CPM’s Kozhikode Congress cuts the Last Thread Connecting it to Tantriki Sruti’s Tradition
Com Sharad Patil
While terminating its 20th Congress at Kozhikode in Kerala the Marxist Communist Party (CPM) excluded V.S. Achuthanandan from its PB, the only member of the first generation of Kerala Communists headed by E.M.S. Namboodiripad. VS was the CM upto the recent Assembly elections. The State Secretary, Pinarayi Vijayan, had persuaded the PB when it met at Thiruvananthapuram not to field VS in the Assembly elections. But the people demonstrated and forced the PB to field VS in the Assembly elections. Had Vijayan succeeded in persuading the PB, Kerala would have shared the same fate as West Bengal. But Vijayan will not stop in his anti-VS activities and will not rest until he removes VS from the post of the Opposition leader. He is in reality a don. Communist politics has deteriorated to that level. VS is reported to belong to the Ezhava caste. The great social reform role that Jotiba Phule of the Mali caste has played in Maharashtra, the same role was played by Narayan Guru of the Ezhava caste in Kerala. Had EMS related ‘Emperor’ Bali not to the Western myth of primitive communism, but to the matriarchal-gynocratical reality of Kerala, it would have given a revolutionary turn to Kerala’s and Indian history. Bali’s Onam is still the greatest festival of Kerala. In the Karna-parva of Mahabharata the historical quarrel that took place between the patriarchal Karna and his charioteer matriarchal Salya has still not been properly explained. In running down the equalitarian matriarchal and gynocratical nations of the time as ‘a-brahma’ (anti-brahmanical) Karna pointedly mentions Kerala as a-brahma. In his fulsome praise of the inequalitarian kingdoms he calls them ‘brahma’ (brahmanical). Kerala’s non-brahmanical movement was inspired by this great ancient a-brahma struggle that has come down to modern times in an unbroken equalitarian current and its paper Deshabhimani has been taken over by the communist movement. Though the CPM, and for that matter the communist movement, still considers caste struggle to be disruptionist, in its present resolution it promises to abolish the caste system to achieve socialism (p. 37), against which Ambedkar had warned in his Annihilation of Caste (1936). And the caste system even at that too late a period cannot be abolished without (anti-) caste struggle! Timely synthesis of caste and class struggles is unavoidable. But the Kozhikode Congress has cut down the last thread which would have helped achieve this by removing VS from the PB.
Omniscience of Marxism-Leninism
MY basis of this paper is ‘Draft Resolution on Some Ideological Issues’ of the Kozhikode Congress. As usual it has given more space to international issues, avowing therein that the omniscience of Marxism-Leninism has remained intact. (p. 3) In fact Stalin had claimed in his Lectures on Leninism that Marx’s prediction that the contradictions in capitalism would culminate in capitalism’s simultaneous collapse all over the world and usher in socialism has been outdated hence socialism would have to be built first in Russia. Marx did not strive for Enlightenment of socialism and neither did he solve the philosophical problem of socialist transformation of mind. With this background the Lenin-Stalinist Bolshevik leadership accomplished the proletariat-led bourgeois democratic revolution with the implicit understanding that socialism would come automatically after the socialisation of the means of production.
After teaching Indology for some years in the Leningrad University along with Sterbatsky, Rahul Sankrityayana came to India in 1946. He used to call the Soviet Union: ‘deva-bhumi’ (gods’ land). Communist organs also introduced him with the words: ‘Tell and fair like Indian gods’. In the same year the ‘All India Hindi Sahitya Sammelan’ was held at Mumbai in Marine Lines. It honoured him by electing him as its President. In his speech he appealed that Muslims should come into the mainstream. The next day the dailies carried the banner headline: ‘Rahul Sankrityayana expelled from the CPI!’ Rahulji could not return to the deva-bhumi, and the land of the Aryan gods tried to boycott him. Stalin had declared in his speech on Leninism that proletarian democracy had annihilated bourgeois democracy and that proletarian democracy was the highest from of democracy. Stalin had demonstrated the indefinability of this democracy by killing top Bolshevik leaders like Bukharin etc. by firing squads.
Thus operated this highest indefinable prole-tarian democracy dripping from head to feet with blood. It originated in Lenin’s definition of class struggle as visualised by the bourgeoisie and proletariat in which the latter accepted it on condition that it culminated in proletarian dictatorship. The governance of the Soviet Union and East European countries was conducted actually not by their Bolshevik or Communist Parties but by gangs headed by persons like Stalin. When these socalled socialist governments collapsed, it was realised that it was not due to foreign counterrevolution but by their own bankruptcy.
Before his martyrdom in the antifascist Spanish Civil War, Christopher Caudwell had proposed that Sigmund Freud’s discovery of the mind’s duality be included in Marxist philosophy in order to enrich it. But this fundamental change in the Marxist unilinear epistemology would have changed its nomenclature in full. Hence, after Caudwell’s death he was declared anti-Marxist and the Soviet Union raised the physio-logist Ivan Pavlov as an alternative to Freud. The Soviet Union resorted to the same anti-science dogmatism in genetics. Due to lack of democracy this dogmatism spread in all fields of knowledge and aesthetics. The understanding of socialist countries that the intensification of contradictions in capitalism would inevitably lead to its ultimate doom prevented the leaders of the socialist countries from seeking higher development of the Marxist philosophy or alternative new philosophy. The four communist-ruled countries of China, Vietnam, North Korea and Cuba have been unable to build socialism and hence they are suppressing the irrepressible demand for democracy.
In China, 30 Tibetan bhikshus have self-immolated themselves and discontent in the rest of China is growing. The clash of Marx-Lenin-Mao-Dengism with Dignagism might prove fruitful ultimately!
Inseparability of Caste-annihilation and Socialism
ALL the great acharyas of Mahayana were pilgrims of Andhra’s Sri-Saila, well known in those days as ‘Stri-rajya’ (gynocracy), while, on the other hand, they were struggling to create the philosophy and logic of caste-annihilation on Buddha’s commandment. The inseparability of caste-annihilation and gynocratic socialism had come to the fore from that period itself. The evidence for it is available even from the brahmanical side. The semi-Tantrika poet, Bhavabhuti (+7000), shows in his drama Uttara-Rama-Charita that when the beheaded Sudra Sambuka appears before Rama in divine form, Rama orders him to make his eternal abode in the glorious gynocratic (vai-raj) worlds which are ever full of joy, happiness and merit— “Yatra anandas cha, modas cha, yatra punyas cha sampadah/ Vai-raja nama te lokas taijasahsantu te dhruvah.”
It only remained to metamorphose Sambuka into caste-annihilation and Vai-raj into Indian socialism. But among Indian Communists nobody —except Dange and Debiprosad Chattopadhyay —cared to study Indian history and literature in the original and even on their necks sat unilinear class Marxism. They were also not free from the dogma of varga-brahma, according to which if you know class-brahma you automatically know other institutions of exploitation and administration like varna, jati, etc. Accoring to the Kozhikode resolution the essence of Marxism can be summarised in ‘concrete analysis of concrete conditions’. (p. 39) Though the present Indian society is caste-class, the CPM (and for that matter all traditional Marxists) does not consider caste as concrete and hence excludes it from ‘concrete analysis’. In their historical materialist ‘analysis’ varna also is not concrete and hence they impose on it class! Intensifying pressure of the caste system has forced the resolution to place the task of abolition of the caste system in ‘Socialism in Indian Conditions’. (p. 37) Ambedkar, the greatest leader of the social proletariat, warns against this escapism in his Annihilation of Caste in 1936 itself—
‘…He (communist/socialist) will be compelled to take account of caste after the (socialist) revolution if he does not take account of it before the revolution… You cannot have political reform, you cannot have economic reform unless you kill this monster.’
The Kozhikode resolution’s form of democratic revolution is People’s Democratic Revolution. It being a class revolution, it cannot admit non-class caste-abolishing revolution. Socialist revolution being the most sacred classist revolution according to the resolution, it will not tarnish its class sanctity by admitting the caste-abolishing revolution. And the CPM’s longest serving CM Jyoti Basu had declared before his death, “Socialism is not practicable!”
Dignosis of Society and State by ML
THE resolution repeatedly affirms that the Indian state is bourgeois-landlord, which means according to class methodology it is semifeudal. In the Naxalites’ opinion, the globalisation of (neo-) imperialism in the context of the domi-nation of finance capital the Indian capitalist class has become compradore. Differing from it the resolution says that the economic policies of the Indian bourgeoisie being in consonance with the interests of the (neo-) imperialism it is neo-liberal. Though after World War II imperialism has been transformed into neo-imperialism, the resolution never uses the term, because it enables the resolution to pursue its non-revolutionary parliamentary path.
The CPM’s Peoples Democratic Revolution and the CPI’s National Democratic Revolution were not formulated after the study of Indian society like Mao’s New Democratic Revolution which was based on the study of Chinese society. No Communist leader has studied the present caste-class Indian society historically. The ML philosophy, in which Leninism is not a philosophy at all, considers such study unnecessary. The border armed clash between India and China in 1962 produced the first split in the Indian Communist Party and both the parties adopted their forms of democratic revolutions from Eastern Europe. After 1990 those ‘socialist’ countries from whom the CPM and CPI had borrowed their forms of revolutions turned capitalist; but the CPM and CPI continue to cling to their borrowed revolutions.
Though the Nehru Cabinet invited Ambedkar to frame the Constitution after the death of Gandhi, it is Vedantist like Gandhi. Vedanta is the philosophical religion of the caste system as the Srauta-Smarta is its penal religion. Any government in power—may it be secular or non-secular—has to remain subject to the caste system. That is why the Indian state is not neo-liberal but, as affirmed by Phuley, casteist semifeudal.
Though the Buddhist dhamma was not of the laity, the gahapati-seethi capitalists and craftsmen, who were then not castes and being organised in supra-caste sreni, followed the trinity: ‘Svatantrya, Samata and Metta’ of the monastic Samgha. After Harsh (+600) all kings were brahmanical and the Samgha was driven out of India. Today’s Bania caste has become compradore because of its casteism, long before the economic causes. In his great work on logic ‘Pramana-vartika’, bhikshu Dharmakirti (+700) declares that accepting the authority of Veda, supposing the creator of the world, believing that holy dip gives religious merit, parading pride in casteism and torturing the body for eradicating sin are the five signs of utter stupidity—
‘Veda-pramanyam, kasyachit kartivadah, snane dharmeccha, jativada-avalepah/ Santaparah papa-hanaya cheti dhvasta-prajnane panchalingani jadye.’ In the pre-British period Brahmanas were the highest jati and a ruling or sub-ruling caste. In the post-independence period they have become a caste-class like all other caste-communities, and along with the Bania capitalist caste-class have become rulers.
In the pre-British period Mirasdar peasant castes were the ruling or sub-ruling castes along with the Brahmana caste. In the post-independence period the dominating peasant caste-class—except in West Bengal and Gujarat—have become rulers. As the power of the Bania caste-class consists in its caste as well as capital, the power of the dominating peasant caste-classes and upper caste-classes consists in their castes as well as in the vast lands they own—not less than 40 per cent of the cultivated land. The institution of class was brought in India for the first time by the British capitalist imperialism. But it conducted census upto 1931 caste-communitywise. It was started classwise by the Nehru Government. This was a tactic of safe-guarding the caste system. Census should be conducted caste-classwise.
That is why the present Indian state is not the classist bourgeois-landlord, but of the caste-classes of the three caste-collectives. Its merely class understanding by the people in the nationalist revolutions will never rouse the masses for total revolutionary uprising.
THE problematique is of making the caste-ending revolution which is totally different from that of the class system. I had recognised this in Marx’s death centenary year of 1983. The caste feudal monarchies of Magadha, Kosala and Ujjayini were born in Buddha’s lifetime. The rest of the advanced India was covered by nonmonarchical (arajaka) samgha-gana states. Buddha accomplished his varna-dasa-ending revolution in the caste feudal states; but performed his nirvana in the sala sacred grove (gamak-khetta) of the Kosinaraka Mallas. He had told Ananda that his dhamma (philosophy) would last for five hundred years. He hinted that the caste-ending revolution would require a new philosophy.
Though the Tripitakas call Sakya, etc. samgh-gana jatis, the varna-dasa-system-ending revolution led by Buddha had brought to a close the epoch of samgha-ganas. The samgha-gana epoch was based on blood kinship (sa-lohita) right from the matriarchy-gynocracy age. The jati epoch is also based on an imaginary relationship, asserts the Paninian grammar by quoting as evidence the term ‘jata-bhai’!
The chatur-varnya rajaka (monarchical) gana states and the two varna samgha-gana states were governed respectively by sabha-parishad and sabha. The feudal jati society, after the extinction of sreni (+300), has been administered by six characteristics: 1) heredity of caste, 2) heredity of occupation, 3) caste restriction on food, 4) caste localities, mainly between sa-varna and a-varna, 5) caste panchayat and 6) caste restriction on marriage. In spite of all changes in these characteristics, caste marriage continues and it reproduces the caste system. The murder of her pregnant daughter who had married a low caste Sikh youth by Jagir Kaur, the ex-president of the SGPC, ‘Honour killing’ by the Khap (panchayat) of the Jats, murder of their daughters who tried to marry alien caste youths by their Maratha and Dhangar fathers in Maharashtra etc. show that the reproduction of the caste system by caste marriages cannot be stopped by Phuley’s social reform method. It can be stopped only by enacting a punishable caste abolitionary act accompanied by unprecedented Enlightenment and Land Revolution comprising redistribution of above-ceiling surplus land among the landless and landpoor SCs, STs and OBCs.
This Enlightenment will take decisive effect only when made by the new aesthetics of Socialist Sauntrantikism. The only aesthetics on the proletarian side was the Soviet Union’s Socialist Realism; but it disappeared even before the disintegration of the SU. Due to the persistence of the caste system India has not been able to transcend its Alankaras-asastra. In the West aesthetics could struggle up only because their bourgeois democratic revolutions abolished the gulf between aristocratic writers and labouring artists. Buddha’s varna-slavery-abolishing revolution brought the brahmanical writers and Sudra craftsmen-artists on equal social plane and the sreni united them econo-mically, which enabled Dignaga to erect the first aesthetics in the world. Kalidasa admits the defeat of his poetics by Dignaga’s aesthetics in his Megha-duta-Dignaganam pathi pariharan sthula-hasta-avalepan.’
Though the Brahmana writers continued to cling to the feudal poetics and royal courts, Buddhist writers like Asvaghasha, Sudraka and Harsha composed anti-feudal and anti-caste works.
On Buddha’s commandment Mahayana’s bhiksha philosophers struggled to create caste-ending philosophies and logic. Their philosophies and logic reached their climax in the Dignage school. Dignaga’s philosophy of Sautrantika Vijnanavada was based on the epistemology of the duality of mind, that is, sa-vikalpaka (consciousness) and nir-vikalpaka (subconscious). He developed Buddha’s dialectics of a-nityata-vada to its ultimate possible extent—kshanikavada. He defined every phenomenon as sva-lakshana (unique), which put an end to the possibility of similarity being questioned to identity. Dharma-kirti took Dignaga’s reform in formal logic to its ultimate extent, that is, to two-membered syllogism; but his researches into the subcons-cious were restricted by the individual mind. He could not connect the duality of the individual mind with the social mind. I discovered that they unity and struggle of the two constituted Dialectical Logic. The title does not convey the full sense. Therefore I named the new Logic: Janiva-Neniva-anveshi Tarka-sastra.
Socialist change of mind depended in this Dialectical Logic. In its absence European socialism collapsed and the four Communist-led countries stand perplexed in the task of the socialist transformation. With the help of this dialectical logic the new aesthetics of Socialist Sautrantikism will be able to accomplish the caste-ending Enlightenment.
Nevertheless, unless Enlightenment and caste-abolition is not accompanied by Land-redistributionary Revolution, the anti-caste-feudal revolution with not be fulfilled. For the rulers of the caste system govern it on the strength of owning 40 per cent of the above-ceiling surplus land. Its redistribution among the landless and landpoor SCs, STs and OBCs can be made only by a national uprising. These land-hungry SC, ST and OBC masses will have to take the lead in intercaste marriages. The caste-ending law will then implement the remaining tasks of the revolution.
The Indian revolution is made up of two revolutions: caste-annihilation and land-redistribution. The former is social and the latter economic, and their execution simulta-neous. That is why the borrowed and exclusively class forms of revolutions of the CPM, CPI and Maoists will never be able to accomplish this double-tasked Indian revolution. Marxism is in world crisis and the ecological crisis intensifies it. It can solve the Indian crisis only by synthesising it with Dignagism, out of which has emerged the pure and applied philosophies of Sautrantika Marxism and Multilinear Historical Materialism, the aesthetics of Socialist Sautran-tikism and the Logic of Janiva-Neniva-anveshi Tarkasastra.
The author is the General Secretary, Satyashodhak Communist Party, Dhule (Maharashtra)