Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Mukul Kesavan mixes it up when it comes to CPI-M

In today's Telegraph, Mukul Kesavan has a rather soporific article questioning what is, by now, quite obvious: CPM's loyalty to China.

With its recent blunders CPI-M's "secular-progressive" mask has completely slipped. Rather than excoriate the party, Kesavan gives the Marxist a kid-gloves treatment and lets the party off real easy, with a predictably lame exhortation to "examine" its stand.

CPM committed the Nandigram massacre; tolerated rioting by Muslim fundamentalists and hounded Taslima Nasrin out of Calcutta and then out of country; and now banned protests by the Tibetans over the Olympic torch relay, again, in Calcutta. But none of this has rubbed Kesavan or fellow "intellectuals" any which way. All he can come up with is to ask CPI-M to "examine" its stance? That too a whole lot of drivel and meandering with the obligatory potshots at BJP, Sangh etc.

CPI-M has made life hell for Bengalis with its never-ending protests and it cannot withstand one protest by Tibetans?!

It is this duplicity of Marxists and that of "intellectuals" like Kesavan that rightly provokes disdain amongst ordinary Indians when they mouth platitudes or pay lip-service about free-speech, or offer a mealymouthed criticism of Muslim fundamentalism but volubly criticize the Hindu right for milder transgressions.

He also says that "it isn’t surprising that the Chinese way with minorities and minority regions appeals to parties like the Bharatiya Janata Party in particular, and the sangh parivar in general."

There is little evidence that the Sangh or BJP ever talks approvingly of China's steamrolling of Tibetans. On the contrary, they always seems to lament the lapsing of Tibetan buffer-state between India and China and empathize with Tibetans, which is what any serious nationalist party would do.

In unnecessarily hauling the right Mr Kesavan overcompensates for his eventually lackadaisical imploring of the CPI-M.

He also errs in calling M S Golwalkar an atheist while it is well-known that Guruji, as he is called, daily used to do sandhyavandan and Gayatri mantra jaap. Veer Savarkar's atheism too is debatable to an extent.

One gets the impression that critics of CPI-M are aware of their impotence over influencing Marxist thuggery just as the world is getting its act together when it comes to dealing with the Chinese communists' "thugs."

(Aside, CNN's Jack Cafferty must be congratulated for calling spade a spade when he observed, ""So I think our relationship with China has certainly changed," he said. "I think they're basically the same bunch of goons and thugs they've been for the last 50 years."")

In refreshing contrast, we've the intrepid Anne Applebaum who minced no words in upbraiding the Chinese in her piece "China learns the price of global attention."

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