The Lost Tribe Left in the Cold

Published: 22nd July 2014 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd July 2014 12:10 AM   |  A+A-

My friend Sudhanshu, an ardent cardholder of the CPM, looked down in the dumps.

“Sorry about the election results, Sudhanshu,” I said, trying to cheer him up. “But, don’t worry there will always be another election for the CPM to recover.”

“It’s not that,” exploded Sudhanshu in anger. “What gets my goat is that none of the TV channels has seen it fit to question our leading members about bringing about structural changes in the party. No one has been interviewed about conducting—what’s that word?”


“That’s right, introspection about the loss. While every Tom, Dick and Harry in the Congress gets lots of mileage on the channels about their views about reforming their party, we are being totally ignored, as if we did not exist. That’s so unfair. After all, the extent of loss of both parties was proportionately the same. For example, why is Yechury not being cross-examined by Karan Thapar on prime time?”

“Yes, but you don’t have a royal dynasty to explain away.”

“Well, we have Prakash and Brinda. They are regal enough for us.”

“It’s not the same and you know it. Both have been too accessible to the press in the past. To get our journalists into a frenzy of analysis, they should have been cold-shouldered with just a tight smile or wooden face like Sonia did all these years. Anyhow, is the process of introspection on in your party?”

“Of course. There is talk of restructuring the politburo. But we have run into difficulties.”

“What are those?”

“Like making the politburo younger in average age to reflect the change in voter age distribution. Someone suggested retiring all above 60, but that would have meant no politburo at all. We thought of tapping young talent from JNU. But we found that the graduates preferred joining the corporate sector while the faculty preferred the Maoists to us. The disbanded National Advisory Council of Sonia had possible candidates, except that they are competing in age with the politburo members.”

“Dear me, that does make things tough for you, doesn’t it?”

“It sure does. What a pity we lost West Bengal, else we could have found scores of suitable persons in our strong arm grassroots cadre there.”

“Aren’t they still there?”

“Yes, but, unfortunately, they have shifted to the Trinamul.”

“So, you have very little elbow room for restructuring.”

“You are telling me. At this rate, my deep fear is that we might not restructure but become extinct.”

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