Ahead of the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) released its Manifest on 28th March this year. It is often alleged that the communists in India care more about other countries compared to India, and the manifesto published by CPI(M) reflects that philosophy. It is filled with promises that are designed to make India weaker in front of its rivals in the world.
In the beginning, the party manifesto lists the ‘failures’ of the Narendra Modi government. And in that list, “deepening defence ties with USA and Israel” listed as one of the failures. The party thinks that deepening defence ties with USA and Israel, two of the topmost defence manufacturing hub in the world, is a failure of Modi government. CPI(M) also have problems with opening up India’s defence installations to the USA and collaborating as a major defence partner of the USA, which is seen as major steps in improving the country’s defence infrastructure.
The Marxist Communist party promises to reverse the much-needed reforms in the defence manufacturing which were started by the Modi government, after delays of decades. They promise to reverse the privatisation of defence production, which means Indian security forces will have to depend on the inefficient public sector who have a history of not delivering products on time, or not delivering products as required.
The Communists want massive changes in the defence ties India has entered into various nations. They favour revising the several agreements signed with USA, including the Defence Framework Agreement and the nuclear agreement. In fact, the CPI(M) is promising that no foreign nuclear reactor will be imported if they come to power.
Apart from cutting all defence ties with the USA, the party also promises to reverse the pro-Israel tilt in foreign policy. Along with no privatisation in defence manufacturing, the communists basically want that India should go back by decades in its defence capabilities.
At a time when self-radicalised people influenced by terror messages online are conducting deadly terror attacks, the Communist Party talks about stopping bulk surveillance by state agencies.
The CPI(M) also thinks that the non-aligned movement has any relevance in today’s geopolitics, and promises a non-aligned foreign policy. The party also promises to resume dialogue with Pakistan, but do not mention about pressurising the country to take action against terror groups operating from the country.
The party further talks about preventing “excesses by security forces” in Jammu and Kashmir, a language used by separatists. They talk about banning pellet guns and withdrawal of AFSPA, but the manifesto is silent on stone pelters attacking security forces.
Party wants to address the concerns of Rohingya, but silent on religious minorities persecuted in neighbouring Pakistan and Bangladesh, or even the Chinese crackdown on Uighur Muslims. Interestingly, Venezuela is mentioned twice in the Communist Manifesto, as the party wants India to oppose USA interventions in the country. The Venezuelan crisis is a result of decades of mis‑governance by the socialists, but the Communist Party of India wants to blame the United States for the same.