(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
April 12, 2009
THERE is but a single viable political alternative to the two leading bourgeois formations. The Congress remains faithfully anti-people and anti-poor. The BJP clings additionally to blatant, cruelly violent religious fundamentalism. None of the two can be expected to represent the interests of the nation as a whole and of the poor and the toiling people in particular.
Hence, the time has come for a secular-democratic-Left alternative that the Third Front represents. The nomenclature ‘third,’ we assure our bourgeois friends in the big media, is not a descending signifier.
It is the name and style of a Front, a conglomeration of growing popular forces who stand outside of, and against, the two big bourgeois-landlord political groupings, the Congress-led UPA and the BJP-led NDA. The time has come, notes Bengal Left Front’s electoral appeal to the masses, for the Third Front to lead the nation, post Lok Sabha polls.
Biman Basu, chairman of the Bengal Left Front released the ‘appeal’ to the people at a media conference on April 2, 2009. The LF appeal called upon the electorate of Bengal to augment further the position of the Left in the Lok Sabha for that would help both gelling quicker the Third Front into a weapon of democratic challenge in and outside of the parliament, and would also advance the cause of the poorest of the poor whose interests the Left and the CPI(M) represents with dedication and courage. The Bengal electorate must ensure that the Left is victorious in all 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state.
At the same time, the appeal notes, the people must stand up against the ambience of terror, deceit, lie, and of killing, that is being built up in a planned manner by the dark forces –– aided, abetted, and sometimes led from the front shamelessly by the opposition outfits. These forces of reaction and sectarianism seek to bottle up all pro-people and pro-poor developmental programme of the state LF government.
The LF calls upon the people to organise bigger mass mobilisations all over the state, to widen the extent and range as well as scope of the class and mass struggle, to further augment the unity of the poor, and to defeat all conspiracies and orchestrated stirs in the name of language, nationality, religion, and region.
The appeal commences by pointing out to everyone concerned that the present election the electorate face is an election to the Lok Sabha, an election at the national level. It is not an election to the assembly or to the urban and local bodies. Nor, we may note, is it is an election to management committees of institutions, as some of our opposition worthies would have the people believe, micronising the canvas to make ‘fair most foul’ in a political sense.
The election is to elect a central government that would be expected to govern the nation and the people of India in the days to come. It is not a small matter, and it is not something one trivialises, as the opposition is happily, comfortably prone to do, trying to cut down sizes of things to their own sub-political cretinism, organisational insolvency, and ideological bankruptcy.
The appeal explains the political background against which the elections are held. The UPA government has followed the economic and financial policies of the previous NDA government. It has thus found it conscionable to pass on the burdens of the present economic crisis enveloping the world economy in recession on to the shoulders of the common people who are already groaning under the jobloss growth the country as such experiences along the capitalist path.
At the same time, the UPA government has surrendered itself to the political will of imperialism, kow-towing before the US administration and finding pleasure in aspiring to be the junior partner to that imperialist power here and abroad. This has been done on a long-term strategic basis. On the other hand, the appeal notes, the realms of agriculture, industry, land, water resources and minerals have all been made the unbound hunting ground for finance capital. The country has never faced such a challenge to its sovereignty in its politically independent existence from 1947.
The appeal notes the circumstances in which the Left had supported the UPA governance from outside based on a Common Minimum Programme and how it had to withdraw support when the union government, not interested in keeping to the pro-people aspects of the CMP, was however more than willing to sell the sovereignty of the country down the river at the behest of US imperialism. The appeal has summarised the ills that have harmed the mass of the people under the two succeeding NDA and UPA régimes. The Left has always stood against these evil policies and have expressed their opposition through mass mobilisation. The efforts will continue apace with wider circumference of influence among the toiling masses.
Explaining the developments at the level of the state, the appeal notes how during the earlier years of the LF government, the pernicious licence raj, and the freight equalisation system harmed the process of industrial growth. The union governments in succession stood against the states’ rights, especially in the instances of the three Left-led states. When in subsequent years, from the mid-1990s in particular, the LF government sought to concentrate on industrialisation, a situation of anarchy and violence was built up by the opposition, institutionalising the process in the later period right onto the new century.
The opposition in the state have unleashed terrible violence against the state LF government, the LF and the CPI (M). They are indulging in what can be called anarchism with a focus on destruction of the pro-poor infrastructural growth. They also along with national parties want to see Bengal get divided up with anti-people slogans being given for a separate ‘Gorkhaland,’ ‘Greater Coochbehar,’ and a ‘separate western Bengal,’ which, the Jharkhand Party so desires should be taken away from Bengal as a whole and added to Jharkhand. Then there are the forces who call themselves ‘Kamtapuris,’ and who are engaged in working out a violent path with impunity, again for a separate state in the north Bengal. These forces all work together and have the backing of powers here and abroad.
These forces have targeted Bengal because it is the forward post of democracy, and is a Red bastion, a ray of hope for the toiling masses of the country. The state has also raised the hackles of the ruling classes because it progresses along a path of alternative, pro-poor development. The foreign hand is certainly visible in the attempt to unseat the Left in Bengal and the their target is to allow fewer LF candidates to win in this Lok Sabha election. Foreign agencies like the CIA were active earlier in the 1970s in Bengal for much the same purposes. These noxious attempts have been renewed with dangerous dimensions as communalism and separatism are added to the brew.
The Left Front appeals to the people to make LF candidates victorious in all 42 Lok Sabha seats
To ensure that a Third Front-led government is installed in Delhi
To augment self-reliant economy, independent foreign policy, and to set up a model federal structure
To defeat the Trinamul Congress which represents anarchism, terror, and disorder and is backed by forces of reaction both here and abroad, and their allies including Congress, as well as the communal forces that the BJP represents
To maintain an ambience of peace, democracy, and communal harmony
To ensure that there is a consolidated and integrated development of agriculture, industry, services, and that social justice prevails in every realm
To keep alive the Left alternative economic policy to counter the present economic crisis
To ensure that Bengal remains one and united