Economics India

Sunday, February 12, 2006

India's Leftist Parties Letting Out Anger

India's leftist parties are upset over India’s vote at the IAEA in favor of the referral of Iran nuclear issue to U.N. Security Council, embarrassed by the fact that their mentors, China and Russia, also voted in favor. Are India’s leftist parties feeling isolated? Looks like the leftist parties must revisit their respective ideologies and programs, rooted as these must be in Indian soil.

There are other issues over which India's leftist parties have yet to come to grips including privatization, public-private partnerships, and the role of FDI in the country's economic development. During 1970s, China’s Communist Party Chairman, Late Mr. Deng Xioping, told his people, guys, GET RICH FIRST and then we will see how we distribute our wealth? He opened the country’s borders, especially coastal regions -- special economic zones -- to foreign capital and technology.

Throwing away the garb of extreme socialism, in early 1990s, Russia's former President Yeltsin embraced capitalism and went on with mass privatization of many of the state-owned enterprises and state farms. He too encouraged the flow of foreign capital and technology to begin the process of economic renewal from what was then a big junk-yard.

Of course, Indian form of communism or socialism, – which was never close to what China and Russia preached and practiced over decades -- has a limited focus on protecting interests of working class and peasantry-- and not on nationalizing private property. Even the leftist parties do not expect Indian farmers to give up an inch of their land in favor of state ownership.

It is clear that time has come for India's leftist parties to chart out their own medium to long-term paths with clarity and conviction for the country's economic development, that they want to purse to further reduce poverty and deprivation and ensure social safety nets to millions of people. They need to go to the people at large with their own well thought out agenda rather than blaming coalition partners for not doiong what they would want to achieve under their own platforms. The leftist parties need to face the winds of change that are blowing all over the world including through the lengths and breadths of their mentors, Russia and China, and explore what they must need to do in India including changing their own orientation in some ways!

WHAT DO YOU THINK? Please comment


  • Many of the CPI bosses are well trained economist and are capable of revisiting their theoretical foundations. Many of them have actually studied in the US and have not lived in a communist cooperative farms even for a day or have worked in a state managed factory in the late USSR. Many of the CPI bosses have their children and grand children studying in the US and other western countries. So I do not understand what drives them intellectually except for their own hypocrisy. I hope that the great almighty influences their schizophrenic attitude about privatization and converts them towards the path of sanity and reality. I remember that Chairman Mao had told BT Ranadive that the communism in India will never succeed, no matter how hard you try, as long as the bosses of the communist parties come for high caste families!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:56 AM  

  • Its a demonstrated if sad fact of life that public ownership leads to a bureaucratic style that tends to ignor the interest of the people it is meant to serve in favour of a narrow selfserving interest. The lack of market competition means that resources are often misdirected into networking with political figures, giving them patronage powers but at the expense of serving the real needs of citizens. It leads to inefficiency, mis-allocation of resources and lower available wealth.

    At one level opposition to privatisation is just a reaction to the loss of patronage powers. But at a different level the intellectual problem for leftist parties is that while privatisation and competition may create a better focus on serving customer needs, efficiency and wealth creation it does not address issues of disadvantage. Indeed it may help make such problems worse, building income and new advantages for some and leaving others behind.

    Anyone who compares Russia and China today with 20 years ago will find wealth, growth, and optimism that was not there before. They will also find worse health care, living conditions and employment conditions for the poor, especially the rural poor.

    My own view is that leftist parties often oppose privatisation, not because they do not know state ownership does not deliver a caring equal society, but because they do not know what does and so cling to old failed methods because they have no other option.

    Social democratic parties can accept inequalities as a necessary part of capitalism and focus on ways of mitigating its effect, creating opportunities through education, redistribution through taxation and a safty net for those who fail. They become interested in 2social enterprise" as part of how capitalisms excesses are managed.

    But communists and radical socialists in theory want to use state control of economic power to force equality. If they give this up they have a hole in the centre of their world view. Obviously, they will always oppose privatisation.

    By Anonymous Peter Milford, at 3:06 AM  

  • Indian communists are hopeless. Except West Bengal and to some extent Kerala they have no presence in India anywhere. They are said to be less currupt than others. They oppose every rise in pay of MP as they know it will pass in LS. No Commie MP has refused to take higher paycheck.For last 25 years they are ruling West Bengal but they have not been able to do much.
    They say PPF interest rate shd not be reduced but do not tell how to bring extra money to pay higher interest. This is Rs.3000 crore extra burden
    Their Secretary Mr. Karat immediately after his appointment sent his wife to Rajyasabha.
    Commies are opposed to fuel price rise.
    They are instigating Bank, Railway and govt employees to go on strike but govt can not do anything inspite of clearcut directives from Supreme court in this regard. It just because UPA govt is dependant on their support.
    It is not a national party. They said that if China says no to Iran it must be good for India also to say no to Iran. That is their political maturity. God save India from such horrible people.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:14 PM  


    By Blogger Vengal, at 4:18 AM  

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