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He's off the Marx

Prakash Karat blames neo-liberalism for the Left’s decline. There’s still not a word on the need for introspection.

india Updated: Aug 09, 2012 22:29 IST

Karl Marx once said, “Reason has always existed, but not always in a reasonable form.” Comrade Prakash Karat has obviously taken this to heart when he recently said that industry-financed money had squeezed the Left out. Laying blame for the decline of the Left at the door of neo-liberalism, the CPI(M) general secretary spoke of the money needed to win elections even at the lower level today. That’s our Mr Karat, no self-doubt ever plagues him.

From 61 seats in the 2004 general elections, today the Left has but 24 seats. Have the comrades lost the plot? Is it hat people are not buying into their rather unique interpretation of Marxian theory and democracy? Perhaps, just perhaps, if Comrade Karat and Co were to stand for elections, they might see that apart from the need for money, there is also a need to understand what people want. And it is not likely to be the collected works of Marx and Engels.

This is the ‘show me the money’ generation. And in both states that the Left once ruled, there was very little to show for it. So, the bitter truth is that the voter seeing no merit in perpetuating the reign of the comrades booted them out, in Kerala for a sage chief minister and in West Bengal for a slightly loopy one. And, sadly for Mr Karat, there was no après moi, le deluge, the fickle voter did not give the Left a backward glance.

At a time when the Left in Kerala is under attack for killing opponents, Mr Karat is twittering on about neo-liberalism. Did he once say that the Left needs to set its own house in order? If he did, we didn’t hear it. But then it has been quite a while since Mr Karat got anything right.

Contradicting himself, Mr Karat says that the Left has a mass following in India. Is there something wrong with our eyesight, but we did not see them queuing up at the polling booths. But then we are not blessed with Karatian, or any other for that matter, logic.