For the past several months, corruption and how to eradicate it has become the main topic of political discourse.
The monopoly media, both print and electronic, has become a warrior against corruption in public life.
Anti corruption crusaders have sprung up and are in the lime light. If the monopoly media and the crusaders against corruption are to be believed, the magic wand to solve the problems of the working masses of our country and ensure prosperity and security for them is for the government to establish a powerful anti corruption institution called Lok Pal, and bring back the hoards of black money stashed away in Swiss banks.
Satyagrahas and hunger strikes are being organized regularly on this issue, with massive media publicity. The ruling Congress Party, as well as the opposition BJP, are competing with each other to score over each other on this question.
This is what is going on in front of the scenes. But what is going on behind the scenes? It is important for communists and the working masses to understand this.
Who has put corruption as the central agenda for discourse and why?
It is extremely clear to politically conscious workers that it is important sections of the biggest capitalist monopolies of our country that have put corruption on the agenda for political discourse.
If they had not put corruption on the agenda for political discourse, the monopoly print and electronic media would not have put corruption and the crusaders against it in the spot light. If they had not put corruption on the agenda for political discourse, the UPA government would not be bending over backwards trying to accommodate the demands of the anti corruption crusaders, and the principal opposition party the BJP would not have become so enthusiastic about putting corruption as its central agenda now. It must never be forgotten that the monopoly media represents the monopolies, Indian and foreign, and the Congress and BJP are the two principal parties of the big bourgeoisie.
An open and hidden no holds barred war is taking place at this time, amongst the biggest monopoly groups, Indian and foreign, to gain the upper hand over their rivals, and make maximum profits by using their control over the state, the government, and all its institutions. It is a fact that at various times, capitalist groups come to an agreement with one another. However, agreements and compromises amongst them are temporary, competition amongst them is inevitable. When the Radia tapes exposed the activities of the Tata group and some others, Ratan Tata publicly declared that various print and electronic media houses were working for rival monopoly groups. He instructed his companies to stop advertising in these particular media groups.
It cannot be ruled out that the foreign imperialists also have a hand in the present developments. They would very much like to utilize the inter monopoly contradictions in our country to exacerbate the credibility crisis of the ruling class, and advance their own interests in India.
Rival monopoly groups, Indian as well as foreign, are pushing their own agendas in this war against corruption. Knowing this, the Congress Party and the BJP, as the main parties of the bourgeoisie, are lining themselves up behind different rival combinations of the monopolies.
Thus, the sharp inter monopoly contradictions are a principal factor behind putting the discourse on corruption as the central agenda for discourse.
A dangerous situation
The bourgeoisie would like to ensure that these contradictions do not exacerbate beyond the point that they rock the system. However, things do not necessarily work out that way.
Thus, the Congress government struck a secret deal with the Baba Ramdev group over the issue of money in Swiss Banks. The deal was that Baba Ramdev would convert his indefinite fast and satyagraha into a token fast for a few hours before the deal was announced and the satyagraha withdrawn. However, the developments did not go fully according to this script.
The UPA government then launched a savage midnight police assault to put an end to the satyagraha. Many innocent people participating in the satyagraha, who were totally unaware of the secret deal, suffered serious injuries in the tear gassing, lathi charge and the stampede that followed. The UPA government deserves utmost condemnation for this barbaric police action in the dead of night against peacefully sleeping people.
It now remains to be seen whether the government will come to a mutually acceptable agreement with the Anna Hazare group over the framing of the LokPal Bill, or not.
People must not forget that at least twice before in our country, the capitalist monopolies and their parties, and the foreign imperialists have used the banner of fighting against corruption to divert the toiling masses and advance their own narrow agendas. Jai Prakash Narayan was the figurehead of one such movement, and VP Singh was the figurehead of another. The problem of corruption did not get resolved. Corruption was merely used as a smokescreen to advance another political agenda. People must not allow themselves to be fooled once again.
Who will put an end to corruption?
Corruption is intrinsic to the capitalist system. The biggest monopolies use their control over the state to plunder the whole of society and make maximum profits. There is intense rivalry between different capitalist groupings over who will get the better of the other. Each one tries to ensure that government policies and contracts are made in their favour, and discriminate against their rivals. Corruption is also a method through which new capitalist groups emerge and overtake their older more established rivals. The bribery of politicians and officials is intrinsic to this system. The capitalist monopolies decide which parties form the government, who would be the ministers, and which officials should head which department. There is competition amongst the monopolies, Indian and foreign, over all this.
This is the case not only in India, but in all capitalist countries, including the advanced capitalist countries.
This being the case, there can be no illusion that corruption can be eliminated as long as the capitalist system remains in place. Those who promote such an illusion are guilty of prettifying capitalism and fooling the people.
Within this context, what is the bourgeoisie trying to achieve by establishing an institution like the Lok Pal? This must be clearly understood. At the present time, there is immense pressure from the imperialists that countries like India should adopt practices of "good governance". This is a demand that the state and its institutions and laws follow the practices that are followed in advanced capitalist countries. The imperialists do not want Indian capitalist monopolies to have an advantage over them in the loot and plunder of India. India is condemned by the advanced capitalist countries as a highly corrupt country. In this situation, the Indian state is under pressure to conform to the demands of the imperialists. The pressure to have a Lok Pal dealing with corruption is one such step in "good governance". There are other pressures too, including the pressure to legalise paying money to MP's for lobbying. That is to legalise corruption.
It is the working class and toiling peasantry as well as other working people who are really concerned about ending corruption. It is their sweat and blood which is being looted and distributed amongst the capitalists, ministers, officials and judges. It is the peoples natural resources that are being looted by the Indian and foreign monopolies.
It is only the workers and peasants who can put an end to corruption. They will do so by putting an end to the rule of the capitalists and replacing it with the rule of workers and peasants. They must replace the present state power with a new state power that will suppress with an iron hand the exploiters and oppressors, Indian and foreign. The new state power must take over the means of production and reorient the economy to ensure the well being of the people. It will ensure that the executive, the legislature and the judiciary all work for this aim and this aim alone, and are under the control and supervision of the workers and peasants.