POLITICAL PARTIES IN INDIA
CONCEPT OF A POLITICAL PARTY • A political party is defined as an organised group of people with at least roughly similar political aims and opinions, that seeks to influence public policy by getting its candidates elected to public office. • Political parties are often described as institutionalized mediators between civil society and those who decide and implement decisions. By this, they enable their members’ and supporters’ demands to be represented in parliament and in government. Even though parties fulfil many vital roles and perform several functions in a democratic society, the nomination and presentation of candidates in the electoral campaign is the most visible function to the electorate.
The internal functioning of individual political parties is to some extent determined by forces that are external to political parties, such as the electoral system, political culture, legal regulations, etc. However, internal processes of political parties, such as the personality of leaders and staff, the ideological foundations, party history, and internal political culture are considered to be even more influential on the internal functioning. • Party members may also take on more formal roles in decision-making like participating in internal elections for leadership positions or in selecting the party’s candidate(s) in the upcoming elections. Many parties also work actively to enhance the role of traditionally under-represented groups in their parties.
COMMUNIST PARTY OF INDIA (MARXIST) • The CPI(M) was formed at the Seventh Congress of the Communist Party of India held in Calcutta from OCTOBER 31 TO NOVEMBER 7, 1964. The CPI(M) was born in the struggle against revisionism and sectarianism in the communist movement at the international and national level, in order to DEFEND THE SCIENTIFIC AND REVOLUTIONARY TENETS OF MARXISM-LENINISM and its appropriate application in the concrete Indian conditions. The CPI(M) combines the fine heritage of the anti-imperialist struggle and the revolutionary legacy of the undivided Communist Party which was founded in 1920. OVER THE YEARS, THE PARTY HAS EMERGED AS THE FOREMOST LEFT FORCE IN THE COUNTRY. • The party also aim at implementing reservations for the disabled in public sector employment, poverty alleviation programmes and education for the disabled. As of 2008, CPI(M) is heading three state governments which are KERALA, WEST BENGAL AND TRIPURA. • On the last day of the party’s 18th congress, the central committee elected PRAKASH KARAT as the new general secretary of CPI(M). The other active members in the party are West Bengal Chief Minister BUDDHADEB BHATTACHARYAJEE, V.S. ACHUTHANANDAN-CURRENT CHIEF MINISTER OF KERALA, JYOTI BASU, MANIK SARKAR AND RAMACHANDRAN PILLAI. Another important leader and public face of CPI (M) IS SITARAM YECHURY who is head of the International Department and Editor of CPI (M)s central weekly Peoples’ Democracy.
Communist party of india • On December 26, 1925, a few ardent young patriots moved by the urge to free the motherland from colonial bondage, inspired by the Great October Socialist Revolution and fired with revolutionary zeal, braved imperialist persecution and came together in the city of Kanpur, to form the Communist Party of India with a view to fight for national independence and a future of socialism. • HISTORICALLY -- The CPI was born in the period when the anti-imperialist struggle in India had acquired new mass militant dimensions taking the shape of the historic first non-cooperation movement of 1920-22, led by the Congress and headed by Gandhiji. The workers, peasants, middle classes and students had been roused to new levels of consciousness and action. Thousands of militant patriotic cadres had been thrown up by the national upheaval. But the disappointment and disenchantment caused by the sudden withdrawal of the non-cooperation movement compelled them to search for new, more revolutionary and consistent platforms and forms of anti-imperialist struggle. • The CPI was born out of the disillusionment of the national-revolutionaries with the methods they had employed hitherto, which despite all their unparalleled heroism and sacrifices had FAILED TO ROUSE THE MASSESinto action against British imperialist rule.
The CPI was born in the fire of the militant and class upsurge of the workers, and of the peasants and students manifested in a wave of strike struggles, anti-landlord actions, anti-imperialist boycotts and hartals. This had already led to the foundation of the ALL India Trade Union Congress in 1920, to the first celebration of May Day in 1923 with the rallying cry: "Workers of All Lands Unite". Conscious of the historic role of the workers and peasants in the freedom struggle, groups of communists went to work among them, to organise them, to build the trade union movement on the foundation of class-struggle, to bring them forward to the arena of the broad struggle and to imbue them with socialist ideals. • Land to the tiller! Nationalisation of foreign imperialist capitalist! Adult suffrage! The nation’s wealth in the nation’s hands! 8-hour working day! Democratic rights of organization, meeting, demonstration and strike! Social equality for women! Social justice for the untouchables! – these and other demands which were destined to become national demands, first resounded after 1925 from the ranks of the CPI. • In 1936 along with many revolutionary-democratic personalities the All India KisanSabha was set up, under whose banner in the years to come, mighty anti-feudal peasant actions demanding an end to the zamindari system, for security of tenancy rights and for land to those who till it, were fought. • The same year, i.e. in 1936 the All India Student’s Federation was founded, which emerged as the foremost champion and leader of the student movement throughout the country. Several generations of its leading cadres joined the CPI. • 1936 too saw the founding of the Progressive Writers’ Association in which communist writers played a prominent part. Another big step forward was taken in 1943, with the formation of the Indian Peoples’ Theatre Association (IPTA). It was a landmark in the development of our great national culture. Revolutionary songs, plays, ballets, street plays, revival of folk forms of art and culture, have helped to bring the people to culture and culture to the people.
Post- Independence • TELEGANA ARMED STRUGGLE symbolises one of the most heroic of such struggles led by the Communist Party of India. It was first and foremost a struggle to throw off the Nizam’s yoke on the people of the then Hyderabad state, to integrate the state in India and to bring to an end the autocratic oppression of the people. It developed into a struggle for expropriating the land of the feudal lords and distributing it to the landless. The Bhoodan Movement was a sequel to the Telengana struggle. • The CPI advocated and fought for their reorganisation on the principled basis of common language, culture and contiguity, which would bring state administration closer to the masses and enable their linguistic and cultural development. This was a democratic demand which took account of the specific ethnic and cultural identity of each linguistic community. • There are some unsolved problems even today, mainly as a result of uneven development and long-suffering neglect of some regions and more particularly of regions where the tribal people are in a majority, or were in a majority till recent times. The CPI is carrying on the struggle either for separate statehood or regional autonomy for such regions inhabited by tribal and ethnic groups, keeping in view the overall interests of national integrity and balanced development of these regions themselves. The CPI is also fighting along with other left and democratic parties and forces for rolling back the erosion that has been caused to the rights of the states within a federal set-up and therefore for restructuring centre-state relations. • ANTI-CAPITALISM AND ANTI-BJP: The coming to power of the BJP, has posed a real threat to India’s secular federal democratic polity. It is a threat to India’s democratic and socialist future. In the name of pursuing a new economic policy, the present BJP- led govt. is carrying through a programme of ‘liberalisation’, ‘globalisation’ and ‘privatisation’, under the dictates of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank and by succumbing to the presure of imperialist USA and the Developed West inside the WTO. As a result, the public sector is being privatised and in many cases liquidated; valuable public assets are being sold for a song; MNCs are being permitted to take over vital sectors of the economy or replace our labour-intensive informal sector; all restrictions on imports are being waived and the domestic market is being thrown open to consumer goods dumped by foreign concerns; the rupee is being devalued; indigenous industries are threatened with closure; prices and unemployment are rising fast, and the livelihood of millions who live on traditional industries are seriously jeopardised. The BJP is serving the interests of monopoly capital-both domestic and foreign, and sacrificing national interests. Its foreign policy follows its economic policy. It is seen to be snuggling up to the USA and denigrating the Non-aligned Movement.
BAHUJAN SAMAJ PARTY • A CENTRIST NATIONAL POLITICAL PARTY IN INDIA WITH SOCIALIST LEANINGS. IT WAS FORMED TO CHIEFLY REPRESENT BAHUJANS (LITERALLY MEANING "PEOPLE IN MAJORITY"), REFERRING TO PEOPLE FROM THE SCHEDULED CASTES, SCHEDULED TRIBES AND OTHER BACKWARD CASTES (OBC) AS WELL AS MINORITIES. THE PARTY CLAIMS TO BE INSPIRED BY THE PHILOSOPHY OF B. R. AMBEDKAR. THE BSP WAS FOUNDED BY THE HIGH-PROFILE, CHARISMATIC LEADER KANSHI RAM IN 1984, WHO WAS SUCCEEDED BY MAYAWATI IN 2003. THE PARTY'S POLITICAL SYMBOL IS AN ELEPHANT. IN THE 15TH LOK SABHA THE PARTY HAS 21 MEMBERS, MAKING IT THE 4TH-LARGEST PARTY. THE BSP HAS ITS MAIN BASE IN THE INDIAN STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH. • Kanshi Ram was able to promote the organisation in the states of Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh. Although the BSP is recognised by the Election Commission as a national party it effectively functions on certain North Indian states only. It's ideology is based on the argument that the majority are oppressed by the select upper class. It aims to change this using the government power. • Mayawati and Kanshi Ram are the two key figures of the party. • The BSP first entered the election fray in 1984 but didnot do well. It started to rise in the post alliances era. While in power in 1995, the BSP was clouded in several controversies. • It still has risen with it's limited following based on the cast credentials.It's single point program is the upliftment of dalits.