The party's leadership may have kept its distance from the Indian Social Forum, but most of its organisers are CPI(M) members. The ISF's aims too are those of the Left: "to further advance the movement against neo-liberal globalisation, sectarian politics, casteism, patriarchy and militarisation".
Collaboration between political parties and NGOs is a relatively new phenomenon. Initially, most political parties, whether of the left, right or the centre, were suspicious of NGOs—social movements that take funding. Across the globe, they emerged when the delivery mechanisms of governments and political parties became ineffective. The NGOs began to do what politicians ought to be doing: representing people's needs, communicating with the bureaucracy, addressing grievances and providing succour.