Friday, January 22, 2010

Marxist and not The Leader!

“A communists fights for the people till his last breath…and then he continues to fight…by donating his body for medical research Com Basu has inspired millions.”
One of the facebook status message of comrade (pun intended) Ishan Anand drew my attention. Ishan , like millions(may be I am overestimating!) of the comrades of the country was trying to pay a humble tribute to ‘The Leader’ Com.Jyoti Basu
Jyoty Basu, whom we had almost forgotten … until last week when media and the national leaders started worrying about his health, and the news channels were flooded with the news of who’s who of Delhi visiting the nonagenarian leader , we were suddenly reminded of him! Joyi Basu died at the age of 95 and the nation? was mourning his death.
No questions can be raised on the “commitment” of Jyoti Basu towards the tenets of Marxism, probably it is not a hyperbole to say that his deaths heralds the end of Indian Marxism!  I repeat Marxism again!
But I wonder if Marxism is the magic wand that would heal the all the problems of the commons… Definitely not, infact No ‘isms’ can claim such powers. Then why do leaders fail to negotiate with their ideology?
I do not feel as sad as the other comrades feel on the demise of Jyoti Basu but I am more agonised by the demise of Bengal. The state which was at its intellectual zenith in the pre independence era, was almost brought to ruins during the rule of so called towering communist leader of the country!
In the 23 years of Jyoti Basu’s rule….youth fled from Bengal.
Employment eluded its able human resources.
Industrialists packed their bags and the per capita income of the people reduced considerably The worst dilemma of the populace was that it had to keep re-electing the party as it had no other viable choice!
To quote Suhel seth “ The only thing that didn’t move away from Bengal during those twenty three  years was CPI(M) i.e. Communist Party of India Marwaris) . Suhel Seth makes an apt sarcastic remark as the Marxists (barring few honourable exceptions) in Bengal continued amassing wealth when the rest of the Bengal was languishing in poverty, thus christening them Marwaris.
In 1980s when Basu’s government took the decision to remove English language from the primary school curriculum, it denied access to the ‘language of opportunity’ to a generation of Bengalis. While one side he took steps to strengthen the trade unions throughout the state, on the other side he comfortably neglected the poor performing PSUs.
Basu did commendable work in the area of land reforms, enforcing Panchayati Raj institutions and empowering the poor peasants in the rural Bengal. He made agriculture a viable economic activity, but despite of all this I fail to comprehend why there are pockets in Bengal that remained untouched by “Development”. There has been a constant neglect of the tribal areas… no wonder the people are retaliating in places like Lalghar.  
 In short Jyoti Basu failed the most promising land of the country, especially when the whole of Bengal was at his feet for two decades.
As a person he has been described as one of the finest gentlemen or “Bhadralok”, but on political front when it came to “performance” Basu erred miserably! The Bhadraloks are not supposed to run the governments; they are the ones who run intellectual discourses. Jyoti Basu was a true Marxist ideologue, but was never ‘The Leader’ of the masses.
 To conclude I would like to quote a Kolkata basi who expressed his view on the communist rule of Bengal when he was asked his opinion by a news channel, he quipped The Communists do not believe in hell or heaven either.... hence they created the present day West Bengal


  1. Swati well written, bounded with facts. Me too agree that Bengal lacks many a thing in the communist regime for the last three decades.I just wanna make an observation which may not have a direct connection to your article. Since you spoke about the under development of Bengal I thought the point which I am going to make will also have some significant. Whenever people talk about the under development, in the case of Bengal, they will be talking about peasants who are displacing from their land due to so called industrialization, issues facing by tribals in Lal Garh etc. Ok this all issues, need to be addressed. There are some 'others' also, hardly people pause attention. A group of harmless poor people trying to make ends meet in the city by washing people's car's, pulling cycle rickshaws(i dont know its cycle rickshaw,i just have an idea people fetching people, best of my knowledge its still there in the Kolkata city. If I am wrong, correct me and pardon me), working as maid servents etc.They have been verbally abused, threatened,beaten up by the local goons. Their crime? They even speak Bengali and have suggestive names like Zakir,Fasal, Jalal, and Hajra etc.- yes they are Bengali Muslims. Muslims comprise almost 26 percent of Bengal population but their representation in the public sphere is very meager.Whenever the issue comes to public sphere, it will just turn to a matter of communal vote bank politics.Nobody wont address the issue as a issue of underdevelopment,or the 'muslim' as political entity rather than a 'communal' one. As one it their Karma?are they suffering from the fate, or because of their accepted faith? Cant one be philanthropist in this regard?..or leave them as they are...

  2. Comrade Sharif.. In that case I conclude that the Communists who proclaim to be secular have failed the Muslims cause in west Bengal.
    There is another issue that must be taken into account that the communists in order to projects themselves as 'secular' made the national border porous and there was a flood of Bangladeshi refugees (majority of Muslims)in the state.
    so are the comrades a bunch of hypocrites!
    If they have neglected the development of Indian Muslims and appeased the refugees... I am forced to draw such conclusions. (I am afraid this may be a genralisation, but certainly the overall argument has buyers across the political strata in Bengal and across the country!)
    Thanks for bringing in this aspect Sharif!

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  4. I do not agree with the statement that majority of the Muslims in Bengal are refugees from Bangladesh. Muslims constitute 25% of the total Bengal population, they are the citizen of Independent India. Even though refugees are there, there should be humanitarian treatment towards them also.The condition of Muslims in other than this Communist State also not different one. It is not a general statement but is as per the Government records and Sachar report also justifies the fact. Once again I stress the point that one should realise issue and discuss it is 'politically'.

  5. I appreciate your approach to speak boldly upon current issues of surroundings. Marxism is a scientific theory. Mao further develop the theory of Lenin (As Lenin develop the theory of Karl Marx & F. Angles) .Lenin practically implement the theory in Russia. Then Mao learn from Russia and implement it in China .Marxism change the life of poor people in Russia and China. Now other forces are in power in China & Russia. It don’t mean that Marxism theory failed( This is also a international issue. when banks/martet crises in world they remember Karl Marx book Das Capital). Question is how Marxism is implemented .This question is also a dispute in India. Who is true Marxist. The CPM party split in 1968 on the question how to implement it in India as per Indian conditions. The CPI (M.L.)born and further nos of its factions who is true Marxist or Comrade. All are now called as a symbolic Naxalites (From Naxalbari incident).

    In West Bengal CPM people came in power. It is further issue how they implement the Marxism in Bengal.I am also not agree with the polices of West Bengal CPM .In Bengal CPM made land reforms on mass level and distribute the land to the land less people. Due to that they have base in villages and in power in Bengal for a long. But their way to implement the Marxism is not good. I have seen the prosecutes streets in Kolkata with my eye. Poor advises and also read the reports of starvation deaths in Bengal. From years CPM policies are not different then Congress.
    Joyti Basu is the Hero of CPM. As he rule the Bengal Govt. maximum period and implement the polices. He was undisputed leader of CPM and a Mass leader.
    Mass leader- in my view mass leader for have control over the people thinking and lead them. Joyti Basu had those qualities due to that he was chief minister from1977 to 2005 and CPM win every elections in Bengal his command. He establish the party in people.
    NOTE:-Actually this topic/issue required nos of sittings of discussions. It is not easy to comment/say any thing simply.

  6. CPM removed English language from primary class curriculum in 1980.They must have their some logic behind them.
    but one thing I know , to which all the child specialist , psychology and other scientific researches /theories say that child can learn & develop easily things in his mother tongue/language then with the other language .In Bengal Bengali is mother tongue and Hindi is National language and then English came.
    As English is international language with this we can easily communicate other people. It will be better if one can learn. But it is simply a language. This does not play any significant role in development of Indian child. Things we can explain in our mother tongue can not in other language. This is crises in Indian families and around.We speak mother tongue but our child study in English school . This all became hindrance in their developments .This all scientific theories say.
    Actually in India English became a Status symbol.In real it is third language in India.

  7. Its the same case with all the states that are ruled by the comunists