In the name of the father | india | Hindustan Times
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In the name of the father

In any case, Mr Gorbachev’s hero’s hero, Jesus Christ, did kickstart an ideology that is startlingly similar to the teachings of Messrs Marx and Engels.

india Updated: Mar 20, 2008 23:14 IST

Unlike Pontius Pilate, who washed his hands of his responsibility on the first Good Friday in history, Mikhail Gorbachev has been more proactive in his duties and failings. As the last communist leader overseeing the collapse of the Soviet Union, the man initially hailed as a hero (especially by the West), has had a lot to answer for. For one, he turned off the Soviet Empire. For another, life after the USSR hasn’t been the capitalist milk and honey for many a Russian. With such things keeping him sleepless at night all these years, it should come as no surprise that the man with the map of Armenia on his head has ‘confessed’ to his ‘Christian faith’.

While visiting the tomb of St Francis of Assisi, who many consider a Christian saint with proto-communist credentials, Mr Gorbachev announced for the first time that it was through St Francis that he “arrived at the Church”. Considering that he was baptised into the Russian Orthodox Church — and that he embraced communism only when he was 19 — one shouldn’t find his two card-carrying memberships (one public, one private till this week) to be a conflict of interest. After all, even existing bona fide communists like West Bengal Sports Minister Subhash Chakraborty considers himself to be a Hindu, Brahmin and communist — in that order.

In any case, Mr Gorbachev’s hero’s hero, Jesus Christ, did kickstart an ideology that is startlingly similar to the teachings of Messrs Marx and Engels. It’s another matter that Christ was a Jew who took on another ‘Evil Empire’.