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Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Commies fail to account Election money !!!

More than 100 years ago, in the evening of October 25, 1917, the Winter Palace in Petrograd (today's St Petersburg) was stormed. This event marked the beginning of the Great October Revolution, one of the most significant political events of the twentieth century that shaped the course of history for decades ahead.  Lenin had stomach neither for parliamentary democracy nor for sharing power with any other political organisation. His unwavering intent to establish socialism in Russia, regardless of the ripeness of the social and economic conditions, and his firm conviction that only the Bolsheviks represented the true interests of the workers, would compel him to adopt strategies and policies that would soon deprive the Revolution of whatever potential it had originally had for the establishment of a new social order based on workers' control of the means of production and democracy (which Lenin, sadly enough, associated with the "dictatorship of the proletariat").  .. .. read elsewhere ! ~ something on communism in India.

Back home, the Communist Party of India on Wednesday accused the government of trying to divert people’s attention from the unfolding economic downturn. A statement issued at the end of the National Executive meeting, warned of economic recession and called for protection of democratic rights of the people of Kashmir and of those affected by the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam. The CPI announced support to the agitation by the Left parties on October 10 and asked its units to be ready for a “prolonged” struggle.

Indian communists have always had a very uncomfortable relationship with nationalism. Some of the major debates and divisions within the Communist Party of India have revolved around the question of nationalism and the national movement. And, if the truth be told, these debates do not exactly hold up the comrades in an edifying light. On the scorecard of nationalism, the performance of Indian communists is poor to say the least.

To begin with the most notorious example that communists have never been able to live down: 1942. The CPI was officially against the Quit India movement. What needs to be emphasized here is that this decision of the CPI was not based on any understanding of the Indian situation by Indian communists. The opposition to the clarion call of 1942 was the outcome of a diktat emanating from Moscow. When Hitler attacked his erstwhile ally, the Soviet Union, in 1941, the fight against Nazism overnight became a People’s War for all communists. The directive from Moscow was carried by Achhar Singh Chinna, alias Larkin, who travelled from the Soviet Union to India with the full knowledge of the British authorities. In India, it meant communists had to isolate themselves from the mainstream of national life and politics and see British rule as a friendly force since the communists’ “fatherland”, Soviet Russia, was an ally of Britain. A critical decision affecting the strategic and the tactical line of the party was thus taken defying national interests at the behest of a foreign power, whose orders determined the positions and actions of the CPI.

In 1948, within a few months of India becoming independent, the CPI under the leadership of B.T. Randive launched the line that this freedom was fake (yehazadijhootihai), and argued that the situation in India was ripe for an armed revolution. The Randive line led to the expulsion of P.C. Joshi, who believed that freedom from British rule was a substantial achievement and that, tactically, the communist movement would gain by supporting leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru who, Joshi said, represented a “progressive” trend within the Congress. Apart from the inner-party struggle, what needs to be noted here is that the Randive line, which completely misread the national mood, was the direct outgrowth of a policy formulated by the Comintern (or the Cominform, as it had renamed itself), in other words, Moscow. The directive of Moscow to the Indian communists was that Congress should be opposed since it was no more than a satellite of imperialism. The retreat from this line was also sounded from Moscow in the form of an editorial entitled, “For a Lasting Peace”, in the mouthpiece of the Cominform. [if you have any objections, this portion is simply a reproduction of an article in Telegraph India] :  Commies blunders

Communist Party of India claims  that it was formed on 26 Dec 1925 at the first Party Conference in Kanpur, then Cawnpore. S. V. Ghate was the first General Secretary of CPI. But as per the version of CPI (M), the Communist Party of India was founded in Tashkent, Turkestan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic on 17 October 1920, soon after the Second Congress of the Communist International. CPI is among the National parties of India but now struggling to keep that moniker.

Way back in my PSU days, there existed a vociferous union who claimed they do not have any affiliation [but was a Marxist one] and when some members of the Association sympathized on national calamity that befell on Kashmiri pundits, the Union strongly objected to that.  In a conundrum, they fought for the rights of contract workers stating that none should be on contract but should only be employed with all benefits – but there was a worker in the Union Office who did all sundry work at a measly salary and was on a contract !!

Media reports state that China’s largest ride-hailing company, DidiChuxing, has launched a branding initiative that allows drivers who are Communist Party members to publicise their membership through its app and on their car’s dashboard.The company, China’s equivalent of Uber, said in a social media article on Friday that the Red Flag Steering Wheel programme was launched for drivers to promote the virtues of party membership.“The profile photos [on the app] of the drivers will have a red background and a party emblem to identify them as a party member,” the Weibo article said.“[The programme] aims to distribute the latest directions and policies of the party to [Didi] drivers through offline and online activities, and to help them learn and be active members of the party community,” it said.“We want to raise awareness among drivers of [providing a better] service and ensuring safer and more comfortable transport for the public.”

Down under, a minor political scandal in Australia has shone a bright light on the threat the Chinese Communist Party and its chauvinistic attitude to race poses to Chinese-heritage politicians in democracies across the world.In May 2019, Gladys Liu from the Victorian seat of Chisholm became the first female Chinese-Australian elected to sit in the Australian Lower House of Parliament. That was a significant milestone and not before time given there are approximately 1.2 million citizens with Chinese ancestry in a nation of 25 million. What was then a celebration of progress with respect to ethnic diversity amongst the ranks of politicians has descended into controversy.Over the past month, it was revealed that Liu was previously associated with Australia-based organizations with alleged ties to the United Front Work Department of the Chinese Communist Party. Known as an effective fund raiser for her Liberal Party, there are also questions about the links of those donors to Beijing, which Liu allegedly tapped for money.

Liu has strenuously denied any association with the Chinese government, saying she would always put "Australia's interests first," and said she would audit local organizations which had listed her as a member without her permission.Australia is at the forefront of calling out and passing legislation against covert influence and foreign interference activities by Chinese operatives. Regardless of how this plays out for Liu, the deeply uncomfortable issue for pluralistic democratic societies of the link between race and allegiance has been pulled into the spotlight.

Away from global to local –  the CPI, TMC and the NCP have been called for a personal hearing by the Election Commission which had earlier issued them notices asking why their 'national party' status should not be revoked following their performance in the Lok Sabha elections, sources said.The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the Communist Party of India (CPI) face the prospect of losing their national party status following the EC notice.The sources said as per established norms, the three parties have been given a chance to personally present their case before the poll panel.  Earlier this month, the three had responded to the notices and defended their national party status.The CPI is learnt to have said that after Congress, it is the oldest party in the country which had been the principal opposition party in Lok Sabha.The CPI, the BSP and the NCP were facing the prospect of losing their national party status after their dismal performance in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections as well.However, they got a reprieve when in 2016 the EC amended its rules, whereby national and state party status of political parties are to be reviewed every 10 years instead of five.

What purpose is served by calling themselves the oldest party, when their representation and support base is almost eroded.  Reduced to single-digit strength in Parliament, Left parties CPI and CPM have been put in a spot for accepting donations of 15 crore and 10 crore respectively from DMK during the Lok Sabha polls earlier this year.

CPM, CPI and Kongu Nadu Democratic Party (KNDP), among others, contested the Lok Sabha polls as DMK’s alliance partners in Tamil Nadu. In its declaration of election expenditure to the Election Commission last week, DMK recorded donations of 40 crore from its total election expenses of about 79 crore to alliance partners CPI, CPM and KNDP.  In its affidavit submitted to the Election Commission on July 10 and September 13, the CPI(M) had said the expenditure across the country was around Rs 7.2 crore. The CPI has not submitted its expenditure yet, reported Times Now.The CPI and the CPI(M) were allotted two seats by DMK in the Lok Sabha polls in Tamil Nadu. The parties won both the seats.

CPI State secretary R Mutharasan said it was usual for alliance partners to help each other during elections. “What we have received is not scam money,” he added.The Bharatiya Janata Party hit out at the Left parties for concealing the donations. “If true this is an extremely serious charge where one political party in its affidavit states of having given another political party a huge amount of money which the other political party doesn’t disclose in its affidavit,” NalinKohli told IANS.While it is not unusual for bigger political parties to assist smaller allies during polls, this exchange caught the public eye for being a transaction between two opposing ends of the ideological spectrum. “Capitalist parties like DMK and AIADMK have traditionally been the favourite whipping boys of the Left parties for their disproportional use of “money power” in electoral processes. This is also arguably first instance of political parties, that too, national ones, accepting money from another.

CPM made divergent statements on the issue. While TN CPM state secretary K Balakrishnan acknowledged the donation, CPM politburo did not acknowledge it. CPI sources, however, acknowledged the money it took from DMK was a difficult but a politically expedient choice as the cashstrapped party is fighting to remain relevant in electoral politics. CPI general secretary D Raja, however, sought to explain the exchange as “normal”. “This is not unethical. In Tamil Nadu, coalitions are made through signed agreements and offering financial support is normal. The exchange was done transparently through bank transfers and we will submit our accounts to the Election Commission next week,” he said.

So parties which had all along claimed to be poor, pro-poor are now openly admitting that accepting financial support in crores in normal .. .. what was sold, what was gotten ? ~ all along they spoke of poor / rich divide – of other parties being Capitalistic [Ambani / Adani] while they are pro-poor. Worser still, such normal transactions are not even accounted !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
26th Sept. 2019.

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