[Marxism] In India, Marx is alive and well

Johannes Schneider Johannes.Schneider at gmx.net
Mon May 17 06:48:07 MDT 2004

In India, Marx is alive and well

New Delhi, India : Karl Marx is dead and his ideology lies buried around 
the world. But in India his followers are going strong and are set to 
become kingmakers as the country braces for a new coalition government.
In an electoral whirlwind that has left many breathless, the Left, as the 
communists are known, have captured an enviable 62 seats to become the 
third largest group in the 545-member Lok Sabha, the lower house of 
Although the 62 seats have come from only six of India's 28 states, thus 
betraying the somewhat limited appeal of the Left, it is a victory that 
has stunned even its worst critics.
Of this, the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), among the most 
successful leftist groups in the non-communist world, alone accounts for 
43 seats. The older but smaller Communist Party of India (CPI) holds 10 
seats, while the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) and Forward Bloc have 
won three seats each.
An independent backed by CPI-M and two smaller pro-Left parties account 
for the remaining three seats.
Besides the CPI-M, CPI, RSP and Forward Bloc, there are numerous smaller 
leftist groups with limited pockets of influence. These include far-left 
Maoist outfits like the People's War Group (PWG) and Maoist Communist 
Centre (MCC).
There is also the Communist Party of India-Marxist Leninist (CPI-ML), an 
offshoot of the CPI-M that wields tremendous influence in Bihar, adjoining 
West Bengal.
Many communists argue that their strength in India can go up dramatically 
if the CPI, CPI-M and CPI-ML overcome their ideological differences and 


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