Urging students to rethink alternatives in the arena of politics, CPI(M) Politburo member, Sita Ram Yechury reinforced the idea that economics and politics cannot be looked at in isolation rather, that their relation with each other determined the direction that the country was heading toward.
Delivering the key note address during a state level seminar on “Political and Economic challenges in India – 2014 Election Alternatives” at the University of Hyderabad, Mr. Yechury hinted at the general dissatisfaction with the current UPA government’s economic policies. Dubbing them neo-liberal, Mr. Yechury said, “Today, economic objectives have become the political prerogative. The Indian state has not abdicated its responsibility towards its people. Priority has just shifted towards the maximization of profits.”
Calling for a united change in the system from economic driven politics to a more socialistic governance, Mr. Yechury said, “The unity of the people in realising this potential is essential to concretizing this alternative. These challenges are surmountable.”
Quoting Ambedkar, Mr. Yechury said that the political structure that the country had built would collapse because, unlike the slogan of Universal Suffrage, one man did not have one value. Prodding the government, the speaker added that the Right to Education act and Food Security bill could achieve a 100% output if “scam funds” were appropriated properly. “While tax concessions are incentives, subsidization for the poor becomes a burden for the government.”
While defending the party’s stand on the FDI, he admitted that no country could be insulated from global integration but the terms of this integration needed to be negotiated with for mutual benefit. However the FDI as proposed by the Centre benefited the capitalist market. “The Congress government has allowed the development of a capitalist economy under the guise of a socialist secular nation. It is this failure of economic policies that is leading to a change in the political arena where India is heading toward a fascist, Hindu Rastriya.”
Answering a question if the Left was running out of non-capitalist based solutions, a realistic Mr. Yechury admitted that Capitalism was the system of the day and a better solution was to look for mutual benefit in the system. Also responding to the AAP phenomenon in Delhi, the speaker said that the people were looking for relief from the BJP and Congress and the AAP was the better moral alternative, however the party lacked a clear sense of direction.
Other dignitaries on the stage included Prof. G.Omkarnath from the Department of Economics, University of Hyderabad and Prof. Nageshwaram, Professor of Journalism, Osmania University.