I am writing to thank you for carrying the landmark interview with Com. Lal Singh, General Secretary of the CGPI under the title `Corruption, Capitalism and the Indian State’ in the April 1-15, 2014 issue of MEL. The interview reveals the high level of preparedness of the interviewer as well as the interviewee and thus represents a cornerstone of the modern day Marxism-Leninism is practice at the forefront of the revolutionary struggle. Rather than name calling and indulging in left-chauvinism and rhetoric, the interview demonstrates how a scientific approach clears the political air so that a way forward can be found.
The interview clearly points out that in the present era, a lot of noise is being made out about corruption being the main problem that besets the people of India and that it is not capitalism itself. Whereas the workers and the masses are fed up with capitalism and the disasters that have been its fellow-traveller since its inception in the country primarily in the colonial period and in the last 67 years, it is also a fact that the Indian state and its functionaries have placed an additional burden on the backs of the Indian people.
The interview points out that corruption is not a new thing, but has been dealt with by political theoreticians in the past, including the authors of the Arthashastra. It has to do with the rise of class divided society and the use of public office for private gain. Nevertheless, the scale of the phenomenon today has tarnished the face of India and that of the state and has been brought embarrassment to the Indian ruling circles who wish to operate a credible state.
It is also important to note, as has been pointed out in the interview, that it is not the first time that corruption has become a centerpiece as has been in the case of the Aam Admi Party’s platform, but it has been around since the time of Jaya Prakash Narayan as well as V. P. Singh. The noise around corruption is both sponsored by the bourgeoisie and is also a symptom that they are unable to get rid of their internal contradictions. However, the interview points out that it is not possible to transform 'crony capitalism’ where there is the hegemony of monopoly houses and vast concentration of resources in a few hands to a `honest capitalism’ where there would be room for healthy competition or whatever are the touted features of capitalism. The only direction now is that of socialism and communism. Thus, the interview clarifies the role of the present day obsession with corruption and also points out that such a debate also serves to dilute the struggle against capitalism.
The interview also goes on to debunk many myths that have been propagated on the nature of elections and those of parties that come into power. This is a valuable contribution since it is here that vast confusion resides in the minds of those seeking to liberate India. By examining the past history of elections and that of the policies pursued by various Governments, the interview points out tha the existing State is an instrument of rule by an exploiting minority. Thus it is only a revolutionary change that can alter this state of affairs.
It is a fact that the existing State is the guardian of the minority that loots the surplus value created by labour, and every party that comes to power will only serve this interest.
The interview goes on to discuss various kinds of power and in detail the notion of democratic centralism, which is key to the organization of the working class. Furthermore, the lack of clarity on centralization and decentralization of power gives a fertile ground for imperialist intrigue as evidenced in the interference of big powers in the internal matters of other countries. The interview points out that such dangers hang over India also, and elaborates on how the highly conscious international ruling circles operate, indeed as do the ruling circles of India. In this regard, Com. Lal Singh points out it is important for Indian thinkers to think about and work out the plan for the Indian revolution, arguing against Eurocentrism and in liberating the Indian mind. In particular, Indian political thought and practice has argued for the sovereignity of the people (praja) with an appointed (raja) which over the centuries and rise of caste system has been negated. The interview argues for the modernization of Indian political theory and to bring it up to date. This is the challenge of the times.
S. Nair, Kochi