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Anarchy in the UK

Dialectics, Didi and Dunderhead. Where else can you get such a heady cocktail if not in Cambridge University? CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat will be attending a memorial meeting of one of his old professors and will be speaking on the, ahem, continuing relevance of the Left in India.

india Updated: Oct 08, 2010 00:32 IST

Dialectics, Didi and Dunderhead. Where else can you get such a heady cocktail if not in Cambridge University?

CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat will be attending a memorial meeting of one of his old professors and will be speaking on the, ahem, continuing relevance of the Left in India.

This will happen on October 22. On October 25, another great ideologue, a Leftist who knows that she is one, Mamata Banerjee will be speaking to the Cambridge equivalent of the cotton sari-clad ones about the demise of the Left in India.

Going by past Cambridge University debates — and this 'encounter' can be seen as an incremental debate — there should be a result. But before any cravat-wearing desi Oxbridge-type tries to cast aspersions on Ms Banerjee's English accent, let it be told that the Trinamool leader already has the rhetorical advantage of striking a demotic pose.

Mr Karat, with his well-enunciated English and bush shirt, can only thank his stars (and not stripes) that the two are not sharing one stage.

But next to the River Cam, where the likes of Jyoti Basu cut his teeth and started 'believing' via the tenets of the British Communist Party, the world outside West Bengal and A K Gopalan Bhavan will realise that like Batman and the Joker, Ms Banerjee and Mr Karat are two coins of the same side.