Communist ideology is dying in India and communists are on their way out. The process would be almost complete with the coming Assembly elections in West Bengal and Kerala during 2011. Though Communism is long dead in the land of its origin, it could survive in the poor nations only because of the wrong notion that communists are pro-poor and they will always stand with the poor. But this misplaced hope has been exposed completely. In China, the communists have long abandoned genuine Communism, as proposed by Karl Marx, and are excelling in the practice of ‘Capitalistic Communism’. In many other places, Communism is no more pro-poor but more into the business of keeping the poor forever poor in order to maintain their relevance. In India we have degenerated to a situation of witnessing scotch whisky and lipstick being arranged during Polit Bureau meetings in place of tea-without-milk and road-side snacks, and the more hypocritical scenario of a party of toiling workmen being led by a set of people who have never worked in their lives. Though Communism is dying the relevance of Leftism is still alive and might continue to grow in countries like India.
The relevance of Leftism is eternal if we mean by it the collective conscience of all those who care about the weak and deprived in our midst. All those who are physically, economically or socially handicapped need a prop and leftists are those who provide the same. It has long been falsely assumed that only a handicapped can understand another handicapped and will help them. But this is not at all true. Communism survived for a century on the wrong notion that only workers care for other workers and all workers would like to remain struggling forever. Marx clearly missed the point that inside each struggling worker there is a desire or hope to become a capitalist one day. The basic instincts of human beings were overlooked while theorizing an ideology for governance. The intentions were good but whatever is built up on a flawed foundation cannot sustain. The relevance of an alternative derived from an ideology that has survived for multiple millennia becomes important here.
The concept of dharma is very basic to the instincts of any human with a positive outlook. In short, dharma is that which sustains and anything being dharmic means it is sustainable. The whole of mankind at any time can be considered as a single group in a journey. This is true at the micro and macro levels. All of us are trying to survive in a background of constant efflux of time. In this mass transit we are all duty bound to help all our co-travelers who are weak and tired because of any reason. The case of all those who are poor, deprived, unhealthy and subjugated is identical to this. Innocent men who are maimed in terrorist blasts, women who are raped by invaders and children who are dying of hunger are all our co-travelers who deserve to be helped. While all other isms try to differentiate between us and them, in one form or another, there is one in India which has all along been advocating the equality of everything in this universe on the basis of a common origin and the presence of the same entity in everything. Advaita can very well become the basic foundation of what can be called as dharmic leftism – an innate responsibility of the haves towards have-nots.
No one has propounded a similar theory in better lines than Pandit Deendayal Upadhaya in his Integral Humanism. It is not surprising to note the interesting presence of Deen (sufferer) and Dayal (sympathy) in his very name. I find no better name than ‘Deendayalism’ for a wonderful combination of Leftism and Rightism, in the universal glue of dharma, to bring about an era of dharmic socialism in the world. The millions of poor in India are the best starting point for a convincing demonstration of the applicability of dharma in their upliftment. With the strong sense of dharma that is inherent in an overwhelming majority of Indians, the combined relevance of Dharma and Leftism in the form of Deendayalism can make a very meaningful intervention in Indian society. Right wing parties in India will be making a big mistake if they cannot seize this opportunity. Death of Communism in India is perhaps their last chance for a resurgence to eternal glory.
In a working democracy, success of political parties is determined only by their ability to identify the right instruments for social intervention to alleviate the problems faced by common man. For potential practitioners of Deendayalism the options are very clear. One of the most exasperating problem that the poor in India face is about the ownership of land. How can we call anyone an Indian if he or she does not own even a square inch of the motherland? And how do we expect farmers to produce the basic food that all of us need if they do not own any land? Extensive land reform to empower the poor farmers with land ownership is the first and foremost social intervention tool to be utilized by the Deendayalists. There must be no compromise at all in this. Land fit for agriculture must be preserved at all costs for food cultivation and ownership of most of the agricultural land must necessarily rest with the farmers for food cultivation. The state of Kerala is the best example of a tragedy in waiting for yielding to commercial crops in place of the basic food crops. Fundamentalism and Rubber cultivation has virtually brought the famed Kerala Model to an infamous one.
The other dharmic tools that can help Deendayalists take the leftist space are efforts at rejuvenation of our cultural heritage among the common man. Bharat degenerated into India only because a section of our people restricted the spread of Sanskrit and Vedic literature among the common man. The wide gap that it has created in our society still continues. Deendayalism must address this issue very earnestly even at the cost of defining the so-called secularism that is suffocating our cultural ethos. The rationality and scientific temper intrinsic in Bhagavad Gita and Bhagavatam must reach the Rikshaw drivers, toiling farmers and industrial workers in our nation. India’s young generations must be made to realize the heights of rationality attained in our spiritual pursuits. Economic development of our country is unstoppable now, but the spiritual health of our people can be elevated only by a conscious effort against enormous odds. Toiling workers, farmers and adivasis must be brought into the very focus of national mainstream, as rightful prime beneficiaries of Deendayalism.
It will be foolish on the part of Deendayalists to believe that Pakistan and China will keep quiet if such a dharmic social revolution takes place in India. The existence of Pakistan is solely dependent on the success of their two-nation theory and they now have so many sympathizers within India. And an introverted China will definitely provide all its help for Pakistan to play the spoilsport. But a strong and determined India that has been through worse times in history is more than a match for these evil nations built on unsubstantiated isms. The element of God present in all humans will ultimately make all individuals, even in Pakistan and China, realize the true path towards growth, development and salvation. A resurgent India led by Deendayalism can truly become the paradise on earth for all those who desire for one and who foolishly believe that there is one such in another heaven somewhere presided over by a non-existent God. Remember that in Bharat it was service to the poor (Manavseva) that was considered as praising the Lord (Madhavaseva).