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Critical Evaluation Of The Relevance Of Marxism/Communist Manifesto In Understanding Social Movement Of Our Time

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The Communist Manifesto

Marx explained that the history of classes is nothing but the economic struggle of classes. He further explains about the class dynamics of a society where one class rises only by exploiting others. The book revolves around the conclusions drawn from the working class movements.

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The economically stronger section of society became even stronger and to achieve the superiority, they- bourgeoisie controlled all aspects of the market, i. e. , the factories, land and machines. However, they didn’t just stop there, they overworked the proletariats, exploited them and did not even pay them the income they deserved. The driving force behind bourgeoisie was money gain, by all possible means. In the process, they deepened the differences between the classes.

In the second part, Marx talks about how communism follows a different approach unlike then present system (Capitalism). The communist ideology focuses on keeping the means of production in the hands of community rather than the riches. So as to strike a balance between the bourgeoisie and the proletariats. Marx stressed on the fact that once the proletariats gain political power, they should work towards the implementation of communist ideology which includes taking capital from Bourgeoisie and abolishing inheritance.

Marx didn’t agree with the socialist and communist views of few contemporary authors and activists, as their main focus was towards modification of the existing system, the capitalist system. He further expresses his disdain on the suggestions of formation of little groups of proletariats which seems ideal only in theory.

Marx suggests that workers of all the countries should unite and dethrone the bourgeoisie. He calls for them to initiate a communist revolution. His closing statement, “WORKING MEN OF ALL COUNTRIES, UNITE!” is his final attempt at convincing the proletariats to gather up and fight back.

Social Movement

A social movement can be defined as an organized group action to bring or resist for coming change in the society, we live in. Case Study – 1Jan Lokpal Bill – Anti corruption Movement 2011 (Lead by Anna Hazare) The Citizen’s Ombudsman Bill is called Jan Lokpal Bill in layman’s terminology. The term Lokpal was coined during the parliamentary debate by Laxmi Mall Singhvi in 1963. The idea of lokpal bill was taken from the Hong Kong Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC). It is a draft anti-corruption bill drawn up by well-known civil society activists looking for appointing a Jan Lokpal. The Idea is that an independent body (Jan Lokpal) would complete the entire process in 2 years. The process constitutes completion of investigation of corruption cases within a year and expecting trial within the next one year. The bill was drafted by the RTI activist, Arvind Kejriwal, the Supreme Court Lawyer, Prashant Bhushan and former Supreme Court Judge and Lokayukta of Karnataka, Justice Santosh Hegde. The draft Bill requires a system where a person if found guilty (corrupt) would go to jail within two years of the complaint being lodged and his illegally procured wealth will be confiscated. It strengthens the Jan Lokpal, giving him or her the right to prosecute politicians and bureaucrats without government permission.

It can be related to Communist Manifesto as the Bourgeoisies or the ruling class always pretend to be in favor of the Lokpal Bill but they never really wanted it to be implemented, as they are the one involved in corruption most of the time. At upper most level there is caste based hierarchy which can be seen at the Diplomat (UPSC) level of officers. Most of the early day diplomats were Brahmins, (the Communist manifesto cannot be exactly seen in Indian society, because here economy based power is not the only variable in the equation, there also exists another variable that is caste based power for example if a rich lower caste untouchable is there he or she cannot stand near or even their shadow can touch a poor upper caste) but fortunately time is changing and people are getting more and more aware. The political parties in opposition always pretend to help the poor and needy Proletariat, (in Indian case lower caste untouchables, mostly dalits and minority) but what they really do is to pick the powerful and rich amongst them, Bourgeois, in Marxist term.

In conclusion, Bourgeois picking Bourgeois out of Proletariat (in this case rich out of particular caste groups) and spinning a complex web of caste and economy based hierarchy.

Case Study 1

In January 2016 Sarva jat Khap Panchayat (The Khap Panchayat is a community or clan based non affiliated organization of Jaat comunity) planned to launch a peaceful protest demanding reservation for central OBC (Other Backward Classes) quota. The protest finally launched on 12th February 2016, it started as a non violent protest which include blocking of railway lines in Hisar and Rohtak districts of Haryana, it went on peacefully for some days but after 20th February 2016 inter caste violence began in Haryana and Protest spreads to Utter Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan and National Capital Delhi. The protest fizzled down without any outcome.

There is no specific procedure to become the leader of Khap Panchayat, the leader is chosen from, the representatives of their respective Gotras. These leaders or representatives of the Gotras are chosen on the basis of social status they hold and social status is gained by the one with strong economic background, in Marxist terminology a Bourgeois, out of normal people with average economic power. Then these Bourgeois select amongst themselves another leader to represent the entire community. Hence, these Bourgeois pretend to care about others in the community, Proletariat in this context. And delude them to the path of such violent agitations.

Case Study 2

The People of Gujarati Patidar community tried to get central OBD (Other Backward Classes) status to get government gobs easily due to limited amount of government jobs and high competition among students. They demonstrated their social power by attracting a huge number of youth in the movement, the biggest gathering was held on 25th August 2015 in the beginning of the day it all started peacefully and as the time passed by thousands of youths joined this protest and all of a sudden the mob became violent public as well as private properties were destroyed and damaged worth crores of rupees. It all stopped in next few days after governmental action, Hardik Patel their leader talked to the representative of Gujarat state government but the movement became violent again on 19th September 2015. After all this Gujarat state government announced 10% quota for economically backward classes and scholarships for general candidates (some people also claimed that the violence in movement was all pre planed by their leaders including Hardik Patel ).

The main person in the light Hardik Patel formed an organization which he claimed to be an apolitical organization Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS), in name of this organization he claimed to fight for Patidar community and will get them into OBC central quota list. The majority of people in Patidar community are businessmen and are well off, so they are the Bourgeoisies, but still one man claims that he wants his community to be included in OBC quota. And he claims that he is not doing it for himself but for his community. His approach is cutting piece from the share of proletariats (in this case other communities included in OBC status), it’s evident here that the bourgeoisies are trying to suppress the downtrodden (proletariat).

Conclusion

The distinction of Indian society cannot be solely on the economic grounds. Our society faces another complex issue i. e. caste and religion. The upper caste never wants the lower caste to rise and they will do anything to fight that. This is the only similar aspect of Indian society with the communist system.

01 April 2020

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