The recent elections in India have been hailed by the bourgeois media as a turn a way from the left. This is not the case at all. What is true is that the policies of the two main Communist parties have been such that the masses could not identify in them a clear alternative to Congress. The Communist parties paid a dear price for this. Now the task is to learn from this experience and break with class-collaborationist policies.

Twenty five years have passed since more than 3000 innocent people of the minority Sikh community were brutally massacred, their properties burnt down, ransacked and looted and their women gang raped by the mob in Delhi and elsewhere in India, during the anti-Sikh pogrom of November 1984. Many of those responsible still hold important political positions. The tactic of "Divide and Rule" is still kept in reserve by the Indian ruling class, as this case shows.

The throwing of shoes at political leaders has become very fashionable lately as this report reveals. In some cases so concerned have the organisers of rallies become that they have forced the participants to remove their shoes and leave them outside!

An incredible case of repeated gang rape of female students in Indian colleges was revealed last year, eventually leading to the culprits being sentenced to life imprisonment. But this was no ordinary case of rape; it involved an attempt at a cover-up that led right to the top of the national government itself. It was only the courageous action of the female students, a female teacher and then the families of the victims that eventually achieved justice. The case has brought out the terrible suffering that ordinary working people in India have to bear.

Today elections are being held in India. The CPI and CPI(M) leaders have come up with another version of class collaborationist politics, the so-called “Third Front”. It is presented as an alternative to both the BJP and Congress, but in reality it is an alliance with smaller bourgeois formations. It is time for the leaders of the Indian Communist Parties to break with this kind of policy and offer the workers of India a United Front of workers’ organisations.

The BJP has always been known as an extremely reactionary chauvinist party, but in its recent backing of Varun Gandhi it has fallen to even lower depths, a clear sign that it is preparing to foment communal conflict, pitting poor against poor, in order to divert attention away from the real social and economic problems.

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