The significance of AAP’s foray in Bangalore. One set of businessmen stand against the other.

Few weeks back, Narayan Murthy, the former boss of Infosys, while speaking to Sagarika Ghose in the hallowed precincts of Infosys, echoed the objections against crony capitalism voiced by Kejriwal. Murthy spoke of the need to conduct business in a clean and legitimate manner and disapproved of business practices that grew due to political patronage. Of course, he had hurried to add that he did not approve of Kejriwal’s methods of holding dharnas after being appointed as the Chief Minister of Delhi.

Narayan Murthy against Crony Capitalism
Narayan Murthy against Crony Capitalism

It was not surprising therefore to find one of his former colleague and Director of Infosys, Shri V Balakrishnan, being chosen as an AAP candidate for the Lok Sabha election for the Central Bangalore constituency. Sharing the stage with Kejriwal in the Bangalore rally on 16th March, 2014, Mr Balakrishnan may be one of the very few professional businessmen who despite reaching the very top of corporate management do not mind being seen applauding as Kejriwal went about bashing up the relations between Modi and Mukesh Ambani.

Many business men along with V Balakrishnan  endorsed the fight against crony capitalists by donating to AAP
Many business men along with V Balakrishnan endorsed the fight against crony capitalists by donating to AAP

Another deviant behavior of Mr Balakrishnan was his initiative in the organization of dinner donation drive for the party. Over 200 “affluent” citizens of Bangalore paid Rs. 20000/- each for a plate to swell the party funds by 50 lakhs. The dinner meet was reported to be a grand success. This may be yet another exception to find Indian business people fundraising openly for a political party unlike the cronies who do with their black money. While we have Ambani’s helicopter and Adani’s Jets flying Modi across the country for BJP rallies, we have another set of business men supporting Kejriwal who never stops Ambani-Modi bashing. The contrast is too stark to be missed.

Very recently we posted an article on Truth of Gujarat “The Rise and Rise of Aam Aadmi Party – The New Subaltern Movement in the Era of Globalisation” attempting to analyze the objective conditions that were fueling the Aam Aadmi movement. We had come to a tentative view that the liberalization, privatization and globalization (LPG) has created conditions due to which the Indian capitalism has been completely polarized. On one hand the monopoly houses are trying to grab super profits by influencing the government policies, whereas on the other hand, the small and medium industries are closing down by the dozens.

All the scams during the UPA tenure came under immense media scrutiny because of the India against corruption (IAC) movement. However neither IAC nor the media nor the main opposition party, BJP, dared to question the main profiteers of these scams. The 2G scam was not really as much a money earner for the ruling UPA as compared to the super-profits earned by the Telecom Companies. This may be equally true for the coal gate scam. This illegal method of grabbing national resources while others are denied only because of the proximity of big businesses with the political parties exposes the contradiction between the crony-capitalists and others.

The Chinese revolution of 1949 was powered by a four class alliance; the peasantry, working class, the middle class and the class representing small and medium businesses of China came together to fight under the leadership of Mao Tse-Tung to overthrow colonial powers. We are not suggesting any such analogy but as we saw during the Chinese Revolution, disparate classes of the society do come together to resist the oppression of the dominant capital, whether it’d be colonial powers in the case of China or the Crony Capitalists in case of India.

In this era of liberalization, privatization and globalization, the deeper inroads of monopolist capital has led to a domestic resistance and now we are witnessing men and women from different walks of life joining this resistance. From the businessmen who paid 20000 per plate for the fund drive to the huge masses of middle class who supported Kejriwal in his dharnas, disparate classes are coming together to resist the cronies like the Adanis and Ambanis. However, the struggle against the crony capitalism can never succeed without the active support of the marginalized class like workers, dalits and minorities. For AAP to be successful in its endeavour, it has to be founded on a pro-people and an anti-communal agenda.