The Indian Left
The record of the major formations of the Indian Left is contradictory in the extreme. Alone in the capitalist world, the two Communist parties (cpi and cpm) have had lengthy experience of administering semi-autonomous regions, while their respective trade union federations have played a major role in the labour movement throughout the post-Independence era. Yet the Communist Left has never shown serious signs of eroding the political supremacy of the bourgeoisie over the Indian masses: indeed, it has been as if crippled by its early failure to recognize the obvious, that Independence ushered in a form, however backward, of nationally based capitalism, and that the mode of class rule, however weak in comparison with the West, has remained essentially bourgeois-democratic since 1947. These questions of class analysis have already been discussed in my previous article, but the theoretical inadequacies of the Left can be traced back still further to the National Movement period, when the Communists proved incapable of correctly evaluating the nature of the Congress party, its strategy for national liberation, and its relationship to the indigenous bourgeoisie and the colonial state. Even today, differentiation within Indian Communism is often intimately related to perceptions of the role and class character of the Congress.
’My institution subscribes to NLR, why can't I access this article?’
By the same author:
Achin Vanaik explores the specificities of India’s social formation and its lefts, in the only country where both Stalinism and Maoism remain significant political actors. In the wake of recent electoral reverses, what are the prospects for radical renewal?
Achin Vanaik on Bill Emmott, Rivals. Contending Asian powers as arbiters of the 21st century, through Western establishment eyes.
The New Himalayan Republic
The overthrow of the monarchy in Nepal, brought about by a prolonged people’s war and massive popular mobilizations. Achin Vanaik sets out the complex socio-historical backdrop to the Second Democratic Revolution of 2006, the ensuing struggle for a new republic, and the tactical challenges facing the CPN-M.
Strategy after Bush
Achin Vanaik on Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Choice. Clinton’s grey eminence ponders the hegemon’s next moves. What changes are required for imperial strategy to remain the same?
Myths of the Permit Raj
Achin Vanaik on Vivek Chibber, Locked in Place. Why did India’s post-Independence planning not produce a South Korean economic take-off?
Rendezvous at Mumbai
The fourth World Social Forum, in the neoliberal capital of the global South. Soaring elite consumption, widening inequality and anti-Muslim pogroms of Shining India, with the New Hindu Right set for fresh electoral victory.
The New Indian Right
What is the nature of the BJP regime in Delhi—does it offer a viable formula for neoliberal rule in the subcontinent? Bigotry of the market: bigotry of the temple—is a lasting union between them possible? The obsessions and mystifications of Hindu communalism.
Reflections on Communalism and Nationalism in India
The Rajiv Congress in Search of Stability