?Balkanisation threat looms large over India?

Updated on Apr 25, 2004 04:34 PM IST

CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta feels that India might go the Soviet Union way.

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Veteran CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta is an old warhorse in trade union movement and parliamentary politics. Making his mark as an able Rajya Sabha member from Bengal, Dasgupta shot into prominence as chairman of the Joint Parliamentary Committee that probed the ignominious Harshad Mehta scam in the mid-Nineties.

A firebrand youth leader of the 50s-60s, Dasgupta was put behind bars several times for calling strikes against the then Congress regime.  Today, pushing 67, Dasgupta doesn’t wear his age. He is still at his cause with the same zeal and vigour as he was three-four decades ago. Excerpts from an exclusive interview with Tapan Das where he talks about his passion for value-based politics

Why are you contesting from the same seat (Panskura), which turned you away earlier?
My party and the Left Front have a point to prove. My defeat at the hand of Trinamool candidate Bikram Sarkar must be attributed to large-scale violence and terrorising of innocent and unarmed voters by supporters of my rival candidate. Even the Left Front government failed to control the TMS-backed hoodlums. 

Do you have any role model? What inspires you to strive harder despite setbacks?
I have no role model as such. I respect people who toil hard to achieve something or fight against oppression, tyranny and injustice.

Why are leaders who once backed value-based politics fast yielding to opportunism?
Very few are actually able to hold on to their professed goals of serving the masses, irrespective of caste, creed and religion. They fail render selfless service, live simply and think rationally. They must learn to practice what they preach. 

How do you intend to serve your electorate while at the same time not neglecting your commitments to AITUC?
If I am elected to the Lok Sabha, I will do my best in reshaping the national policy to help farmers, workers, women, unemployed youths and students. I’ll wage a war against the ill effects of globalisation and economic liberalisation will also be my priority. Besides, as a trade unionist, it will be my sincere endeavour to ensure  a better future for the working classes.

Does anything about the future worry you?
Yes, the fear of my country’s balkanisation. I suffer from a deep anxiety when I think India might go the Soviet Union way and break up into several independent states. A sure way to prevent such a catastrophe would be to wage an uncompromising battle against fundamentalism.

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