Increasing criminalization of politics:

Party dominated system of government is its source!

A reign of terror has been unleashed by the Trinamul Congress in West Bengal. Offices of the CPM have been torched in some areas, and CPM leaders have been attacked. All the while, the police forces remained quiet, or actively connived in these attacks. This latest round of spiraling of violence follows the physical scuffle of SFI activists with TMC ministers in Delhi, and the death of an SFI activist in police custody in Kolkota. The real purpose of this violence is to quell democratic dissent amongst all sections of the people.

All those opposed to the criminalizing of politics and the unleashing of goondas of the party in power against rival parties and the people will unreservedly condemn the developments in West Bengal.

Unleashing of terror against the people as well as political opponents is part of the arsenal of state terror used by the ruling class and the party in power to criminalise dissent and crush it. It is a preferred method of the political parties of the bourgeoisie both to establish and maintain their domination, and also to divert people’s attention from the real source of their problems.

Under the Party dominated system of rule in our country, a political party or coalition comes to power through elections. It uses the state apparatus and its legislative and executive powers to further the agenda of the capitalist class, reward those who have sponsored its rise to power, and to loot and plunder the land, natural and human resources as well as the state exchequer for this purpose. It uses its control over the state apparatus to enrich its coffers and those of its loyalists, agents and supporters. It uses the state apparatus to settle scores with rival political forces and to crush all forms of popular opposition to its rule. It unleashes goonda violence to achieve these nefarious aims. It spreads anarchy and violence. The masses of toiling people, the workers, peasants, students and youth, women and other sections are the inevitable victims. They are completely marginalized and disempowered. They have absolutely no means to prevent all this, to prevent the attack on their rights and liberties or to ensure their security.

The parties that come to power under the present political system invariably do so after obtaining a minority of the votes cast in the elections. They claim to represent the interests of the entire people, but this is not possible, as society is divided into classes. Political parties by their very definition represent the interests of one or the other class in society. The bourgeoisie as a class by its very nature is divided into opposing interests and hence has more than one party representing its interests. How else can such parties come to power, maintain their rule and fulfill their narrow agenda other than by criminalizing politics, and spreading mayhem and terror all around? The criminalization of politics carried out by Congress, BJP, as well as various regional parties like the SP, BSP, DMK, AIADMK, Shiv Sena etc shows that the problem is not restricted to one or two parties. It is a problem that has its source in the party dominated system of rule. All those parties which want to come to power themselves, end up creating an army of goondas to terrorise people and their political rivals.

It is on the basis of this political system that the big monopoly bourgeoisie carries out and maintains its rule over the masses of our people. All power vests in the ruling party and its cabinet and council of ministers. The masses of people have no means to ensure their rights or to take any decisions that affect their lives.

When CPM was in power in West Bengal, and used its party cadre and the police to unleash a reign of terror against the people of Nandigram, Singur and Lalgarh, our party condemned this violence explaining it had nothing to do with communism. When a communist party begins to merge with the state apparatus, and starts trying to establish its own rule, in place of the rule of the toilers and tillers, it inevitably becomes indistinguishable from other bourgeois parties. It begins to justify every kind of violence against the people and political rivals. The experience of CPM rule in West Bengal is clear proof of this. 

The role of Communists is to organize and make conscious the working class and people to become the rulers. This is what our Party has been consistently preparing the working class for. Communists must lead the working class to establish the new socialist society and advance towards the communist society, free from all forms of exploitation of persons by persons. A communist party that begins to play parliamentary games inevitably gives up this mission, becomes part of the system of rule of the capitalist class over the masses of people. It gives up the aim of establishing a new political system in which the people are in power, and begins to worship the existing system of capitalist democracy creating maximum illusions about it. It begins to unleash state terrorism and participates actively in the criminalization of politics.  

Clearly, the need of the hour is a new, alternative political system in which the people are in power. What is needed is a political system in which political power vests firmly in the hands of the working class and toiling people. To be truly empowered, people need a political process that will enable them to select and elect from their midst only those as their political representatives who will firmly defend the interests of the society at large, to exercise control over their political representatives and remove them from office if they violate the mandate of the people. With political power in their hands, the toiling people will be able to take and implement decisions that will ensure the well being and security of all sections of the society, in harmony with one another. In such a new system wherein people set the agenda, the role of political parties will be to make sure that the system works and enable people to remain in power.

The CGPI condemns the politics of state terror and violence, practiced by the political parties in power in the centre and states. We call on the working class and people to unite and come forward in the struggle for building the new, alternative political system and process, in which the people are truly empowered.


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