Saying it as it is
It seems to be pouring long and hard as far as the fate of the CPI(M) is concerned. Memories of the electoral debacle that the party suffered in this assembly elections are yet to acquire that sepia tint, when out comes even more damaging information from the WikiLeaks can of worms. The website has revealed that former Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee had, in 2009, stated that the communist ideology as well as his party needed to “either change or perish”. This stunning lack of confidence was, of course, expressed in the strictest confidence during a conversation with then US ambassador Timothy Roemer.
To make matters worse, Mr Bhattacharjee did not stop with his articulation on the withering away of his party, which he attributed to a lack of technical expertise and ideas whose shelf life were long over. He went on to ‘shower praises’ on US President Barack Obama, recounted the benefits of Pepsico’s Frito Lay factory to the potato farmers of Bengal and pointed out that several allies within the party have had education in the US. As anybody familiar with the anti-imperialism rhetoric of Indian communists would know, Mr Bhattacharjee had managed to praise almost everything on the shopping list of what the reds publicly profess to hate.
All of which makes one wonder as to why communist leaders wishing to unburden themselves or discuss their woes always choose foreign nationals as confidantes. In the run-up to the West Bengal polls this year, CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat had reportedly expressed his apprehensions (subsequently denied by him) to British Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm that the party would fare poorly in the elections. The WikiLeaks disclosures have also revealed that CPI(M) leaders from Kerala have been wooing US investments. Given the intensity of self-doubt when away from the public eye, we suggest the communist leaders undertake a full confessional to their party rank and file and be a vanguard of a different revolution.