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Last evening, goons attacked students in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Campus. The leftist and right wing are blaming each other for the brutal attack. From last few days JNU students are protesting against the hostel fees hike from Rs 27,600-32,000 annually up to Rs 55,000-61,000. Left wing are against the fee hike, where as the right wing students welcome it.
So, what is Left wing and Right wing?
First, let’s understand what is ideology. Ideology literally means believing in certain set of ideas or principles, especially in terms of economy and, political system and policies. It is based on these ideas and principles a political system is directed. It is on those principles policies are framed and implemented.
Simply put, it is based on certain ideology (ideas and principles) a country is governed.
Classification of Ideology:
Ideology can be classified as Rightist or Leftist, Reactionary or Progressive, Conservative or revolutionary and so on.
A political party is formed based on an ideology and they formulate their blueprint for action based on those ideas and principles. Ideology forms the keystone of any political party.
How does an ideology evolve?
A group or political party while forming its ideology usually opposes the existing order in terms of policies and governance for the betterment of the larger good. Thus, new ideology forms an alternative method for the governance of the country. It is a struggle to change the existing political system. Each ideology claim different ideas and principles to legitimise the political order in a country.
So political parties based on their ideological foundation can be divided broadly into two kinds: Rightist and Leftist, divided on the basis of how the government or ruler of a country function.
Rightist are associated and represent the interest of upper or dominant classes. Right-wing is characterised on ideas such as authority, hierarchy, order, duty, tradition, reaction and nationalism (wiki). Few control the governance of the country.
Fascism: Is authoritarian in character. It is against democracy, liberalism, capitalism and communism. “A governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasising an aggressive nationalism and often racism,” (Dictionary.com)
Conservatives: Conservatism is a political and social philosophy promoting traditional social institutions in the context of culture and civilisation. The central tenets of conservatism include tradition, mechanical solidarity, hierarchy, authority, and property rights.(wikipedia)
Liberalism: Importance given to Individual rights and liberties and opposed bureaucratic authority. Liberalism emphasised on “Laissez-Faire”(free trade, capitalism) which supported the dominant, rich classes as against the poor. They want state to just maintain law and order and not interfere in bringing about welfare state. This leads to rich getting richer and poor getting poorer. This was opposed by leftist. (In terms of advocating liberty of the people they are leftist, but its the capitalistic nature makes it disadvantageous towards the have-nots/poor.)
Leftist represent the lower economic and social classes. Left wing is characterised with ideas such as freedom, equality, fraternity, rights, progress, reform and internationalism (Wiki). People control the governance of the country.
Marxism/ Communism – Supported the lower class and protested against the bourgeoisie. It advocated replacing rule of bourgeoisie with rule of the masses – workers , peasants, etc.
Socialism: A system of social organisation that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole, (Dictionary.com)
Democratic Socialism: Socialism which is based on peaceful and constitutional methods. It is against violence and bloodshed. Government is run based on the constitution of the land. When India got independence India adopted Democratic Socialism.
( Ideology is a very vast topic to discuss dating back to the origin of the state. Every ideology has its own pros and cons. Any ideology taken to extreme levels leads to conflict. I have tried to simplify it. So, one can try and understand why people are fighting across the world. Its ideological conflict – conflict between rich and poor, haves and have nots.)
Brutal: Savagely violent.
Democracy: Rule of the people; a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives.
Bourgeoisie: The capitalist class who own most of society’s wealth and means of production.
Regimenting: Organise according to a strict system or pattern
Fraternity: A group of people sharing a common profession or interests.
So, what is your orientation? left or right? Do share your thoughts.