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Mainstream, VOL LII, No 25, June 14, 2014

Left Forces should Awake now before it is Too Late

Saturday 14 June 2014, by Bharat Dogra


Despite all the recent setbacks suffered by the Left forces, in the general elections and before this, two facts cannot be denied. Firstly, it is the politics of the rights of the poor, the politics of equality and justice, which is the most relevant politics particularly in India’s context. As this is also the defining feature of the Left forces, so these forces remain very relevant. Secondly, keeping in mind the fact that the majority of India’s people cannot even access basic needs when defined properly, there is no doubt that when the forces of equality and justice can sort out their problems and find their rhythm, then they will be a huge force in India’s politics. In this sense, then, the Left can be called a sleeping lion who should awake now before it is too late. Already many opportunities have been missed. It is cruel to betray the hopes and aspirations of people in a world passing through very critical times and facing very serious problems.

A question may be raised—why keep placing hopes in the Left when it has not been able to fulfil the people’s trust of playing a historical role in resolving their problems? One reason is that the critical aims of meeting the basic needs of all on a sustainable basis, protection of environment and peace cannot be achieved without challenging the capitalist path of development and offering as an alternative updated versions of more human and democratic socialist solutions which take into consideration the realities of today’s fast-changing world, including (particularly) climate change and weapons of mass destruction. Therefore, in the search for alternatives, one turns first to the Left forces to explore whether these can cope with the new historical challenges and to appeal to them to rise to the occasion.

The task before the Left forces is at least a threefold one. First, all the essentially narrow differences that have divided the Left forces should be kept aside and a common programme based on the real needs and aspirations of the people for solving their problems without harming the environment should be agreed upon. Keeping this common programme as a base, ever-increasing unity of all left forces should be forged for many-sided actions defending the people’s rights, providing relief to the victims of injustice, fighting elections together as a united force.

One hopes and prays that the Left forces can rise above narrow interests to be able to fulfil their historic role of achieving many-sided justice and equality.

At the level of present-day nitty-gritty, the Left forces should aspire to fight the forthcoming elections (Delhi, Haryana, Maharashtra etc.) as a united force, giving new hope to the people. They should set new standards in terms of selflessly working together and ensuring contesting elections with low budgets. They should also take up new initiatives like giving 50 per cent tickets to women candidates in all elections. They should make funding and spending 100 per cent transparent, with each paisa accounted for with receipts and vouchers.

Enough of despondency and despair, let’s join hands to make a very creative new beginning with a song on our lips.

Bharat Dogra

C-27, Raksha Kunj, Paschim Vihar, New Delhi-110063