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True to form - The Marxists do a Judas on the DMK - The Indian Express

Editorial ()
22 November 1997

Title: True to form - The Marxists do a Judas on the DMK
Author: Editorial
Publication: The Indian Express
Date: November 22, 1997

That power corrupts is amply proven. What even proximity to power can do to avowed principles finds clinching proof in the CPI(M)'s dilemma over the DMK issue. The party, which has subjected Leftists of less strident anti-Congressism to polemical lacerations, has not jumped at the opportunity to expose the bullying by the big bourgeoisie's political outfit over the Jain inanities. Not only has the CPI(M) been thunderously silent about Sitaram Kesri's ultimatum, delivered along with a call for the return
f the Dynasty to the Congress throne. It has also been among the minority of the Front camp to press for capitulation, second to none but the exclusively UP-centred Mulayam Singh Yadav in selling the ditch-DMK line. Sitaram Yechury's second-thoughts sophistry has proved abortive. It hardly redeems the opportunism which some at home might even equate with the cardinal sin of revisionism. No enemy propagandist (no, not even Arundhati Roy) could have exposed better the hollowness and hypocrisy of the claim
of the party's high priests to uncompromising consistency in their harsh response to a power-sharing proposal emanating from West Bengal, with its rider about a "historical blunder". lie reaction to Jain is nothing like the rebuff to Jyoti Basu, who had the cheek to advise the DMK to support the government from outside to facilitate Congress support.

In theory, the leading party of the Left should have been the first among the members and friends of the United Front to make up its mind in the matter. Not sharing power at the Centre in a formal sense, it did not need to be nervous about losing it. Nor could fear of fresh elections be a factor in its case: it has no bases to lose but a couple that continue to be its bastions, supplying a number of parliamentary seats out of all proportion to its real national influence. It could not have been severely j
lted by the stale non-revelations of the Jain Commission report. Or, compelled into a DMK-dumping course by a staunch anti-LTTE stance, which has not prevented its current alliance in Tamil Nadu with the militantly pro-Eelam MDMK of V. Gopalasamy (to figure) with some prominence in the cheap Jain thriller). Above all, the ideology of anti-Congressism, on which the Marxists have always prided themselves, should have made their option pretty obvious. Alas, it has not. The CPI(M), in the event, could not ha
e tied itself into more tell-tale knots.

There is no mystery, of course, about the Marxist muddle. It is no different from the dilemma of any power-sharing partner of a ruling dispensation. Even if it shares power without a shred of a sense of responsibility. All power corrupts, even that exercised by proxy, and it is not without pragmatic logic that the party is loth to part with unofficial clout in the corridors of power. The status conferred upon Surjeet as an eminent statesman and Yechury as an economist is not something to sneer at, eithe
. In the days of a Congress-CPI axis, polemicists of the CPI(M) used to scoff at the parent party's policy of hunting with the hound and running with the hare. The Marxists are now reduced to the role of one outside supporter of a government that advocates its sellout to another. "Anti-communalism" covers a multitude of contradictions.

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