ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Unite against Communalism


Sonal Shah’s article, “Indian Socialists and Their Legacy” (EPW, 22 October) may be read along with Irfan Habib’s letter to the Communist Party of India (Marxist) —CPI(M)—politburo on 26 June 2016 on the need to reinvent the left in the context of the emergence of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The socialists and communists should join hands to address the new political environment where majority communalism is being made the dominant ideology.

The traditional left in the country including the socialists and communists are on the wane, and that they alone cannot fight the BJP is a plain truth. The socialists who had secured 10% votes in the first general elections could secure only 8.7% votes in the last general elections, that is, 3.4% for Samajwadi Party, 1.7% for Biju Janata Dal, 1.3% for Rashtriya Janata Dal, 1.1% for Janata Dal (United), 0.7% for Janata Dal (Secular) and 0.5% for Indian National Lok Dal. The communists who had secured 8% votes and 61 seats in Lok Sabha a decade and half ago secured only 4.5% votes and 12 seats in the last Lok Sabha elections. It consists of 3.2% to CPI(M), 0.8% to Communist Party of India (CPI), 0.3% Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP), and 0.2% Forward Bloc. In the second general elections, the undivided Communist Party brought its 27 members to Lok Sabha from nine states, but now it is confined to three states. The Congress party that secured one-fifth of the total votes polled in the last Lok Sabha elections cannot be wished away when forming an anti-BJP front.

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