Communists and India -- reply to Sahai
Misrepresentation and distortion of truth come as natural to the communists of India as black spots to a cheetah and stripes to a zebra. Raj Sahai's letter to India West (December 11, 1998) is one such classical example. Let me clarify some of the misgivings Sahai has and put the record straight.
- Communists role in freedom movement:
The Communists role in the freedom struggle was directed more by what the USSR did rather than by the national interests of India. Their concern for the 'only Fatherland' was the sole criterion. Simply put the Communists of India "got their inspiration and their instructions from Moscow." As long as the Soviet Union was ranged with Hitler and against Britain, the Indian Communists proclaimed the war to be a great opportunity for throwing the British. As soon as Hitler attacked the USSR and the latter allied with the Birtish, the Communists in India allied themselves with the British and went about abusing Gandhiji and everyone else. Their official party paper "People's War" carried a cartoon on 19 July 1942 showing Subhash Bose as the donkey carrying Tojo.
The Communists accused Gandhiji "of disrupting national unity by not conceding the essence of the demand for Pakistan". What a logic? "Disrupt national unity by not partitioning the country!" Only the Communist Party is capable of such distorted thinking.
The Party letter 55 issued on 13 December 1941 contains a candid a statement of the principal motivation of the Communists of India. It says: "The proletariat attaches such fundamental importance to the defence of the USSR that it decides its immediate attitude towards parties, classes, Governments and states on the basis of their attitude towards the Soviet." It went on to say: "The proletariat does this just because it recognises no barriers, no nation, no fatherland except the Soviet."
Their own words speak for themselves.
- The partition and the west:
Sahai wrote "It is noteworthy that the western nations that helped secure the creation of Pakistan and then armed it to attack India are never mentioned as the adversaries of the Indian people by the right wing in India. It is because the right wing lacks any genuine self-identity."
To say "the right wing lacks any genuine self-identity" is an oxymoron. On one hand they claim the "right wing of India" -- to be more specific "the sangh parivar" -- wants to identify every Indian as "Hindu" and in the same breath they accuse them of "lack of any genuine self-identity". If today any group is sure of "their self-identity" it is the so-called "right wing of India" and that is exactly what the leftists and the pseudo-secularists are so mad about. The others are lost as to who they are and where they belong?
Nothing could be further from truth than to 'credit' the western nations for the creation of Pakistan. Pakistan was not created by the British -- it was created "the day the first Muslims landed on the Indian soil". And as sated earlier it had all the support of the Communists of India. The cause for the creation of Pakistan could not have been put any better than what Jinnah the creator of Pakistan said:
"The Hindus and the Muslims belong to two different religious philosophies, social customs, literatures. They neither intermarry nor interdine and , indeed they have two different civilizations which are based mainly on conflicting ideas and conceptions." After describing the major differences between the two, he went on to say: "To yoke together two such nations under a single state, one as numerical minority and the other as a majority, must lead to growing discontent and final destruction of any fabric that may be so built up for the governance of such a state."
Truth of Jinnah's statement can be seen in the growing discontent in India. As a matter of fact the partition of India was one of the few good things that happened to India in the current millennium. Had there been no partition, what has been happening in Afghanistan and Karachi would have been the regular scene in almost every city of India. The only sad of part of partition is that it was not carried to its logical conclusion.
- Communists and Nuclear weaponry:
On the nuclear tests let me quote from a letter (Aug 17, 1998) written by Asoke Sen to the Statesman about the Communists demonstration against the dropping of the Atom Bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and their protests against the Indian tests.
"..You have not fully exposed the dubious role of the Indian Communists vis-à-vis the nuclear bomb. Though now, they are shedding crocodile tears over the victims of the atom bomb in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, they actually supported the dropping of the bomb on the hapless civilians of these two cities. Obviously, they could not do otherwise, since Stalin not only supported the act, but congratulated Truman on it. Later the explosion of the bomb by the Russians and the Chinese caused unbound joy among the Communists in India, though in the same breath they were condemning America for exploding the bomb.
"With reference to Pokhran, their condemnation of it is insincere and anti-national…. When the first Pokhran explosion was carried out, leaders like Namboodiripad, Jyoti Basu, Rajeshwar Rao and Achyut Menon welcomed it, but this time Communists condemned it."
Asoke Sen went on to write: "Of course, the Communists' anti-national stance with regard to the bomb is not something unexpected. In the past they have always jettisoned the national interest and indirectly served the cause of our enemies. India has been invaded by Pakistan three times (1948, 1965 and 1971) and by China once (1962). On each occasion they supported our enemies and are still condoning the actions of Pakistan and China over the bomb."
Again, the facts speak for themselves.
- Communism, Literacy and Kerala:
Yes, Sahai is right. Literacy rate -- 89.8% (1991 figures) in Kerala is higher than any other state in India. But it can hardly be attributed to the Communists rule in the state. The credit for the higher rate of literacy goes to the policies of the two Maharajas before independence, and specially to C.P. Ramaswamy Aiyar who had the foresight and saw the importance of education for the masses and established compulsory school system in Kerala.
The communists in Kerala have failed to provide employment to its citizens. Lakhs of people go out of Kerala to work in the Gulf region and other states in India. The Communist party drove out most of the industrialists out of Kerala and Kerala today is one of the poorest state in infra structure and industrial development. Even though Kerala is very fertile everything has to be imported from outside. The same is true of West Bengal -- another state ruled by the Communists. West Bengal used to be the most indutrialised state in India but today after a long communist rule, its per capita income of Rs 5901 is close to Kerala (Rs 5065) and far below Maharshtra (Rs 10,984) and Gujarat (Rs. 7586) which in 1947 other than cotton mills had no industry to speak of.
I believe in his jest for Communism, Sahai got carried away beyond the limits of prudence and facts.