite poles……………….India the great example of liberalism in Asia, China the first full-fledged example of Asian Communism”. Despite this contrast, “They have one characteristic in common. In neither can it be the aim of government simply to keep an existing social machine in smooth function. In each country the urgent need is for a radical transformation; and the governments are under immense pressure to make themselves responsible for bringing this about. The bane of both countries is poverty and technical and industrial backwardness. The demand of all the educated classes is that this state of affairs should be brought to an end. They want their countries modernized, made strong in relation to other countries, and equipped with industry. They want to end for ever the familiar sights of Asian penury – the beggar, the under-nurished masses, the hovels and slums, the dirt, disease and squalor.

“Inevitably and without intention, India and China have become symbols of the different methods by which economic and social change may be brought about. ………………….“Whichever country shows the more impressive economic progress, India or China, is likely to be accepted as the social, and perhaps the political, leader of Asia”.

China has unambiguously emerged the leader. Her success in economy is so bright and high, and her share in markets of the world is so huge and dominant that not only in Asia but also in the global economic sky she is shining as a leading star.

But India has remained the country of “contradiction” whereinto she had entered on January 26, 1950 on becoming a republic.

“On 26th January 1950, we are going to enter into a life of contradiction”, the author of the Constitution Dr. B. R. Ambedkar had confessed in his concluding speech in reply to the debates on the third reading of the Draft Constitution before its adoption in the Constituent Assembly of India. Despite political equality offered through the right to vote of equal value, right to private property ensured by the Constitution was bound to legalize inequality in economic structure. He had, therefore, warned that unless the post-British Government steers the Parliament to be elected by the people through universal franchise to wipe out concentration of wealth in individual hands in order to undo the inequality, “those who suffer from inequality will blow up the structure of political democracy which this Assembly has so laboriously built up”, he had told the country.(Constituent Assembly Debates, Vol.XI,p.979).

The post-British government failed to steer the Parliament to remove this inequality and therefore the country has been pushed further into the very same contradictions Dr. Ambedkar had warned about. As a result, India has become a country of concentration of wealth in only a few hands and a country of wretched poverty for the maximum majority.

Economic inequality, which Dr. Ambedkar had admitted in the Constituent Assembly to have been woven in the Constitution created by representatives not chosen by the general public but placed in the CA by special arrangement in the pre-independence environment, and which, he had strongly wanted to be quashed by the first Parliament elected by the people, failing which the democracy provided for in the Constitution would eventually be destroyed by victims of inequality, has instead of being quashed, increased many fold after independence. Wealth of the country, money the people pay in form of tax and land revenue, have gone into the hands of the schemers, scamsters, swindlers,trade and industry operators by the help of the compradors who have grabbed political power and transformed Indian democracy to plutocracy with the media controlled by the rich class keeping mum and foreign intelligence agencies generating for them the necessary climate in this country of gullible people overpowered by political sycophants and communal maniacs.

The country has come to such a sorry state that farmers are committing suicides to escape ignominy of inability to repay their loans and mothers are distress-selling their babies to eke out a little food for themselves while nurturing a hope against hope that the sold away babies me get a little nourishment in new environments!

National shame

“This is a national shame”, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had cried while releasing the Hunger and Malnutrition (HUNGaMA) report (2012) prepared by the Naandi Foundation, prepared on in-depth study in 112 districts of the country, that tells us how 42 per cent of our children are underweight and 58 per cent are stunted by the age of 24 months due to malnutrition. The country is running in such a fashion that, 92 per cent mothers have never heard the word ‘malnutrition’, the report has exposed. But Dr. Singh was not ashamed of his role in dragging India into this sordid state of malnutrition.

As far back as in 1989 Amartya Sen and Jean Dreze had written in Hunger and Public Action that about four million people die every year in India from malnutrition and related causes.

This biting tragedy was again focussed in a report of the UNISEF, which, in using NFHS 3, 2005-2006 data, had observed: “In India 20 per cent of children under five years of age suffer from wasting due to acute undernutrition. More than one third of the world’s children who are wasted live in India. Forty three per cent of Indian children under five years are underweight and 48 per cent (i.e. 61 million children) are stunted due to chronic undernutrition, India accounts for more than 3 out of every 10 stunted children in the world”.

But the government’s deliberate apathy to such observations and relentless support to the swindlers of the national wealth has so devastated the people that highly subsidized rice supplied to them at the rate of Rs.2 per Kilogram has become the only way to halt mass starvation deaths.The sad scenario has further deteriorated. The Government has comprehended that the people have not even the ability to pay Rs.2 only per Kg for the subsidized rice, as a result of which a State like Orissa has reduced the rate to rupee one.

Why has it happened?

This has happened; because, the compradors in power have helped their masters grab the national assets.

Wealth-X observation

The Press Trust of India quoting Wealth-X has reported on September 17, 2012 that there are only109 persons in India who represent the top 1.4 per cent of the Ultra High Net Worth (UHNW) population, and control 20.5 per cent of the total fortune attributable to the ultra wealthy segment comprising 7730 super rich individuals that have grabbed the country.

This concentration of wealth in the coffers of a tiny class of the rich has pushed maximum Indians into a state of abysmal poverty, and wretchedness, and slow-starvation and starvation deaths.

Two Indias even in the eyes of the Apex Court

Marking this sordid scenario, Justice Dalveer Bhandari of the Supreme Court of India had to cry on April 21, 2011 in course of a hearing over a petition from the People’s Union for Civil Liberty in matter of public distribution system that the wrong policies of the Government of India has divided the country into two: a small India of the rich and a large India of the poor. From the bench comprising besides him Justice Deepak Verma, he told the Additional Solicitor General, “You cannot have two Indias”, which gave vent to how the apex judiciary is also worried over the misfortune the people of India have been pushed into by the Governments.

Multi-dimensional poverty estimates

International observers of disasters afflicting the people because of anti-people economic policies are also of the same opinion. One such observation available in multi-dimensional poverty estimates developed for UN Development Program by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) in 2010 holds that eight of Indian States – Bihar, Chhatisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal – have more pathetic poor people than the 26 poorest African nations, even though all these Indian States are immensely rich in hardworking manpower, natural resources and intellectual activities. They are such poor because only of exploitation that the rich is perpetrating by the help of their agents in power.

Malnutrition is not a matter of India alone. Even USA and other rich countries have this problem, howsoever marginal be it.

But we will like to see where India and China stand in this matter, specifically as both the countries, to recall Guy Wint quoted supra, had suggested which of the two – political economy of liberalism adopted by India and political economy of Maoism adopted by China – at the initial stage of their emergence as independent countries, would be considered correct on basis of tackling economic backwardness and elimination of hunger.

India and China in worldwide survey

The World Health Organization helps us in this regard. After a worldwide survey, it has put India in the high level of mortality due to malnutrition in comparison with China putting India’s malnutrition death rate at 5.9 as against China’s 1.2 (WTO data 2011).

This establishes that the political economy of liberalism India had adopted and is more vigorously practicing in the present regime has failed and political economy of Maoism that China had adopted and is practicing has succeeded.

Wrong is transforming Maoism to mission of murder

So, there is no wrong in trying to replace India’s present economic policy with Maoist policy.
But wrong is the menace the so-called Maoists are causing in India.

Their conduct is transforming political economy of Maoism into a mission of murder that majority of Indians, by nature addressed to peaceful coexistence, cannot countenance. Therefore their conduct is counterproductive to emancipatory revolution that India needs to build up so urgently to foil plutocracy.

The mission of murder has kept the Maoists isolated in mostly inaccessible forest areas far away from the educated mass, which should have been their strongest support base.

The strength

All over the world the persons of extraordinary erudition, persons of concern for human beings and their habitations, persons of responsible world outlook, persons of perseverance in pursuit of world peace, persons of committed adherence to campaign against exploitation, persons stubbornly opposed to all sorts of oppression and discrimination, are the persons who support Communism.

But mission of murder is not acceptable to them. Those who identify themselves with Maoism, therefore, should shun the mission of murder that has kept them isolated and cultivate these support bases of Communism in right earnest. The world knows the success of China. And the world knows how capitalism is failing.

The weakness

Both the mainstream Communist parties – CPI and CPI(M) – and their so-called socialist allies, having appended themselves to power-grabbers and promulgators of plutocracy in India, have ruined their politico-class character and lost their credibility.

The exception

But Maoists are the exception. They have not run after parliamentary power so far. This is their greatest plus point.

The country needs their leadership to save herself from the labyrinth of plutocracy which, having no thirst for electoral power and no faith in the present electoral system, only they can provide. Only they can lead the real war of independence that so badly is necessary now.

Let them shun the mission of murder; the Indians who are desperately in search of the way to escape the pernicious net of the right viruses, will embrace them.

The only way and the necessity

Political economy of communism is the only way to emancipation. But, for that, necessary is political education, not the murderous bullets and bombs. They should only be used if the State obstructs such education. And to create the necessary environment to gain legitimacy to impart such political education on Economy of Communism, with arms and ammunitions stashed, Maoists must halt their mission of murder, even if that lands them in danger to their lives exactly as had happened to our freedom fighters in the British regime.

India needs this now.

3 comments » Write a comment

  1. We have no problem with Maoism as an ism or political thought but to resort to violence to achieve reforms is simply unacceptable. But do you think communism is the answer to India’s economic problems? I quite disagree.It may discourage efficiency and, consequently, talent in very critical professions. We have been accustomed to living in a free society for more than sixty years now.Can we surrender our freedom to state dictatorship? Freedom is costly and the cost we are paying for this freedom is simply enormous.But we can not go without freedom. We know what is happening in communist China or Russia for that matter.

  2. Excellent article that can open eyes of even those who strongly oppose maoism. Bloodshed is not the solution, but alternative method of enlightenment to the masses in peaceful manner is the need of hour

  3. This is heavy stuff.
    Not simple matter either to be commented upon so easily.

    WILL the REPUBLIC OF INDIA (i.e. the Govts…….coming to power in years ahead) please sit up and try to ponder over matter discussed here before it becomes too late for an elected Govt to handle the situation any more.

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