Though people have come to form the general opinion that the left has been buried forever, that it will never surface in India, the influence, or at least the need for Marxism, can be felt across the board. The primary reasons for nurturing the view that Marxism is dead were two developments; first, the inability of the leadership to experiment with the emerging contradictions and secondly their failure to motivate the younger generation to join the left forces.

Little doubt the present set of left leaders are not mentally prepared to launch a sustained peoples’ movement. At the top of this they have also not bothered to remember the advice of Stalin that the broader strategy and framework for the future struggle should be chalked out keeping in the view the ground realities and socio-economic situation of the country. There is no denying the fact that this theoretical tenet was ignored by the left leadership.

What has been most unfortunate is the left forces and their leadership became the victim of the capitalist machinations and their design to bury the Marxist philosophy. A look at the style of functioning would unravel that they were more guided by their person al whims and did not muster courage to take the challenges head on.

No doubt the poor and labourers have been facing extreme form of exploitation during the period of globalisation. Nevertheless let us focus on their plight during the Modi Raj. It is an open secret that their suffering have increased during the rule of the BJP government led by Narendra Modi. His government during last 7 years has completely crushed the basic laws which protected the labourers and their interest. He is not at all worried to preserve the facade of the liberalism.

Their hatred for them was visible during the Manmohan Singh rule in their strident opposition to many welfare programmes introduced by his government. Modi government had slashed the allocation for NREGA and had put the food for work programme on hold.

The worst has been happening during the period of corona virus. Spread of corona and its attaining the character of pandemic has completely exposed the class character of the BJP. There is no more any scope for nursing a messy view towards it. Corona has also exposed the future threat that was staring at the poor.

Some people might have been nursing certain illusions about the existing economic and social order, but thanks to corona it has shredded the wrong perceptions. We have been witnessing the abject neglect of the workers and their needs during the lockdown. They are no better than animals. No doubt they need protection from corona, but the government did not do anything while it took all pins to help and protect the rich. The controversy surrounding the train fare is the classic example of the hatred and averseness of the rulers towards them.

The worst scenario these poor people will face once the lockdown is lifted. The companies and industries would not offer them a better wage. They will be paid less than what they were paid before. Already five BJP ruled state governments have extended working hours; in future they would have to work for 12 hours instead of the existing 8 hour scheduled.

Since the country would be lurking threat of recession, the market forces and private sector will dictate their lives. Already major industries which employ considerable number of working force are facing slowdown and there is little hope of their improvement in future post corona phase, obviously they would prune their man power to the large extent.

Before the emergence of corona the country was already facing massive slowdown and the employment scenario was witnessing the worst period which the country has not seen during last 46 years, obviously in this backdrop it would be naive to expect a buoyancy after corona threat ceases.

Marx had revealed exactly how exploitation of labour and capital accumulation occur under capitalism. Marxism rejects all dogma and its development as a living and creative methodology didn’t end with Marx, Engels, and Lenin. Marxism cannot exist and develop without constant interaction between theory and practice. In the hands of the working class, Marxism is a powerful tool for its self-emancipation. The world today is a far different place than it was in Marx’s time. Even then, however, Marx saw contradictions emerging that would eventually develop into the crises of contemporary capitalism.

In fact this crisis has been showing the signs of it deepening in India. The left forces should have read the writings on the wall and have prepared themselves. It is irony that they are still suffering with amnesia. They are not clear about their goal and strategy. They have to view the basic contradictions created by capitalist economy, globalization, concentration and centralization of wealth, mass communications, social media, and technological revolutions in proper prospect.

A few rich men rule over the entire Indian population. The richest 1 percent appropriated 82 percent of the wealth. The “crisis of extremes” has special impacts based on race, gender, and nationality and between advanced capitalist economies and developing ones. It is a known fact that capitalism is incapable of solving these crises. The anarchy of capitalist production, exploitation, and inequality undermine any effort for dealing with this crisis.

In this backdrop it was natural expectation that Marxist forces should intervene. But it does not appear to be happening. The smallest issue has been the train fare for the labourers. But in this case too they did not act.

If the left fails to identify itself with the poor and labourers at this crucial juncture, then it can be safely said that they would be perished forever. The capitalist forces would maul them to such an extent that they would lose their basic identity. It is a known fact that only socialism can ultimately restore the prestige of the working class. It is also evident from the developments that a new global arms race will begin in future amid heightened capitalist and regional rivalries and between capitalist and socialist-oriented states. (IPA Service)