Basically, Marx and Engels explored materialism in an essentially Christian society obsessed with dialectics of sin and hope in Christianity. The Church demanded sacrifice from the poor. However, the Church failed to appreciate the need for material requirements for existence in an advancing industrial society. Europe had changed by the time Marx appeared on the scene and joined a galaxy of thinkers who contributed to modernisation of society and public thinking. It caused conflict between the religion preached by the Church and the material world around.
The condition of labour in England stirred thousands of souls and minds but Marx revolted and developed his dialectic, Hegelian in a sense of thesis, anti-thesis and synthesis. It would be catastrophic intellectually to ignore the dialectic method of the Upanishads. Similarly, the level of interaction between ancient India & Greece, whether before or after Alexander came to India is a matter for research to explore the ancient Indian thoughts akin to the present subject before Marx propounded his thesis. Both Marx and Engels were aware of the religious beliefs of their times as well as enlightenment and liberal thoughts prevailing then, unlike Indian communists who operate in a religious vacuum. But both devoted themselves to material needs of the working class, refusing to buy the Christian doctrine of sin, suffering and sacrifice as the sole cause of their economic conditions. His thinking is dominated by reactions to Christianity and the rhetoric practised. Marx emphasized the need to achieve material happiness in life. His theory of dialectic materialism was merely an extension of the ideology of Indian thinker Charvak: “live happily, butter your bread well, borrow if there be need” (Yavam jive sukham jive, rinam kritvam ghritam pivet). Both ideologies emphasize living this life without postponing it for the life in heaven.
Marx preached a new dogma of materialism over spirit and mind to the Christian society in an industrialising world. It was a challenge to the Papal Doctrines controlling life of the people, including their private life, and a threat to the authority of the Church, with ramifications far worse than Galileo’s discovery.
It was a new world where machines produced goods for consumption, like cloth, instead of humans. Coal mining, railways, motor cars, electricity were palpable developments over the impalpable ideas like sin, hell and heaven.
Marx and Engels did not reject religion but brought material comforts to the same level of religious comfort of the Christian soul- subjected to deduction method Marx’s political-economic constructs would reveal a pained Christian soul agitated to search for answers to poverty surrounding the masses in a society where only a few rich controlled everything. Contrary to Marx, the Indian communists are against the Hindu religion, which they have not tried to relate to Marxism, though Marx was closer to the Hindu thought. Had the Indian communist compared the Indian doctrine of Maya, they would have given a healthier interpretation to Marxism, but they derive immense satisfaction by vilifying the Indians, calling them Fascists. Fascism was born in Italy and is alien to India. Indians are Kshatriya or practitioners of Kshatra Dharma, which guarantees justice and fair play to everyone.
Poverty, disease and health conditions of the labour class in England and rest of Europe spurred political, social, economic and literary thinkers, who produced some of the most inspiring literature. Karl Marx was one of them, but not what the Indian communists have made of him- a symbol of violence against the capitalists.
It is such a travesty that the communists in India were propagating violence when Mahatma Gandhi had demonstrated to the world the efficacy of non-violence in public affairs.
That is the most significant distinction between Marx and India, the land of Buddha, where Non-violence is a way of life.
The tragedy of the Indian communists is that they downplayed non-violence and propagated violence. They invented a new dogma (Marxism), imposed imaginary spectre of bourgeois as no such class existed in India and portrayed themselves as the messiah of the proletariat. They started high as “champions/messiah/savior/leader” but not as the proletariat. Globally, the leaders of Marxism replaced the old royalty by giving it a new name “communist party”. The party enjoyed absolute rights on the lives of the proletariat, including personal life and property, and governed with unprecedented brutality, massacring millions of the proletariat- both labour and others. Peoples were locked down, iron curtains were raised, entry to foreigners was banned, media controlled and the party leader(s) became the potentates in communist countries. Workers of the world did not lose their chains but lost everything: freedom of every kind. While the leaders enjoyed every privilege, comfortable houses, ample good food, political power, special treatment as given to VVIPs in a bourgeois country and much more that could not be imagined before Marxists came to rule. In India, the communists enjoy the privileges of MP/MLA and committee members like all others of the bourgeois class. They suffer from the same weaknesses of the flesh as others. They subscribe to the ideology of violence, support acts of violence which serve their political ends, promote violence in sections of society in the name of communalism versus secularism bogey and never hesitate to spread the virus of hateful communalism even in public efforts to contain a deadly virus like the COVID-19, which they call anti-muslim. What can be more beneficial than a promise which can never be fulfilled like the communist revolution in India? It is a means for unethical power over the poor.
In the name of labour, communism in India bred a new kind of feudalism where its leaders and cadres became either power brokers or abused political power when elected to rule in some states.
So far as the labour class is concerned, communism in India did them the biggest disservice by not “losing the chains” but doubling the chains enslaving the labour as their party cadre. Anybody opposed to their organization was dealt with violently. Group clashes were promoted and became common.
Industry needs capital, managers and labour to function successfully. Labour alone is not sufficient, as capital or managers alone are not adequate, all have to work in a cooperative style.
The Communist Manifesto, in the genre of ecclesiastical call for crusade and jihad in Islam, was a call to the labour class couched in a jargon that was gaining popularity in Germany, France and England at that time and was being influenced by developments in America and western Europe targeting feudalism, especially the capitalist society.
Communists made the most fundamental mistake of choosing violence over non-violence in India. They refuse to change even now. Creating social division as bourgeois and proletariat was a flawed approach to economic matters. It promoted hatred between the industrialists and the labour. Marx did not live long to witness the sad consequences of his doctrines.
It goes to the credit of industrial revolution that people started applying their mind to material well-being over religious doctrines of sin, hell, heaven, destiny or karma: the original sin of eating of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge in paradise for all their suffering and poverty. People abandoned the thoughts of self-denial and acceptance of their deplorable material conditions and began to work to improve their economic conditions. It was not because of Marx, Engel, Lenin or communists anywhere in the world but the direct result of availability of goods and services to whosoever could pay for them.
It was no longer the luxury, privilege of the high and mighty alone but even ordinary wage earners and salaried people aspired to it legitimately.
Profits and wages were bound to increase with growing industrialisation. Industries created new jobs and employment opportunities for thousands. So was consumption and the demand for industrial goods and services. It started bridging the gap between the hungry and the overfed in Europe, and re-distribution of state power and Church power: evolution of democracy.
History comes in to play at such a time, giving birth to a Karl Marx, to compel change of the old order and give rise to a new order.
Marx called religion the opium of the masses. Unfortunately, his ideas of the rule of the proletariat proved the real opium of the people. The disintegration of the USSR was the end of Marxism and its doctrine. China has a capitalist economy created by the sweat of the labour living in horrible conditions.
Karl Marx didn’t know that the communists will make him the new religion and communism the new opium ; that they would hang the portraits of Karl Marx, Lenin, Stalin and Mao as the new gods, pride in displaying them in their homes and office chambers like stuffed animals hung in the drawing room as trophies. In India, the communists want to replace the portraits of Mahatma Gandhi by Karl Marx. Is that possible or even reasonable?
The ecclesiastical religion as also the Upanishadic dialecticism searched for truth. In our own time, it is virtual reality/augmented reality (VR/AR). But for the communists, it is neither religion, truth, reality or any dialectics but the mind filled with the opium of Marxism- like the Lotus Eaters!
Anger, disillusionment and the ravages of the World War were diverted to fuel the fires of communism, holding the promise of the Eldorado through armed revolution. It gripped the imagination of the young and hungry, popularising the communist ideology and its spread in many parts of the world. As every change brings happiness as well as causes pain, communism achieved only that much. Humanity paid the price for full 75 years of communist rule in the USSR, China and other parts of the world. But its traces in countries like India are proving detrimental to growth, development, prosperity, modernity, peace and social harmony.
Out of this context, the Indian communism sounds hollow. It prospered in the decade of the 1960s and reaped the benefits for a few decades but was wiped out of the political map of India largely. It is associated with violence like holding the senior Managers of an industrial unit captive (Gherao) or setting them aflame or imposing complete lockdown at workplace or production facility- activities patently anti-labour by any standard. It led to mass scale industrial sickness and closure of industries, further shrinking employment opportunities in an existing low employment situation.
They practice negative ideology and oppose everything constructive the government does.
They play dirty communal politics, spewing venom against the Hindu community in the name of BJP-RSS Hindutva combine (as they call it). Their obnoxious mindset finds opportunity to inject communal venom even in the efforts of the government to fight COVID-19, which they portray as anti-Muslim! They are only materialistic in practice having no idea of dialecticism of the Church, works of prominent European thinkers or the true meaning of Dialectic Materialism propagated by Marx & Engels or its limitations or irrelevance in the present century. Indian communists are outdated. They thrive on communal politics posing as the champions of the Muslims in India but have no love for them. Rather they use them to create violence in society and a vote bank. They make the vulnerable criminals first and thereafter patronise them holding political rallies or fighting court cases as advocate.
The communists are mistaken to think that Indian Muslims survive on their little mercies. Actually, they fear the Muslims and have never called them communal. They even covertly endorsed the barbarities perpetrated by the ISIS and never came forward to demand protection for the persecuted Yezdis or their little girls who were brutally raped by the ISIS cadres and sold as slaves in the market. But they have indulged in hate campaigns against Israel for decades to gain some territory abroad in the guise of messiah of Muslims everywhere, destroying chances of peace in the region and misdirecting Indian foreign policy. Have the communists formed a government in any Islamic country?
They kept quiet when China grabbed Buddhist Tibet but made noise when Article 370/35A of the Constitution of India was abrogated. Indian communists are selective.
It would do immense good to the Indian communists if they learn fast to respect Hindus rather than stigmatising them as fascists or communal. Their violence is bound to provoke retribution, reprisal, retaliation, remedy and atonement ultimately.
A dead political ideology like communism/Marxism is a grave threat to the well-being of the young generation as is exemplified by Naxalites, whose leaders indulge in extortion liberally, own liquid as well as illiquid assets, terrorise unarmed villagers and carry out frequent bomb blasts and firing to establish their sway in inaccessible areas rich in wild life and forest produce.
Like the epithet Urban Naxals, Indian communists may be called Communist Capitalists soon. They are the Marxist Bourgeois class- a new Royalty!
Hate is their means of unearned income and empowerment. It is their capital. Labour is only the raw material for their production. They used to be penniless and indulged in scrounging sympathisers for decades before many of them became rich and owners of industries and businesses. Even politics for them turned out to a source of income by blackmail, making many of them millionaires! Khushamdeed billionaire and millionaire communists! You have disappointed millions of youth in India from 1947 through 2014.