Dr Jay Dubashi
The Congress Party supremo has a new adviser. No, not the new import from Chicago University, an economist called Rajan. He advises the Finance Ministry, not the denizen of 10 Janpath. The Janpath adviser is a man called Sitaram Yechury, who to my great surprise, happens to be the Marxist MP who sits on the Opposition benches in the Parliament, but is otherwise on the friendliest terms with the ruling party. In politics, you find the strangest of bedfellows, but politics is a game without rules and you never know who will be pally with whom.
It is not clear what advice this man, who is supposed to be a hard core Marxist, whatever that means, gives to the ruling party supremo, who, I am sure, cannot tell Karl Marx from Groucho Marx. But then in politics you never know who is who. It is possible that the Marxist is a hard core Capitalist at heart and is only pretending to be a Communist, or vice-versa. It is also possible that the lady is a Socialist, as well-versed in that philosophy as Quattrochi. In politics, things are never what they seem, and it is quite possible that the two do not discuss politics at all, but maybe climate change in Andhra Pradesh and Italy.
When everything is said and done, one must remember that the Congress Party has always had a soft corner for Communists, and vice-versa. They are, in more ways than one, kindred souls. Both believe in power, and nothing but power. The Marxist philosophy is a smokescreen as far as the Communists are concerned, and so is the Gandhian ideology in the case of Congressmen. Did Joseph Stalin really swear by Marxism, as he sent millions of farmers to concentration camps and slaughtered them. Did Suresh Kalmadi, a veteran Congress MP, pray at the Rajghat before the Mahatma’s Samadhi, as he and his friends pocketed crores of rupees from the Commonwealth Games coffers? Marxism and Gandhism have served as convenient smokescreens for rascals in both the parties, for, when the die is cast, the only thing that matters to them is power – and, of course, money – whether it is Stalin in Soviet Russia or a thug like Kalmadi in Delhi.
Right from the day the Communist formed their party in India, they have wanted to infiltrate the Congress, for that is where the power was. Before independence, there was a Socialist group called Congress Socialists, led by people like Jai Prakash Narain, who was himself a Communist to begin with, but turned Socialist when he discovered what the Indian Communists were up to. When the Socialist Party was formed, the Communists like Namboodiripad, Randive and others, were thrown out of the Socialist group and formed the communist Party. But their links with the Congress, and especially with the Nehru-Gandhi family remained intact. It is these links that are now being renewed, for the Nehru-Gandhi are now in deep trouble and some of them may not only be thrown out of the Congress, but possibly out of the country.
Indira Gandhi herself had lots of Communists or fellow-travellers in her party, including men like IK Gujral, RK Khadilkar and Kumar Mangalam who had been Communist cardholders but were comfortable working within the Congress Party. They certainly did not oppose the Emergency, and, as far as I know, none of them were arrested, and many of them were actually in power. The Communists have always found it difficult to work without power, which is why they are prepared to make alliances with whomsoever comes along.
In Europe, the Communists worked with Hitler and Mussolini, and Stalin had actually signed a pact with Hitler. They formed popular fronts even in Spain and almost killed George Orwell when he saw through the game. Orwell was shot in the throat and almost killed in Catalonia. The Communists hated Socialist like Orwell more than France and his Fascists who were supplied armaments by Stalin & Co. So much for Marx and Marxism, and all the talk about liberty and freedom.
The cozy relationship, overt or covert, between Communist and the Congress in India, is a result of the similarities in their ideologies. The Congress dumped Gandhi immediately after independence, just as Nehru dumped dhoti after Gandhi’s death. There is not a single picture of Nehru in dhoti after the Mahatma’s death. Nehru never really believed in Gandhi and his philosophy but put up with him as long as he suited him. When Gandhi died, Gandhism died with him, and the Congress became a conventional political party of avaricious old men ganging up for power, just like any other political party.
Both believe in dictatorship, the Communists in dictatorship of the proletariat, and the Congress in dictatorship of the Gandhi-Nehru family. Everything else is only a façade. Indira Gandhi had no compunction whatsoever in abrogating the Constitution and sending thousands of her opponents to jail. Stalin was more ruthless. He did not just send his opponents to jail; he had them massacred by the thousand, merely because they refused to oblige him. Indira Gandhi did not actually kill her opponents, for reasons of her own. Who knows the next dictator in India may not have any such scruples, particularly if the Marxists are on his or her side!
The Congress is slipping badly and is on its last days. So are Marxists. In the next election, Congress is not likely to survive, and may split up into splinters before if goes down. The party has nothing to offer the long-suffering people of this country, the farmers who are dying in thousands, the workers who are being laid off as factories shut down, children without food and school children without schools – the party has no solutions to any of our problems, and is just marking time.
The Communists have no clue too to our problems, for they are more concerned about their cozy relationship with the Congress than about the nation. They tried to, be very friendly with Tata’s in West Bengal, and now they are trying to be friendly with the Congress. They were rebuffed by Tata’s and soon they will be rebuffed by the Congress, no matter what they try to cook up behind the curtains in hushed tones. The Marxists do not even realise that their goose is being cooked right in front of them.