As a lot of very complicated things have been said
about left unity. It may be interesting to start with a very simple situation in a village where the bulk of people face very exploitative conditions and they really need a strong political force to protect them from this exploitation. However instead of just one such organisation as many as five appear, each one claiming to be better than the other and also making all kinds of exaggerated promises. Seeing the confusion among people the representatives of these organisations also start criticising each other in the strongest terms .As the controversy increases they and their supporters also start fighting each other. All this is being happily seen by those responsible for exploitation who are only too willing to put in their own instigations so that the mutual infighting of those who seek to represent the exploited people can continue.
The exploited people continue to suffer from exploitation as all of their so-called protectors are too busy fighting each other and have also been considerably weakened in the process. Actually the sufferings of the exploited people now even increase as many of them are also now engaged in fighting each other as supporters of the five warring groups. As the situation is getting just too intolerable some elders among the exploited people call a meeting of all the warring groups who claim to be their sympathisers.
At this meeting the elders ask representatives of all the five fighting groups to explain why they are busy fighting each other instead of getting together to resist the exploiters and hence protecting people from their exploitation. The representatives give some replies which are full of quotations from Marx, Lenin and Mao but the people do not at all understand their replies. The people request the representatives to please understand the clear situation that only by resisting together they can stop the exploitation but the representatives again reply with some more quotations. In the end the meeting breaks up without any unity being established. The mutual fighting continues and the exploitation also continues.
This may appear to be an oversimplification of the larger picture in the country but this helps to bring out the helplessness which poor and exploited people feel and also frequently the sense of betrayal they experience because of the failure of the leadership of various left parties and groups to establish a broad unity of left forces. All exploited and deprived people want a broad based unity of left forces so that inequalities and injustices which are most responsible for poverty and deprivation can be rapidly overcome and reduced.
The defining feature of left forces is that their predominant concern is that of equality and justice. This can become the basis of broad-based unity while all the artificial divisions based on empty and hollow debates should be brushed aside. In addition it is a pressing need of present times to be committed to environment protection and more particularly to tackling survival issues like climate change. So the agenda of justice and equality should be well integrated with this.
In addition a firm commitment to peace, democracy, transparency and honesty is certainly needed. Violence is not compatible with democracy and transparency. Violent movements are necessarily secretive while the need is certainly for transparency and open democratic debates. In any case violent methods are badly outdated now and broad based sustainable change having wide support cannot be brought by violent methods. Violence itself is a cause of much distress in the world. So a firm commitment to peace is needed but this does not exclude some basic preparation to check repression unleashed by exploiters. The broad based unity of the forces of justice and equality should be so democratic and creative that it can win the support of well-intentioned people here and abroad. Left unity should be free of dogmatism and should not be guided by any ism added to the name of any person. It should be guided instead by the well researched and well understood needs of the existing society. The broad based left unity should be open to all people and organisations having a firm faith in justice and equality.
Vol. 48, No. 43, May 1 - 7, 2016