Indian Stalinists seek to divert discontent into an alliance with capitalist parties
15 September 2018
India’s main Stalinist parliamentary parties—the Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPM and the Communist Party of India (CPI) —are seeking to channel the mounting discontent of the working class and rural toilers behind their opportunist alliances with the bourgeois Congress and various regional capitalist parties. These political maneuvers were clearly seen in their calls for a bandh (general shut down) on September 10.
The CPM and CPI, and their allies in the Left Front they lead, called the bandh last Monday against fuel price hikes and other economic attacks by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government. Congress, the main official opposition party, had called a bandh on the same day.
An unprecedented fall of the Indian rupee and rising fuel prices, compounded by a steady decline in living standards, have created growing social opposition to Modi’s Hindu supremacist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government.
However, there was only a partial response across the country to the bandh calls—an indication of the lack of working class trust in the Stalinists, Congress and the regional parties that joined the Congress call. All these parties are committed to the pro-investor neo-liberal economic “reforms” from which the Modi government’s austerity measures flow.
The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) implemented similar policies while in office from 2004 to 2014. And it was a Congress government that initiated the neo-liberal economic policies in 1991. The Stalinist CPM-led Left Front has supported all the non-BJP governments, which have carried out similar economic policies, and implemented the “reforms” itself when…