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CPI-M defends Basu's comments on capitalism
January 07, 2008 16:46 IST
The Communist Party of India � Marxist on Monday today came out in support of veteran leader Jyoti Basu's comments on the issue of capitalism, saying his remarks on the role of the Left Front government had been confused and reported in a contradictory manner.
Maintaining that Basu's remarks were on the nature of capitalist development in West Bengal and the role of the Left Front government, party general secretary Prakash Karat said, "On the basis of these reports, some political leaders have also come out with equally confused and misplaced reactions."
"Only those ignorant of the programme of the CPI-M can talk of the party saying 'goodbye to socialism and welcome to capitalism'," he said.
Last week, Basu had been quoted as saying, "We want capital, both foreign and domestic. After all, we are working in a capitalist system. Socialism is not possible now."
The nonagenarian leader had added, "Socialism is our political agenda... but capitalism will continue to be the compulsion for the future."
He had pointed out that CPI-M-led governments existed in only three states of India and asked. "Can we say that we will establish socialism on this basis?"
Reacting to criticism by political parties as well as CPI-M partner Revolutionary Socialist Party, Karat said, for the Bharaitya Janata Party and the Congress, socialism only denotes a slogan to be used as a smokescreen to promote the interests of big capitalists and foreign finance capital.
"Joining them in the criticism is the RSP, which, unlike the CPI-M, has declared socialism as its immediate goal," he said, adding that the RSP could be asked why it has been working over all these years as part of Left-led governments to implement reforms and welfare measures within the capitalist system.
In a detailed reaction, the CPI-M leader said his party "knows fully well that in states where the Left is in government, they cannot build socialism but undertake some alternative policies within the capitalist system."
Land reform, within the constitutional limits, was one such step taken by the governments in West Bengal, Kerala [Images] and Tripura. Karat said that it was on the basis of this programmatic direction that it joined state governments "knowing fully well that it has limited powers within the Constitution."
Elaborating further, Karat said while working within the capitalist system in a situation where the Centre imposes 'neo-liberal policies', the Left-led governments have to undertake industrialisation and economic development while protecting the interests of workers and the poor.
These governments have been using their limited powers to initiate welfare measures for these sections and put in place policies different from that of state governments run by 'bourgeois parties', Karat said.
Though the Left has been in office in West Bengal for 30 years, capitalist development has been taking place there as in the rest of India. These state governments were helping to strengthen the struggle for alternative policies advocated by the Left and democratic forces at the national level, he said.
Asserting that the CPI-M's goal was to establish a "people's democracy which is a step towards the eventual goal towards socialism," Karat said that as Basu had pointed out, this cannot be done by three state governments.
"The advance to socialism will be realisable only after the Left and democratic forces are strong enough to build an alternative at the national level," he said.