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A role for the reds - An editorial - The Financial Express - Editorial

Posted By ashok (ashokvc@giasbm01.vsnl.net.in)

Title : A role for reds
Publication : The Financial Express - Editorial
Date : 1\7\96

THE induction of two senior CPI leaders in the Union
Council of Ministers is no ordinary event. It may or may
not unleash a revolution in governance but it is indeed a
landmark in communist politics in India. A more epoch-
making landmark was nearly achieved when CPI(M) patriarch
Jyoti Basu was nominated for prime ministership. Overawed
by the responsibility or hidebound in dogma or unable to
look beyond their regional noses in West Bengal and
Kerala, CPI(M) leaders prevented Basu from becoming Prime
Minister. They would merely back the Gowda government,
never become its active parts. The CPI leadership has
never been victim to such rigid doctrines. That class
collaboration is no anathema to them has been once again
proved with Indrajit Gupta and Chaturanan Mishra
becoming Cabinet Ministers. Another thing it proves is
that communism which is no longer quite fashionable
elsewhere still has some relevance in India in spite of
its limited appeal.
Much of their ideological puritanism has wanted but
Indian comunists have not yet been converted to the
creed of free enterprise and "callous cash profit." From
within the Government, they can now stress the importance
of a paradigm of growth thathas the poor manin focus. The
current process of economic reform is irreversible and
indrajit Gupta and Chaturanan Mishra know that as well as
its strongest protagonists. Their endeavourshould be not
to stall it but to stop its stultification. Encouraged by
their example, other smaller components of the Left Front
may also now make themselves available to be co-sharers
in power but not the big brother, the CPI(M). It cannot
yet get out of its decision, doubly cemented in two
central committee meetings. If its hawkish leaders
refrain from polemics for a while, it will be because of
their concern for the Government's stability, not Left
Barring the inauguration of the CPI as a ruling party at
the Centre, there is perhaps nothing remarkable about
this round of cabinet expansion. Some more persons,
them Yogendra Alagh and Bolli Bulli Ramaiah, have been
found suitable or not-so-suitable berths. It is even seen
as an achievement of sorts that Prime Minister Deve Gowda
has been able to provide representation to Brahmans also
in his team. If anything is noteworthy, it is that one
minister should fly into tantrums soon after he was sworn
in for the simple reason that he was not given a position
he thought was due to him. Another aspirant was first
asked to be ready tobe a minister and then told to forget
about it. That was quite in keeping with with United
Front's character.

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