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Former CPM MP tears Lenin apart

Former CPM MP tears Lenin apart

Author: Bhaskar Roy/TNN
Publication: The Times of India
Date: October 7, 2004

The insider's account is always considered the most authentic. Czech writer Milan Kundera's fiction offers deep insights into the totalitarian communist regime that rifled his homeland.

Closer home, former CPM deputy leader in the Lok Sabha Amal Datta's book on Lenin offers viewpoints of the Communist icon that have left the Left circles embarrassed. Datta unambiguously sees Lenin as having unleashed state terror after the Russian Revolution. Indeed in 'Lenin, Revolution, State and Terror', Datta has sought to demolish Lenin's iconic status, terming him as the "father of domestic Russian terrorism, cruel and merciless".

Seeking to dispel the notion that Gulag exile and appalling purges were associated with Stalin alone, Datta says in chapter 12, "But it was really Lenin who had initiated the concentration camps, mass terror, torture and execution which were allowed to stand above the state." He quotes Lenin urging the party to resort to terror: "We must encourage energetic action and largescale terror against the counter-revolutionaries especially in Petrograd as decisive example." The demonised image of the Russian leader that comes through the 256-page book expectedly has been rebuffed by the communists. Dismissing Datta as incapable of assessing Lenin, CPI leader D Raja said, "He has no understanding of India, how can he comment on Lenin and the Soviet situation soon after the revolution?" Though Datta snapped ties with the CPM a few years ago, the fact that he had held an important position in the party and is Jyoti Basu's nephew has caused acute uneasiness in the Left circles.
 


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