The grand ideas of Karl Marx that eulogise a ‘workers’ revolution’ and fantasise about the establishment of a ‘classless society’ seem too attractive to be true in reality. They are based on a certain vision and worldview that is unilinear and one-sided. Human society has many different facets to it and to fit it into a certain watertight category amounts to overlooking the multiple dimensions that characterise human relationships, human needs and wants. And this holds true not just for communism but for all the other ‘-isms’ masquerading as ideologies, inspired from the West.
The case of communism is of special significance here, considering the fact that it talks about poverty and the abolition of classes, but has proved to be an utter failure in addressing these very same problems which it seeks to resolve. In fact, communism itself has become the root of many problems afflicting the world today! It does not require any further repetition here regarding the role of Communist China in concealing facts during the initial stages of the coronavirus pandemic and brazen violation of people’s democratic rights at a time when the deadly virus was spreading its poisonous fangs throughout the globe.
In India, communism has established a strong foothold for itself in university campuses where its comrades have always raised concerns over all evils of the society, but never offered a genuine solution to eradicate these evils. Slogans of Azaadi and Laal Salaam echo through the walls of these universities that glorify the likes of Mao Zedong and Che Guevara. Interesting indeed! Especially in a country which has produced intellectual giants of the stature of Panini, Swami Vivekananda, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya, etc. foreigners like Mao are adored as heroes in our own educational institutions. There is no problem in adoring and respecting a foreign-born scholar, but don’t our own stalwarts deserve equal recognition and respect too?
Communists have proved themselves to be the masters in the art of manufacturing and selling a fake narrative of secularism and freedom of speech and expression like hot cakes! They never listen. They only know how to attack. It is based on a false utopia to the extent that even if they get all their Azaadi, they will still find something or the other to shout about and make their presence felt just everywhere.
Unfortunately, people who talk about such a utopia have been accorded the status of “intellectuals” in our country! They are not intellectuals, but self-styled ideologically motivated propagandists who always remain at the forefront in taking a high moral ground to distract the masses from the actual reality. Indian society is rooted in a unique cultural tradition of the Guru-Shishya Parampara that respects wisdom and knowledge and accords a special position of privilege to teachers, academics and intellectual minds. The communist ecosystem has aptly understood this mindset of us Indians and misappropriated it by trying to shape the public opinion in order to satisfy their own sinister designs.
Communists target young students in university campuses who seem to be angry and frustrated with the system. Their young age makes them a vulnerable lot to the propaganda-peddling machinery of the Communists. It is an erroneous brand of politics that feeds on a vicious cycle of violence, hypocrisy and intolerance of any idea which questions their narrative. Across the world, we have several examples of countries where people lost their basic freedoms of dissent and debate under communist dictatorships. Communism is good on paper, but in practice, it has destroyed societies and the very spirit of freedom/liberty on which they stand.
There is a fundamental problem behind the ideas of ‘class’ and ‘classless society’ of Karl Marx, which is clearly visible in the issues that are raised by the communist parties. Marx had divided society between the property-owning class of capitalists (bourgeoisie) and the non-propertied class of workers (proletariat). As a result of the oppression and economic exploitation that the latter faces in the hands of the former, there would be conflict of interests between these two classes, eventually resulting in the outbreak of a revolution. This is the theory of class struggle that culminates in the ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’ and the establishment of a classless society.
Interestingly, what Marx completely ignored was the fact that in between these two classes of capitalists and workers, there also exists a huge middle class which constantly acts as a cushion and prevents a direct clash. This is also one of the possible reasons why communism has remained a huge failure, because it never actually recognised the the middle class. Somehow, today’s communists too, are also not mentally programmed to deal with the middle class, their problem and concerns; they only keep talking about the same old ideas of bourgeois versus proletariat, ignoring the interests of the middle class and its increasing importance in the social and political affairs of countries.
On top of all these, the most important reason that communism has failed to garner mass support, especially in a country like India, is its open hypocrisy towards culture and traditions with which the majority of the population here still identify themselves. Secularism is good in its own right; but in India, to expect people to be irreligious or non-spiritual is way too much. Our gods and deities are associated with a certain belief system which intrinsically resonates with the physical and mental well-being of each and every single living creature on this planet. But, the radical and communal face of communism derives its fuel from Hindu hatred and everything that is Indic, original to Bharat. They have cleverly manipulated and twisted the meanings of words contained in our ancient Sanskrit texts to misrepresent them so that it then becomes easy to provoke passionate and emotional students who are already angry with a corrupt and inefficient system.
Communist literature on poverty and exploitation of the poor, etc. has systematically ignored the spiritual importance of the worship of different deities in the Hindu pantheon by common Indians. E.g. we associate wealth with Lakshmi, knowledge with Saraswati, power with Durga/Kali, etc. But, the West-inspired Indian education system that largely glorify communist ideas have taught us theories on poverty/wealth-generation, power, etc. from a perspective that has not paid heed to the peculiar socio-political and cultural ethos of the Indian society. The problem lies in our collective intellectual lethargy that has not only accepted these borrowed discourses of the West as the ultimate truth, but also forgotten to question their applicability and long-term relevance in the Indian context. Those who question their narrative and theories are projected as Fascist or Sanghi – an easy tactic to protect their castles.
Moreover, trying to convert the discussion on each and every other social and cultural issue into an “intellectual debate” is something which the communists are very much fond of indulging in, but in doing so, they have alienated themselves more from the common masses. The Indian public wants solutions to their problems, instead of continuously cribbing about the same. Communists are also supposed to be the champions of the Dalit cause, but there is hardly any representation of Dalits/Scheduled Caste members in the communist politburos of India. They also claim themselves to be the messiahs of freedom of speech and expression, non-violence and tolerance, but have been party to some of the worst forms of violence in states like Kerala and West Bengal.
Political activism comes with a certain grace that not only lets us put forward our own political opinions in the public domain in a free spirit, but also teaches us to respect and hear those of others’ too. But, instead of political activism, communist party workers in these states have engaged in political hooliganism and goondagardi to take on their opposition, which has eroded whatever legitimacy that had been left in their bastions! In their desperate attempt to be anti-establishment, they have become vehemently anti-India which is unforgiving in itself.
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