Sunday, October 02, 2005


The recent nationwide strike brought out for the umpteenth time how irresponsible, short sighted, and hypocritical the left can be. All public institutions ranging from school to banks to factories suffered a complete shutdown. Public life came to a standstill in west Bengal and kerela. This is not something new we are witnessing. The left has perfected this biannual ritual of bringing the nation to its knees. As usual it is a vehement “protest” against the anti-people policies of the government. Which policies? It does not matter. It also does not matter if the government at the center lives of their support. Whether it’s a nda government or of the upa, our leftist friends will always find a reason to protest.

Ask the leftist protester on the roads of Calcutta what is he so upset about. He might mumble something about vagaries of privatization and a misguided foreign policy. Ask him to be more explanatory or challenge him to a debate, he will call you a stooge of western forces or even non-secular as the current fashion suggests. For a normal observer, the views and decisions of the left might lead him to believe that they are caught in time wrap. They still think that the cold war is on and soviet brand socialism is the right way to go. Deeper analysis might show something else. Are they really out of touch with reality or are they using ideology to hold the government to ransom.

The actions of their state governments in west Bengal and kerala are a better indicator of how the left follow double standards on most issues. Kerela has the only privatized airport in the country. But that does not stop brinda karat from explaining to airport workers how privatization of airports will be disastrous for their welfare. Of course such an action will affect the current work style of the people. It will force them to be more efficient and more accountable. It will also stop them from holding up critical services at the whim of some union leader. The biggest change will be that it will make the left sponsored militant Trade unionism redundant. Striving for efficiency and excellence is something which directly harms the long term plans of the left. When workers discover that it is hard work, efficient management and a competitive spirit which will enable them to return home with a higher pay, they will realize how they have been made a fool of by those union leaders. The current attitude is all about, I-will-not-work-hard. This is the result of the years of domination of workers unions by the left. They have never wanted the people to be rich, for then they lose their support base. Deng had famously realized,” to get rich is glorious”. Our Indian communists on the other hand followed a totally different ideology.

Poverty is your right and you shall have it. That’s what has been there mantra all this long.

All these long years after independence, the communists have never been as strong politically as they are currently. They have been used to protesting without the government lending any ear to their pleas. But now the situation has totally changed. They have discovered that they can make this government do anything they wished. This inadvertently has brought out the worst in them.

First of all, true to their form they did not join the government. It was the worst case of shirking responsibility. It is also a blatant insult to the mandate they have received. It was nothing new. The left have had various opportunities in the past the to join the government. But they have always refused. That is because that would actually make them accountable to the public and bring to the fore their hypocrisy. It would also rob them the freedom to protest and strike for then they would be protesting against their own policies.

The left with their new found freedom has begun meddling with the national foreign policy. The fact that national interests come before any ideology hasn’t occurred to them. Lets consider the recent imbroglio regarding iran. Funnily, its sitaram yechury who is more upset than the Iranians themselves about india’a vote in IAEA. he has no idea about the dynamics of the world gas market and hence will holler about how decisions such as these compromise the nations energy security. they say that iran has a right to enrich uranium being a sovereign nation, but on the other hand it has been steadfastly opposing our own national nuclear policy, calling it a scource of regional destabilisation. how hypocritical can anyone get?

buddhadev bhatacharya is the flavor of the season. he is the poster-boy of communist reform in india. here there is no deceit. he is an honest man to the core who has shaken off the dogma ridden views of his party and has accepted the ground realities as far as economic and industrial policies are concerned. our hardcore leftist may turn up their nose at the sight of seing buddha wooing mncs but in doing so he is not acting very differently from his chinese comrades. china had realized two decades back that liberisation is the only way to prosperity. the chinese are nationalist first and then communists. in india it has always been the other way around. hopefully with the rise of leaders like buddhadev, it will herald a new dawn for indian communism.

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