As one of the world’s largest Communist parties, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)] considered Deng Xiaoping’s ‘socialist’ engineering as an experiment to circumvent the purely ‘statist’ model of socialism that was failing to manage peoples’ aspirations. The CPI(M)`s experience of being in power in West Bengal from 1977 taught the party that merely offering the people an “intermittent relief program” might not be enough to retain power. It therefore started its search for reforms based on generating new industries and employment through private capital around 1984-85. In the party’s new discourse, the market would take charge of building super markets and socialist policies would look after the poor people. This new communication narrative was constituted by three elements - the state, the party and the market - instead of the old state-party model. This thesis is based on conversations in 2010 with leading party thinkers, work in party archives in 2009 and 2010, and ten years experience as a journalist working in West Bengal as well as other parts of India.
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