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Indian March to Future

What Electoral campaign does not say
Watching the election battle between contestants this time a notable feature is coming up so sharply as never before: all political parties have left the interest of masses to doggerel and adopted the agenda of corporate capital happily with of course pep talks as usual to play at the gallery. India is presently in the midst of an electoral campaign to choose its political masters for next five years to rule unchecked under a deep shadow of myths. Some feel it is a periodic dance of democracy while others say it is a deceptive game for power and pelf by the rich where common man stands cheated. For another section of people to vote is a national obligation to exercise a statutory right so that rulers get legitimacy or legal sanction what they do to them. It is for the sixteenth time since 1 !" that the country is under this exercise at present with universal adult franchise of a social democratic frame by laboriously maintaining a myth of self# rule simultaneously. $owever% the electoral exercise this time to &ok Sabha with good or bad reasons has gained certain specific underlying features that need careful study for the sake of its own future and which may throw up some untold results for the ruled. 'ne may note that so far India is under an electoral design that was forged to serve during its first social democratic stage of growth% while it has attained a different stage of growth by dint of liberal#global dispensation where it has attained aspirations of an imperialist power. (he desperation how the leading core of corporate houses is out to forge a different set of electoral procedures during the current elections to &ok Sabha that may facilitate its rise to that stage is worth notice. It is investing its resources and energy to adopt a prostituted version of individual centred )merican election practice during this current campaign by forging an iconic leader from *+, to beat the incumbency of its regime for renewal. (he way how other contesting parties fell to this agenda pro-ected through *+, is interesting to note% though it had no legal sanction still with .epresentation of ,eople )ct intact. (he best or the worst thing India has gone through swift change which Sardar /anmohan Singh and his team of hatchet men may proudly claim to have achieved during last two decades of its growth story can be summarised that it has gained the status of being a country of corporate capital% for the corporate capital and by the corporate capital where state establishment merges with the interests of this class. It is intended to keep this -uggernaut going unhindered where rest of the servile population is meant to serve its cause of expropriation at the national or global level with impunity. (hese gentlemen led by economist ,/ are a satisfied lot to earn this distinction of their place in modern Indian history and achieve it through playing the democratic game nicely% harnessing the entire political establishment in the pro-ect. If the .eliance group of Indian corporate capitalists today is out to capture the entire political space in the country through /odi by manipulating the electoral contest employing its media empire none can complain% much less /anmohan Singh and his team. 0xactly to the rule% the rivals to .eliance in the corporate world like *irla% *a-a- etc feel threatened and are trying to balance out the power game by sponsoring fresh faces like 1e-riwal. (hus% as a natural corollary to the growth of liberal#global phase of economy during last two decades% these elections to &ok Sabha have turned into a fierce contest between corporate houses for capturing the entire political establishment to its advantage.

" First thing first2 elections work on a myth that people rule themselves in democracy but through mandated representatives% earning the seal of legitimacy by this process. (his fallacy helps to maintain the rule over citi3ens% through renewals but robs democracy of its soul. )fter casting the vote citi3en has nothing to do with the activities of such representatives in matters of governance. Soon after elections are over% at a point% people tend to get tired of deceptions galore in the system while elections provide an opportunity for the ruling elite fighting incumbency with sham alternatives to escape its violent over#throw. (his is the reason why every political party seeking legitimacy of its betrayal is keen in exhorting the people in elections to vote% pro-ecting it as a national obligation of exercising one4s right5 'ne may recollect% the forte of democracy had rested in the beginning on 607uality% &iberty% Fraternity4 of French .evolution fame. (ill recently everyone% who is anybody in the ranks of governing class anywhere during these past three hundred years% took pride in retailing this gem of their culture. 8ot now. It seems that they have grown tired of it completely. (hey are out now inventing instead lasting virtues in a highly centralised leadership to rule over the masses. (heir idioms have changed. 9nder one alibi or the other% ine7uality is being pro-ected as a driving force for progress% liberty of citi3ens stands s7uee3ed to a bare minimum in search of intruding governance while less said the better about battered fraternity. (hat old slogan has lost its meaning universally with a degree of variation here and there. What happened and Why: It makes an interesting story where people stand betrayed and cheated. It is one known fact of history that% recognising the human trait to resist sub-ugation% the clarion call of eighteenth century French .evolution in 6&iberty% 07uality% Fraternity4 had released a flood of mass energy to come out of a dark age of autocratic rule. Since governance by its nature implies sub-ugation% democracy was designed to make it easy as against autocracy. )s a creed% democracy was defined where people stood supreme. ) distinct philosophy thus came into being based on this creed with individual freedom and liberty at its core. For a time people forgot the pangs of governance. $owever% the leading force of this revolution% a minority heading for capital#based industrial dispensation% soon after coming to power felt insecured and threatened of this released mass energy to its rule. 0fforts were made to turn the slogan into rituality. (he concept of democracy soon was crafted into representative democracy on the spacious plea of practicability and need for regulation was stressed. (his mechanism of representatives ensured democracy to remain within boundaries drawn by the rulers themselves. Focussed as representative of the people% the institution of political party came into existence that served the state to rule by keeping this mass energy in check. (hrough such a mechanism% the slogan of liberty% e7uality and fraternity lost its relevance ultimately. (his is history. ;ontrolled < regulated democracy needed a tool to clip it of its vibrancy and political party became one where a handful of leaders at top exercises its will without any obligation to the ranks or the masses. It is designed to make governance easy over the ruled unlike under autocracy. It ensures easy compliance and creates conditions for a longer life to the system. (his happened in independent India also during its march of six decades. (he 6incumbency4 phenomenon% as generally talked about% is merely an admission of this fact about the nature of governance. )ny party or good man once in power once is bound to come face to face with this reality as a ruler underlining the basic conflict of interest between ruler and the ruled. *e aware

= that political party is an entity of representative form of democracy that was given shape to serve commercial#industrial revolution% while self governing democracy had its roots in the collective way of life with man<woman living in a common habitat with common interests in resources. It is apparent that the current election exercise in India underlines a strong dis7uiet about the old principles of democracy among the governing elites and a passionate urge among them is visible for a controlled version instead so that the right of governance does not slip away from their hands which may -eopardise the interests of corporate capital. 8o other earlier general election to &ok Sabha ever exhibited such a level of distrust in its first faith with a desperate attempt to forge new tools in place. ) bit careful examination of the available material may be useful to understand the undercurrents. (o recount% India has traversed a -ourney of growth over six decades after independence and gained a level of relative economic strength during this first phase as a capitalist country with a corresponding level of polarisation with ine7uality and pauperisation for a vast ma-ority of its labouring masses producing in effect a class who possess a higher degree of disposal income% constituting a big market in conse7uence for finance capital as well as an urge for this capital to move fast even beyond national boundaries% giving rise to imperialist aspirations. It was the condition which created ground for the second phase of capitalist growth when it craved to harness the state structure to its sole service. 'pportunity came its way when the country was ready for general elections to &ok Sabha in 1 1 and it was grabbed with exceptional 3eal by it for a sharp shift. (he socio#economic#political shift which Indian ruling elite had effected by adopting openly market friendly governance instead of people centred approach since 1 1 for consolidating the gains in capitalist growth since 1 >? has conse7uently produced conditions during these last two decades of liberal#global dispensation which badly need now corresponding structural changes in the whole system to navigate its boat safely further in a turbulent world of constant ebb and tides. (he current electoral campaign in the country is showing such uneasy signs for the same. (he law of motion of capitalist growth has worked as per its prescription. (he tools which were forged to serve its cause in its first phase of development can no longer be relevant for the second phase of its ruthless advance. )fter two decades of structural ad-ustment to reach the new stage% the corporate capital now is out to throw away the old for the new baggage. (he 6honest4% 6genial4 and academician Sardar /anmohan Singh was called in to serve the ad-ustment phase and now a fresh warrior is re7uired to give it a push with -olt. Weak is asked to concede space for the strong5 (his is how the political economy of corporate capital works to the rule. 0lectoral exercise is the time when such tools are usually forged. )tal *ihar @overnment had disappointed the expectations of corporate houses during its A year rule while its arrogance during its service to the corporate houses had alienated the masses in midst of worst deprivation. (he parallel centre of power at .SS head7uarter in Belhi<8agpur had left )tal *ihari as a beleaguered ,rime /inister. When it suffered humiliating defeat in elections *+, was left highly demoralised and its cadre despondent. /anmohan Singh as ,rime /inister learnt a

> lesson or two from this *+, default and pulled the cart serving the same corporate capital for ten years as an astute bureaucrat% though ultimately he also lost confidence of the same masters by the time country was nearing 1A th &ok Sabha elections due to the heightened aspirations of his masters% including his pet in .eliance brothers5 It is for nothing that a powerful section of corporate houses signalled the thoroughly demoralised *+, to start its electoral campaign almost two years back% when India )gainst ;orruption CI);D with .SS cadres as its driving force pampered by corporate media had prepared a congenial ground for it to assert after a long period of hibernation *+, was forced to go through since the demoralising defeat in "EE> elections beyond its expectations. *+, on its part immediately came out of the wings and started playing tune: new metaphors of electoral discourse were forged% non issues made prime issues% old personalities demolished and an atmosphere of political paralysis was generated with ruthless consistency and in favour of strong governance. *y the way% who needs strong governance and deft policy decision ruthlessly in a democratic set up giving no chance for the victims to cry: )t least% common man in the street in search of a living wage does not re7uire a brute commander to rule. (hen% who will be benefitted by a brute: &et us examine. It was clear by the year "EE! that corporate houses% both national and foreign% are out to grab land% forest and mineral wealth and they desired the government to take strong measures for assuring the takeover during this second phase of their growth. (his anti#people agenda can advance only with a strong hand which can contain the rising discontentment on this count from the victims. *+, has assured these masters of its commitment to do the needful. (his is bound to adversely affect the interests of particularly peasants% tribals and forest dwellers en mass. It will spell their doom. *+, has come out as the instrument of trade and commerce to do the needful. .ecent chain of events indicate that corporate houses were solidly backing /anmohan Singh government till general elections to &ok Sabha in "EE when he stoutly defended 8uclear ,ower agreement with 9S) at the cost of allies and had pushed out &eft parties out of 9,). $e was as decisive and strong man as corporate interests then5 In "EE the ;ongress led government was put to power with a hearty support of the rich masters. *ut the same forces started feeling very uneasy with the ;ongress government only when it started dithering on land% forest and mines 7uestions under severe public pressure around the year "E11#1". ) movement by a well oiled organisation% India )gainst ;orruption% en-oying heavy support from certain corporate houses was launched then with .SS cadres providing it with re7uisite muscles. Sei3ing the moment a totally discredited party of scams like *+, during its A year rule sprang to action against corruption5 *y design I); provided an issue as well as the atmosphere to the *+, for assertion. $owever% the best repeated charge against /anmohan Singh government of 6policy paralysis4 was of much significance. It reflected the agenda of corporate capital and *+, mouthed it in time to assure masters of its role. Inversely% *+, assured them to translate their agenda of grabbing land% forest% mineral wealth with strong hand. (he charge in context about policy paralysis can have no other meaning than alignment of *+, with corporate interests fully if voted to power.

! (his was the time when .eliance% )dani% (atas and such like group of powerful corporate houses decided for /odi from *+, as a safe bet to invest% keeping his track record as ;hief /inister of @u-arat in view. (his explains why *+, laboured so heavily on such issues which corporate houses have no problem with. It is not without reason that *+, is not talking about basic economic issues and concentrating so hard on street#corner propagandist style of campaign in the present elections to demolish rival personalities on petty points bordering personal hatred and ridicule. It successfully derailed the election process of substantive issues and turned it into a bitter struggle between personalities instead. *+, wanted to assure the rich masters of its fidelity by adopting such a strategy as their faithful servant more than the ;ongress% pro-ecting rival .ahul @andhi through hysterical accusations as a -uvenile% unfit to govern5 (he level of desperation that the .SS and *+, have exhibited in this campaign however betray a strong sense of do or die spirit for grabbing power at any cost and with no holds barred having /odi like man in the lead. (his makes the bet more significantly critical for the future of the country. (he third rival in the race is 1e-riwal. With a political outfit assembled overnight 1e-riwal has the background of India )gainst corruption with strong corporate backing and en-oying the company of hard core .SS cadres. $e parted company with )nna $a3are at a critical -uncture suddenly to -ump into the electoral bandwagon for capturing state power to deliver. $e is in fact repeating what others like him did% say like *abu +ai ,rakash<Besai did in 1 ??% later on gathered into +anta ,arty Caam aadmi party by translationD duly backed by rich men club of India. It is a known fact that .eliance group has now sponsored /odi from *+, to be the next ,/% duly -oined by some other contenders in finance capital and industry who have come to dominate Indian political establishment today by sheer money power and manipulation. (he rival group of corporate houses need a strong counter balance to this design of .eliance. Buring elections to Belhi )ssembly *+, did its best to manipulate 1e-riwal on the strength of its cadres working with him and financial backing wherever necessary to ensure defeat of Sheela Bixit government of ;ongress for its victory to power. *ut the +inn worked on unexpected lines that threw 1e-riwal in limelight. (he rival group of corporate houses found in him a potential icon to build up for &ok Sabha elections currently in process. 8ow% 1e-riwal is the blue eyed boy of this anti#.eliance group who is talking the same corporate agenda as *+, is chanting through /odi to win their heart during his campaign in elections% while .ahul @andhi is fighting incumbency generated by his party led by /anmohan Singh# ;hidambaram#/ontek Singh trio by serving corporate capital during its 1E years of rule. With the grace of central governments led by )tal *ihari and /anmohan Singh% the biggest beneficiaries had been the corporate houses% more so .eliance% )dani% (atas and the like. (hey turned Mahabali by the grace of state patronage% more so during last two decades of liberal# global extravagan3a. 8ow they need a strong governance to bulldo3e the old structures for new ones to replace that can assure them of un7uestioned rule over the vast resources of this country. (he manifestos prepared by FI;;I% ;II and such other platforms of the rich tell a tale. (hese gentlemen are frustrated how /anmohan Singh government dithered on their demands like on land ac7uisition bill% labour law reforms% forest rights% environment clearances etc. (hey need /odi like icon instead to work ruthlessly and curb resistance from perspective victims% as he has been performing in @u-erat for these predators as ;/.

A (he present situation has a background: India% after independence from *ritish imperial hold% had adopted a liberal bourgeois democratic frame for governance with strong colonial inheritance intact under the newly drafted ;onstitution% which was a document less of substantive principles in -ust governance and more of compromises. ) nation was reborn with deep scars all around. (he ,rovisional government that had come into being before the first general election was a picture of pacts between contending socio#economic interests even after /uslim &eague had opted for a separate nation of its own under the India Independence )ct% 1 >? by *ritish ,arliament when predominant $indu bourgeoisie had refused to secure interests of /uslin bourgeoisie while sharing power. (he first election to &ok Sabha was held in 1 !" that provided legitimacy to the new set of rulers. (hereafter% it was a hectic period of capitalist growth under national and international conditions available to it. (he period till 1 1 was utilised to gain a level of maturity for its corporate capital to take shape when it started crying foul of its old baggage in its search for structural change as per law of its motion to a higher degree of global aspirations. (he perfect opportunity came in hand during 1 1 to strike. (he year 1 1 proved a decisive period% internal and external% for Indian ruling elite to take a shift. (he emerging International situation was an outstanding opportunity for it to take a plunge for new pastures% casting away its old baggage of a welfare state which it had reluctantly kept at its mast to placate those teeming millions who were partners in the freedom struggle with the hope of coming out of dire poverty due to colonial expropriation. It swiftly surged ahead for consolidating its base% change the society accordingly and gain new level of capitalist growth. (he I/F and World *ank% the two most trusted instruments of corporate capital were available but with a price tag at a time when Indian ruling class was too happy to -oin the band wagon. (he governing establishment sold the idea of this shift to Indian citi3ens deftly2 Sardar /anmohan Singh was brought out from the secure stables to execute the pro-ect as its Finance /inister and the media% both Indian and foreign% was put to make up his personality to stomach the sour do3e. 0verybody who mattered bought the fake medicine as genuine2 even the leftists ultimately -oined the chorus% leaving the interests of common people in -eopardy. With this shift unchecked and having a dutiful media in command% the ruling elite got fresh confidence2 loot started unhindered% except for spontaneous protests from the victims of 6development4 themselves here and there. (he whole political establishment stood badly compromised% barring a shadow boxing at the time of periodic elections. (he masses stood completely betrayed2 ideological% organisational% political% on matters of morality% principle and practice. It was totally a new situation for the Indian people to contend in its march of six decades of independence with a modern system of governance to keep them in sub-ugation of new kind with a facade of self#rule through periodic electoral exercises. )t this point one aspect needs a bit of elucidation lest there remains ambiguity: the feature of a complete alignment of political establishment with the interests of ruling elite is not a result of some degeneration here and there but a natural corollary of its character% its biology. It is a universal feature which one can see with bare eyes. (he good reason resides in its genes. )s victims to an elaborate system of controlled 6education4 masses still harbour a myth that political parties are instrument of change in their hands. it needs to be explained from pages of history and its biology.

? $owever% let there be no illusions about the vitality of these new tools being forged or new faces being pro-ected as fresh messiahs in place of the spent up haggards. (he bunch of /odis% .ahuls or 1e-riwals sweating out desperately lashing against each other with raw idioms and the powerful forces backing them is a rare spectacle of the contending corporate houses both national and international% to capture governing rights over the resources and the cheap labour power of the people. (arget is the common man and the machinery to keep them in check. /odi% knowing the corporate agenda% is dangerous as he has intentions to go much beyond the diversity that is India. India is at a turning point. *eware5