10. Despite many obstacles there are many active left cultural platforms and individuals who practise progressive culture in diverse ways on a sustained basis. Platforms such as Jan Sanskriti Manch (JSM), Progressive Writers’ Association (PWA), Janwadi Lekhak Sangh (JLS), SAHMAT and several other organisations and individuals, as well as many magazines and journals published locally, regionally and nationally representing different shades of left opinion do articulate a general progressive and secular world-view. There have been successful efforts in uniting all such major organisations on specific issues of cultural and political import.

11. While uniting with all progressive cultural platforms and individuals, we must take the culture of protest/resistance as the mainstay of left cultural movement. During the recent movement against the heinous gang rape in Delhi, many artists and writers took to the streets at different places, with JSM playing the leading role in the Hindi-Urdu belt. ‘Hirawal’, the theatre wing of JSM, has organised several shows of its street play ‘Bekhauf Azadi’, based on the same incident, at different places in Delhi, Patna and other cities. The film group of JSM called ‘The Group’ has dedicated all its film festivals this year to the theme of ‘freedom without fear’ of women. Many independent artists as well as those belonging to diverse left groups organised cultural nights in solidarity with the movement not only in Delhi, but in other places too.

12. The revolutionary cultural movement must experiment with all cultural forms in order to build a new progressive consciousness and emancipatory aesthetics; enlarge its network to schools, academic institutions, workplaces and all institutions of social intercourse; devise policies and find ways to intervene in autonomous cultural institutions established by governments; intervene in all contemporary cultural discourses from a revolutionary left position; uphold and develop diverse progressive cultural creations in folk art traditions, popular languages and dialects threatened by the homogenising impulse of cultural globalisation; and initiate movements for popular science and cultural literacy, as also against caste discrimination, various manifestations of patriarchal culture, superstitions and social evils.

13. The pressing task of robust cultural resistance to revivalist tendencies promoted by the market, and stubborn and widespread feudal and patriarchal culture cannot be left to the ‘cultural organisation’ alone. Rather the party as a whole must undertake the task of combating, within communist party ranks, mass base, and wider society, cultural values and practices that are alien to revolutionary values, and building a powerful movement for progressive cultural values. The communist party must take the lead in building powerful social movements against caste discrimination and caste-based marriage, against crimes in the name of ‘honour’ and sexual violence, and in favour of women’s and people’s autonomy in all matters including the choice of partners, against all forms of discrimination on the grounds of gender or sexual orientation; against denial of property to daughters, against taking and giving dowry; against son preference and sex-selective abortion, and so on.

14. The turbulent times our country is now passing through gives us ample scope for putting into practice our cherished motto “culture of creation, culture of resistance, culture of the people!” Let us develop the cultural front in closer and more creative integration with the political tasks of the moment and move forward shoulder to shoulder with the fighting millions.

The Media as an Arena of Class Struggle

15. “The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas, i.e. the class which is the ruling material force of society, is at the same time its ruling intellectual force. The class which has the means of material production at its disposal, has control at the same time over the means of mental production, so that thereby, generally speaking, the ideas of those who lack the means of mental production are subject to it.