The Commissar in his Labyrinth
Look carefully at this grey, arrogant and humourless face: The face of the Commissar, who on 22 July went into Lenin-in-October 1917 mode, predicting an uprising in the country if the Indo-US Nuclear Deal was pushed through. However much one might have sympathized with the man and his party on this issue, there was something strange and inexplicable in the game he started playing at that point. At least publicly, that seemed to have been the beginning. For those who have known him and his ways from closer quarters, know him to be an utterly vindictive man with a blood-curdinlingly cold and calculating mind. Ruthless inside the party, he was now playing out this same game outside. His stance on Somnath Chatterjee (and let there be no mistake, it was entirely his), leading to the latter’s expulsion, was just an instance of his style. This time he made a serious error.
Here is where he went wrong. Hopelessly wrong. Inside the party he was the boss and had become used to manipulating it the way he wanted. Silencing and expelling those who appeared to be a challenge. This was the first time he was facing public life – without the sagacious figures like Harkishan Singh Surjeet or Jyoti Basu to guide him. The only other public he has faced is as a student leader in JNU – he and his deputy Sitaram Yechury. From there the duo were catapulted to the leadership of a party in the thick of power battles. India, alas, is not JNU. The inevitable had to happen.
As we observed in our earlier post (see link above), Karat understands nothing of India and and even less (if that is possible) of politics. He actually believed that the mythical ‘Third Front’ would form a government and he would have the pleasure of telling the Congress to support from outside or f—off! Just as he had really believed that there would be a mass uprising if the Nuclear Deal were pushed through!
The severe drubbing received by the LF in West Bengal and the LDF in Kerala notwithstanding, it was worth watching him address the press conference at midday today. Didactic and arrogant still – as they say in Hindi, rassi jal gayee par ainthan na gayee. ‘The Congress has won and we have suffered a major setback’ he said in a stony and monotonous robotic voice. The ‘modulations’ (or ‘non-modulations’) of his voice, his body language and everything else was unlike so many others including BJP leaders when they spoke of their defeat. Even BJP leaders gracefully accepted the verdict, but the subtext of the Commissar’s stastement was “we’ll find out for sure who the saboteurs are.” Well, let us gently remind him and his comprador intellectuals that it was they who were out to shoot the messengers who first brought them this news a few years ago – for being ‘Anti-Left’ and ‘Anti-Political’! Intellectuals on the Left, in their hundreds and thousands were trying to tell them precisely this. But they were maligned, targetted and called agents of imperialism, and so forth. And you can rest assured that when the analysis of the ‘setback’ comes out, it will once again repeat the same old story – conspiracy by anti-Left forces, sell out by Anti-Left intellectuals and indeed, some US hand (for they want the Nuclear Deal to be pushed through, no? By the way, Mohd Salim had already begun his US imperialism rant early in the morning)