When I started this blog, I always wondered whether it would be intelligent and desirable for me to post on the matters which are bigger than me. But what the heck. Here it goes.
Off late left seems to have lost the hold of the reality in terms of whom does it represent. From the junkyard bastions of communism which has faded across the world and pure hate for country and people without ever meeting/talking working with them. They are more of “ism-terrorists”. They try to scuttle everything which reeks of free spirit and step ahead. Ignore or wash away lenin/stalin/Mao’s excesses and burn camphor at the altar of Islamic nations which never really supported anything closely liberal or independent view of the world. While doing so they think they are the gift of the god to the world and when people do not listen they become voilent mobs with large scale mob hysteria generated through percieved persecution.
Let us digress to see why left sounded cool in lense of history at some distant era of time and how it has lost it to Arundhatis/Karat/Bardhan/Hugos(btw – lookup “american leftist linguist” in favourite search engine) of the world. The worldview and perception has been based on twisted one narrow point – hate US of A. Not very far from the militant Islamic right view point of the wahhabi and lately the shia view. This seems to be shared philosophy generating kinship of dangerous kind.
The challenge with this is many fold, but simpler thing being loss of touch with ground reality very similar to generation of people who have lost the bearings and find Sanjay and Salman boys (they are over 40 and very similar to millions others who lost parent/love and everything else they held close) and cute and pardonable.
What Indian left did good
1. Left stood for personal integrity(lot of intellectual types ended up confused here) and reforms for poor peasant and did good job in Kerala and W.Bengal with great difficulty
2. Left kept education and health as the primary focus areas resulting in crop of educated young folks at least in Kerala looking for jobs.
3. Left tried to provide a conscience check in labor challenges and lately in form of tacit support to naxal movement to “unshining folks”.
4. Left had secular/non corrupt credentials by having people on merit before it got into pit of shxt of Vijayans/Basu(son)/Naxals terrorizing the locals for money like petty criminals.
5. Learnt the art of co-existing with Surjeet singh
What Indian left sucked on and lost the the warmth of the middle class people across India
1. Forgot that India is deeply religious country and its unchecked attack on the social and cultural fabric resulted in confused message. It is more like the Islamic conversion, once you convert you give up everything from old world, the god, the way of walking, eating, dressing, talking etc.
2. Did not support the nuclear activity of Indira Gandhi (more than half of the left folks are against nuclear weapons and war in general) and now claim to be protector of the nuclear independence strategey.
3. Supported the Chinease/Soviet view of the world through the ages (how was CPM born anyone? – we need to digitize the documents/newspapers of the comrades 🙂 so that future generation has grasp of the reality. ) without ever thinking we have the ability to move out and become better till wipro/infosys showed the path. Which of the communist/islamic countries have what we need and do reliable business with. Do they have good laws to protect IP, fair protection to buisines folks. Oil will come any which way. They need to sell !
4. Forgot that most of the general population of the country is a independent businessman and wants to be such rather than working for government. There is huge chunk which has been dependent on government doleouts and jobs becuase of percieved/real indiscrimation and lethargy. Notice how many communists survive in the business/enterprenurial world? The challenge is leftists take the pessimisstic view of the world and certain folks decide to do something about it, in this mess leftists are content to stay behind and just shout aloud.
5. Never gave credence to India’s needs, just recently Mr. Bardhan/Karat/Yechury yelled and expounded about the fact that we should not deal with Israel who is set to become biggest arms supplier for us. Heck what world they are living in. They were more worried about how badly islamic world will percieve us !!!! Gasp. Sorry did you folks forget that Saudi/Egypt are closer to Israelis than anyone of us ever can be? Did you forget about the clandestine meeting of Pakistani meetings with Israel and tacit support for each other under garb of cornering Shia Iran? And when did last These bunch of countries produce a democratically elected official, have respect for other faith(ok communists don’t have gods but we normal people do believe in some of them , try carrying hindu faith and practice it, try creating a temple for your folks), provide respectable path of evolution for women from their tyrant polygamous societies. Heck are these the role model countries for us (ignore Malaysia – but they also have the moral forces very much like the ones in the East german stasi – lest people do not follow the code :))
6. Did not value individual merit, competition and denied transparency of any kind. Just like the autocratic dictators wanted to rule through the politburo decisions and unfriendly laws. This resulted in nepotism, corruption and mass murder seen everywhere. Since work could be always done through the bullet.
What left can do
1. Take up moral corruption of the babudom /politics and raise a new banner. Since this will involve their bread and butter supporters/flagbearers hard sell will be required. This will endear you to the masses who suffer it everyday in and out at every possible place.
2. Welcome competition with good overview and set of overseer/shaming the firm policies. You can’t have card bearers beating up people to give up land and then travel to another place and protest against land being given to industry.
3. Recognize the world has changed and new challenges of valuing the human and labor have come to par. How do goods travel from one place another, how do we add value, why Singapore makes more money by providing efficient systems for investment/business.
4. Recognize the world has changed and don’t force the views of 60s. Present generation which has been raised on interaction with other world -culturally/workwise will not find facts in them. Don’t just oppose everything under name of imperialism, that sounds so out of touch. IF nazis/stalins had ruled us – what do you think we would have been.
5. Recognize that China as 133 $ Trillion in reserves and does brisk trade with US of A and every capitalist company worth its salt is present in China either selling to local populace (check out GM success, walmart, big name fashion and hotel chains of all kind).
6. Remember that Soviet union of Putin needs the markets of the western Europe and Oligarch have had great run in the “reformed” former KGB den. Putin has been turning its back on media freedom, political dissent etc.
7. Travel the world and see the change. Your shell has become a curse.
8. Everything with private tag – don’t blame it evil. If that was the case we would have still suffered the Bajaj, fiat, ambassador. We would have not had world class service companies of the likes of wipro/tcs/infosys. Do not ignore the success of the non-it related companies as they spread the wings. Push for competition, don’t protect the holy cows without proper checks and balances. This applies to insurance, retail, banking, infrastructure. It does not cost a dime to be pragmatic and practical to help another generation take a leap. Help them with the background of challenges but do not oppose for the heck of it.
9. Your world view and kinship with other communist movement is great, but challenge is world has always had one or another dominant power, it pays to look for our goals and requirements to achieve the good for us rather be always arrogant without knowing the position where we are talking from. Do not deny another generation the benefits of moving ahead or security.
10. Have a clear cut policy on minority appeasement, in the recent taslima nasreen case not even one voice was heard from the party of any kind, whereas there is always some one speaking against the rss every other day. People may not have long memory but they connect the dots and form a perception. Have a policy on Arunachal pradesh/Kashmir/Naxal and behave like responsible power sharing partner.
11. Understand the economy of scale and look at the proliferation of the consumer brands , push by all means for farmers but for god’s sake work with them to aim for bridging the gap rather than arm chair opposition to retail reforms. Have checks and balance mechanism to prevent fraudelent practices.
12. Consumer oriented economy is here to stay unless people think otherwise.
To balance out the post
The most hated country’s foreign policies have had long history of no oversight of the civilian population inspite the democracy tag. CIA and friends of conservative right over the years have committed excesses in Latin America in name of uprooting communism/drugs by working pushing banana republics and dumber folks as dictators.
The step in Iraq of the neo-conservatives without adequately taking people in confidence and forcing a lesson on the world has boomranged. The focus should have been al-qeada and supporting organizations and countries which helped Taliban in initial stages.
The oil companies, auto firms did not improve the alternative fuels/efficient engines for long time inspite of opportunities and relied on the middle east thus making it the flashpoint for “influence” across unstable region.
The support for the apartheid practices was the worst point of the reagan era which otherwise was more conservative in governance area.
The continued upmanship to contain China, India, Iran has been played out to galleries for long time.
The democracy in Uncle Sam’s country has had chasm with two philosophies which do not allow other viewpoints or centrist approach, why can’t person carry a gun and still listen to Rock, grow long hair and support abortion ? Unfortunately the voter enrollment itself enforces you to toe a line and identifies you. This allows the political parties flush with funds from “influencers” to target the areas with appropriate candidates and campaigns. For what it is worth – Rove’s maneovouring resulted in land slide control of legislation and judciary land for decade till the dreams of banishing liberals for another generation were halted by foolhardy venture into Iraq. Half of the battles are fought in the courts.
Capitalism’s mecca has had its follies resulting in grave widening of gap between have and have nots. The enron like scandals re-affirmed the fact that lack of ethics/morality is not hegemony of the controlled economies. A middle path needs to be found where dependence is less and independence with support for needy is setup.
The opportunistic ways of the political bosses to whip trade protection and push others to open up does not translate well in a good message.
Finally I believe our Parliament too needs the productive debate on the deal rather than George fernandes shooting a bullet into Manmohan singh’s head (somebody needs to tell him that china already has 123 agreement with supposedly not good conditions).