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Aids to the party

india Updated: May 21, 2011 17:07 IST

Hindustan Times
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The comrades will be learning some facts of life. But no, there won’t be any Hayek in the course

He may not have learnt any lessons from his past errors, but that does not stop CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat from imparting a few to the party’s leadership. On the curriculum will be history, science, philosophy, economics and ideology. Attendance is mandatory in case any of the comrades were thinking of goofing off. We wonder how the ageing leaders of the party will take to being lectured on ideology. But we hardly see such minor matters stopping the commissar-in-chief.

We can well imagine the lessons with Mr Karat at the lectern. “When you are confronted with a problem afflicting the bourgeoisie, do you resolve it by a) relying on commonsense, b) falling back on Karl Marx’s essays on class conflicts c) the minutes of the 15th plenum of the Communist Party of China? If your answer is c, then chances are that the general secy will reward you with the Order of the Red Scythe. If your answers are a or b, he will just see red. If Mr Karat were to ask a question on distribution, it could be: “If you had 12 apples and had to give them to six people, how many would each get?” The hapless comrades will eagerly answer two. To which Mr Karat, stickler that he is, will admonish them asking how they can be sure all the apples are of equal size. The answer, clearly, then is to make apple sauce and measure it out in equal proportions.

But these lessons will be a nifty distraction from the tatters the party is in following Mr Karat’s Marxian machinations. It may be better if he takes the comrades on a field trip, stopping now and again to give them a hands-on refresher course. But the first thing he would have to teach them is to read the real meaning of the writing on the wall.