On November 19, 1962, when Rajya Sabha was discussing the ‘Situation in NEFA and Ladakh’, the young Chandra Shekhar Singh, who had made his debut in Parliament as a Member of the Upper House representing the Praja Socialist Party (PSP), raised an important point with Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. He said that civil defense structures needed to be put in place and that there were several reports of internal sabotage to India’s response to the Chinese aggressions.
It soon became clear who these culprits were, who even in this dire situation was working against India’s defenses. Chandra Shekhar told Nehru that there were credible and solid reports emanating from Warangal, on how when “some members of the public who went round to make collections for the Defence Fund, (they) were attacked by the Communists.
It was reported from Burdwan (in West Bengal) that demonstrators against the Chinese were stoned by the Communist Party offices.” Chandra Shekhar warned the stone-pelting Communists in front of the Prime Minister, that though “we are not going to burn the houses of the Communist Party, but if stones come from the office of the Communist Party those Communist Party offices cannot be protected by any Government and by any person whatsoever.” Interestingly, displaying a duplicitous approach, while their comrades stoned Indian citizens who were protesting Chinese aggression, their cadres and apparatchiks attacked ordinary Indians who had taken to the streets to collect funds for the defence of India. One of their most articulate leaders in Parliament, a sort of permanent fixture in the Upper House—Bhupesh Gupta—was singing paeans to patriotism and to India.
With his characteristic flourish, Gupta declared on the floor of the House, “that I do not know of any Communist or a trade-unionist of that sort who is opposed to the defence of the country or who is in sympathy with the aggression that has taken place. If anybody were of that sort and went against not only our resolution but the patriotic position of the country which is in no conflict with our ideology, he would be putting himself outside the pale of what we call the Communist Party and the movement.”
It was an eyewash, though the party would eventually split between those who supported the Chinese and those who expressed a restrained criticism of them; the Indian Communists were by and large united in their ideological justification of China’s aggressive designs on India.
It was India’s fault, they declared. This essential anti-Indianness drives Communist politics to this day. Their hatred for the Narendra Modi dispensation stems from the fact that it stands in complete opposition to their aspirations of seeing Indian fragmented and vassalised. Their desperation for self-preservation has also led the CPI(M) in Kerala to brazenly defend Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, whose office has been cartelised and compromised by a group with active extraneous links to elements and conglomerates whose intentions are to destabilise India.
The manner in which the CPI(M) politburo continues to defend the gold-smuggling scam with tentacles in Vijayan’s office demonstrates how deep and festering the rot is in the party. It does not matter to them that those who operate such a cartel are opposed to India. As long as it serves their instincts and rapacious desire for indulging in cronyism, the revolution be dammed, India be jettisoned and bartered away.
It is this same degenerative mindset which has led a chit of a minister in the CPI(M) government in Kerala, MM Mani, to gush about how “China was able to contain Covid-19 in a beautiful way”, how “they were able to contain Covid-19 in an efficient manner and limit it.” So intense is the infatuation of this deranged Indian Communist with the Chinese establishment that Mani does not realise that he speaks these words when his own government in Kerala has completely messed up the handling of the pandemic pushing it to become one of the worst-performing states.
The Communists are now in their last throes of national presence, with their footprints shrinking, with their increasing dependence on other parties for sustenance, with a growing ideological fatigue and disorientation within their ranks. Their vitriol against Modi and his uncompromising nationalism when it comes to India’s national interest is increasingly pungent and acidic. In a desperate bid to survive, CPI(M) seeks alliances of various hues.
In fact, its most appropriate description today would be that of a political broker, a party which acts as a commission agent in trying to stem the BJP’s footprints and the rise in Modi’s stature. In this game of brokerage, the Congress is the CPI(M)’s key partner. In Kerala, it opposes the CPI(M) and in West Bengal it holds its hands since Modi and the BJP has to be stopped. However, such an alliance will be a non-starter, since the ‘Hand’ has no fingers and the ‘Hammer and Sickle’ have no handles!
Director, Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation Twitter: @anirbanganguly