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The Left is always right - The Times of India

Ravi Kapoor ()
June 2, 1998

Title: The Left is always right
Author: Ravi Kapoor
Publication: The Times of India
Date: June 2, 1998

The world of Leftist intellectuals and communist leaders has come
to an fend not with a whimper, but with a bang. They valiantly
fought to save the country from the perils of 'jingoism They
left no stone unturned to thwart India's nuclearisation: they
shed even the semblance of morality by supporting the nuclear
agenda of the US, against whose imperialism they had waged many a
phony war; they termed nationalism as ultra-nationalism and
patriotism as jingoism; they admonished the nation of sanctions.
But they failed.

Many VIP Leftists have spent their lives in combating American
imperialism from the salubrious environs of prestigious
university campuses and the air-conditioned seminar rooms of
various think-tanks. So, one might have thought, siding with the
US on issues like the CTBT must have anguished them profoundly.
They must have also worried of criticism of being inconsistent.

However, such mundane matters don't bother Leftist intellectuals.
The most radical of them often go to American universities; many
have served there for a number of years. In the same manner as
many of them join the Indian Administrative and Police Services.
As for consistency, our intellectuals, like Communist leaders,
believe in the adage that consistency is the virtue of asses.
And these worthies are certainly not enamoured by such bourgeois
virtues.

And nobody can dare to challenge them, for the Left is always
right and the rest always wrong. If P.V. Narasimha Rao
liberalises the economy, he is favouring the captains of
industry; if Jyoti Basu does the same, he is promoting
industrialisation. If Manmohan Singh invites foreign capital, he
is compromising the economic sovereignty of the county; if
Somnath Chatterjee, he is working hard to check unemployment. If
the E.M.S. Namboodiripad government in Kerala is dismissed by New
Delhi, it is an assault on the federal structure of our polity;
if the BJP government in Gujarat is dismissed, it is an endeavour
to check communal forces. If the BJP or the Congress ally with
corrupt politicians, it is the height of immorality; but if the
Left parties do the same', it is in the interests of the people.
If the CPI(M) allies with the Muslim League, it is for the sake
of the downtrodden; if the Congress does the same, it is an
opportunistic alliance.

Mahatma Gandhi, other Congress leaders, and Congress Socialists
did vacillate for some time regarding their stand on World War
II. At that time, the communists thundered: "No longer is
Gandhiji's leadership, even in a restricted sense, a unifier of
the people's movement... Compromise on the issue of war (that is,
not opposing the mperialist war') is the biggest danger that
faces the national movement and Gandhism today means the line of
compromise."

Further, "the CSP (Congress Socialist Party) leadership has made
its final break with Marxism and completely gone to Gandhism."
But when the Soviet. Union was attacked by Hitler and the
'imperialist war' metamorphosed into a 'People's War', the Indian
freedom fighters became "fifth columnists" and "traitors" whom
the people should "treat as the worst enemy of the nation." In
short, the communists were right when they were opposing the
British government, and they were right when they were supporting
it!

Even in the recent past, Leftist leaders and intellectuals tried
their best to save the country from ingoism When Mani
Ratnam's Roja became a hit, they saw red. In fact, this movie was
commented upon in a highbrow Leftist journal which normally finds
it beneath its dignity to devote space to popular film. When
Border became a success for the same reason and was exempted from
entertainment tax, they cried "jingoism."

As reports come from all parts of the country that the reaction
to the blasts has been warm, Leftists may be finding it difficult
to say that it is only the middle class that is jubilant. Now
Leftists may say that the "marginalised groups" have come under
the spell 'false consciousness'.


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