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The Left is now where it belongs – in the Opposition

July 9, 2008

The Left Front reminds me of the mother-in-law who wants power without responsibility. We all know the havoc the Left Front has created ever since it decided to “support” the Congress led government. Well, now they have withdrawn “support” – thankfully!

Today there was an article in the Financial Express (Manoj CG) which talked about the Left’s incessant “opposing”, “criticising” and “advising” the Government. I am listing these points here (with additions from other sources), but am not going into the merits of each issue as that is beyond the scope of this article.

1) The Left Front opposed the opening up of the various sectors to FDI.

  • Telecom
  • Insurance
  • Civil aviation
  • Agriculture
  • Retail

More on that here. And as this Rediff article says the Left opposed FDI in the Education sector too.

1) The Left Front also opposed:

  • Divesting shares of public sector units
  • The pension Bill
  • The ordinance to amend Patents Act
  • Foreign policy. For example it told the Government “not to resume military supplies to Nepal under the monarchy,” and not to have military ties with Israel
  • Special Economic Zones
  • The privatisation of Delhi and Mumbai airports
  • Allowing private domestic airlines to operate on international routes

3. And then they’ve opposed the Nuclear Deal with America. China and India’s Left Front see eye to eye on this. In fact our communists are rather worried that once the nuclear deal goes through China will be “encircled,” and yes, they have unashamedly said it! The truth is that China has already encircled India. Quoting from that earlier post of mine:

China continues to supply missiles to Pakistan…but Pakistan is not the only country China is building bridges with. It has defence agreements with Nepal, Myanmar, and Bangladesh as well! China is also helping Pakistan build Gwadar port as a base for its navy and is lending a hand to Sri Lanka as well. It has signed an initial agreement worth US$360 million for the constructing the Hambantota harbour in Sri Lanka…

And I wonder what the Left has to say about the “Sino-Pak nuclear cooperation”!!

4. Our Left Front has also interfered in Security issues! This article tells the pathetic tale of how our Prime Minister “made a series of extraordinary threats to secure a guarantee from the Left Front government of West Bengal that a joint Indo-US military exercise would proceed unimpeded.”

I find it disturbing that the Left Front has dared to jeorpardize India’s security. It was necessary for India’s security preparedness to interact and learn from other countries. During the Cold war India was limited to interaction with the Soviet Union. Now our country has a chance to expand it’s defense know-how but the Left Front is keen that we stick to Russia and China only! As if neither China nor Russia have their self-interest in mind! Sure, America has its self-interest in mind, and so does every other country. Naturally, China supports the Left Front on this as well.

5. The Left has also pressurized the government to “expedite the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project.” In fact the communists are saying are saying that if the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline’s does not go through it means that India is a kow-towing to America! One equals the other!

The Left also created a huge fuss when India voted against Iran at the IAEA on Tehran’s nuclear issue, because according to them this means that India is America’s slave! To the communists, their suspicion of America is the prison prism through which they view everything.

6. The communists vigorously opposed the recent fuel price hike, a hike which was inevitable and in national interest. But they preferred to strike and create mayhem in the country resulting in the loss of crores of rupees to the nation.

7. On the other hand, the communists have been stingy with praise and while they did support the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, they were not giving any television interviews applauding the government although they are quick to give interviews lambasting the government. Nor have they openly praised the increase in budgetary allocation in health and education sectors in the last budget.

Note: The above post was sparked off after reading Manoj CG’s story in the Express, and is simply an attempt to sum up for readers the extent of the communists’ opposition to the government.

(The photo of the Left Front leaders are from cpim.org)


Related Reading: People in Asian countries don’t like each other, but they like America
Does India share common values with the west?
The Economist is opposed to the Nuclear Deal
India has reasons to be wary of China

31 Comments leave one →
  1. July 9, 2008 11:29 pm

    Though the Left philosophy is not suiting to the present day world, their stand on Nuke deal has to be appreciated. A minority government can not take major policy decisions ignoring the interests of their allies.

  2. July 9, 2008 11:42 pm

    Dirty politics!!! If one knows about the age old animosity between Congress and Left in West Bengal, one would be shocked to see them form a govt together in 1st place. Its like giving up all that u stood for just to gain power. Yesterday i watched the debate hosted by Barkha Dutt on NDTV between Karat and Sibbal. It was wonderful!! Did u see it? I think and many bengalis (rational ones not the blind supporters of Left) would support me that Left has done no good and that can be seen the progress (!) WB has made in last 20 yrs of CPM regime. Nothing but strikes to keep the poor man from earning his daily wages so that he remains poor and their votebank.

  3. July 10, 2008 12:00 am

    I’ve read very little of this, no surprise as the American media doesn’t have a clue there’s a whole world out there. I have read though about the money being poured into Africa by both China and India because that threatens all those commodities that America and Europe need.

  4. July 10, 2008 12:18 am

    Appropriately put Nita.

    There is a wonderful article in ‘Outlook’ by Rajinder Puri by the name “Karat[e] Chop”, where he says ‘Karat was opposed to India having the bomb. But he wants India to be able to conduct nuclear tests. He was opposed to India becoming a nuclear power. But he wants Iran to become a nuclear power’ .
    The Link: http://www.outlookindia.com/full.asp?fodname=20080704&fname=puri&sid=1

    As I am a Bengali & am from Calcutta, I have been following the buildup stage to this pullout at the Local (state) level, through the local media & channels. One thing is clear : as far as the Bengal lobby ( Jyoti Basu, Buddhadev, Biman Bose ) of the left is concerned, they were not at all in favor of pulling off the support. One can get a perspective on this view by clicking on : http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/PoliticsNation/Basu_sad_over_CPIMs_withdrawal/articleshow/3214830.cms
    Buddhadev is too engrossed in following the path of (Re) Industrialization of the state & its clear that the Deal (and politics surrounding it) is not very high in his list of priorities.

  5. July 10, 2008 5:29 am

    The left parties only worry about protecting the Chinese interests. They dont care about India. they never have and they never will. These left parties supported China during and after the Indo-China war. Half of these commies are naïve ideologues and the other half are plain traitors and all of them are being used by the Chinese to control India.

    Their goal is to keep India forever subservient to China. They fight for protecting the Chinese interests. Just read the following article in rediff which talks about an incident where Sitaram Yechury of the CPI-M, at the instance of the Chinese embassy in New Delhi, forced the Government of India to protect some Chinese interests here in India

    http://www.rediff.com/news/2007/aug/19raman.htm

    These left parties keep talking about this “Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project” and that is one of the biggest conspiracies in my opinion. They want us to take part in the pipe line project that goes through Pakistan which to this day aids, trains and supports the terrorists that create havoc and mayhem here in India.

    They have never once raised their voice against the Chinese when they supplied (and still supply) the nuclear weapon technology (AQ Khan is just a façade) and missile technology (via N.Korea). They have never once raised their voice against the continued Chinese occupation of one third of Kashmir, the countless incursions of the Chinese Army into Indian territory and the Chinese claim of the entire state of Arunachal Pradesh.

    But here they are – pulling the plug on Dr.Manmohan sing’s government in the name of protecting India’s interests where in fact they are protecting the Chinese interests.

    Nita, I am sorry for the long comment but these commies really get me mad. I promise my next comment will not be this long.

  6. July 10, 2008 8:17 am

    Old Sailor, The Left also has to remember that they represent a small minority and they cannot dictate their views on others. they have held the government to ransom over the deal. Ofcourse, I personally believe their views on the nuclear deal are wrong, but they have a right to have them, because this is a democracy.

    Reema, though I do watch news channels, I tend to skim through them and its luck if I manage to catch a good talk show! Some of Barkha’s shows I have watched and they have been very interesting. About the Left, I agree. I have lived in Kolkata for 4 and a half years and seen whats happening. However I believe that educated Bengalis have become disillusioned with the Left.

    Brian, I haven’t read that, about India and China pouring money into Africa to spite the U.S. In fact India is quite friendly with the US. Perhaps its China which has the ulterior motive because China and the U.S. do not share friendly relations.

    Rahul, thanks for those interesting links. I am not at all surprised at the double standards of the Left. Actually all our politicians have double standards!
    I read that Rediff article and it enraged me! I had vaguely heard of this but not known the actual fact. To think that the Left wanted 1000 chinese engineers to come to India when we have enough ourselves! The author of the article raised a pertinent questions. If it was a question of 1000 American engineers, the Left would have protested. They are not concerned with unemployement in India, but only Chinese Interests.
    And yes I have read about the fact that Jyoti Basu and the CM are not in favour of CPM’s hardline stance. They want the state to develop, but alas their voices are not strong enough!

    RK, your comment, however long is welcome! I agree with your views…..and infact this makes me so furious that I can barely read about it! For me anyone who is a traitor should burn in the fires of hell. Sorry for those strong words!

  7. Chaitu permalink
    July 10, 2008 9:25 am

    Simply put, it’s politics. Congress has waited until now to push the nuke deal. Why? Cos of the possibility of elections around the corner. The Amarnath land transfer( http://nimmagadda.wordpress.com/2008/07/07/amarnath-land-transfer/ ) is another such move. Though, that move backfired.

  8. vivek mittal permalink
    July 10, 2008 9:27 am

    I wasn’t surprise when nifty and sensex took substantial jump yesterday..it was bound to happen as indian industry doesn’t want Central Govt dependent on the support of left..

    and i liked the determination of our Prime Minister as he decided to go ahead with the deal endangering his government..and despite of the fact that this is the worst time for his party to go into elections due to rising prices and recent defeats in many state elections…also, i liked the way Mr Amar singh met Mr kalam, discussed the deal and extended their support to the Govt, and if Govt falls at this juncture, nuclear deal is never going to happen

    I personally want nuclear deal to be through because

    1) it would open doors for the supply of the nuclear fuel to us, which otherwise would have been a distant dream,
    2) It would establish India as a responsible nuclear power
    3) it would further strengthen strategic ties between India and the US and would do good for our chances to get a permanent seat in Security council

  9. July 10, 2008 11:08 am

    why do we need a left,right and centre can’t we just call them broad minded and narrow minded and somewhere in between?

  10. July 10, 2008 4:57 pm

    Nita, do they deserve to be a part of Indian politics? The opposition needs to be responsible too.Withdrawing support when the prime minister is on an important foreign trip, how do you justify that? Left Front has no problems in jeorpardizing India’s security when it comes to China, their silence on the recent intrusions in Sikkim proves that. They talk about democracy; their party was the only party that supported ‘Emergency” in1975.

  11. July 10, 2008 5:29 pm

    Chaitu, thanks. The Congress has waited for so long because they didn’t want to risk elections, but I just hope they haven’t waited too long!

    Vivek M, overall yes I do agree that the nuclear deal would be beneficial to India although I see the disadvantages too.

    Vishesh, that was a nice remark! As long as you are calling the Left narrowminded I am okay with it!🙂

    Prerna, even the sight of Karat on TV makes me see red! no, they don’t deserve to be in politics and I think even their own party members (as Rahul pointed out) like Jyoti Basu and the CM are fed up. I agree that the oppostion too needs to be behave reponsibly. Take the Shiv Sena. They have openly come out in support of the deal. I don’t go much for their politics but I have realised that the Shiv Sena is not that bad! I

  12. vivek mittal permalink
    July 10, 2008 6:36 pm

    Nita

    Are shiv sena supporting the UPA Govt on the deal?…it’s a big news for me..if not, we cant say they support the deal

    They are supporting the deal. Bal Thackeray has made a public statement on it. It came on national tv. – Nita.
    p.s. but i don’t know about the voting Vivek and what the political obligations are. I only know that Bal T made a statement that his party supports the deal.

  13. July 10, 2008 6:55 pm

    Okay I got two links. An Indian Express article and another times of india article.

  14. wishtobeanon permalink
    July 10, 2008 7:08 pm

    Good post! I hate politics, unfortunately, that is all that we have.

  15. rummuser permalink
    July 10, 2008 8:10 pm

    There are just three museums in the world for communists. Cuba, Kerala and West Bengal. The present lot of leftists represent a minuscule minority of India. They are a big joke! Salaam’s cartoon a few days ago in the Economic Times said it well. In 1942 they held up placards saying “We oppose” to Quit India and in 2008 they hold the same placard to the Nuclear Treaty.

  16. Sudhir Jatar permalink
    July 10, 2008 9:59 pm

    It was a treat to watch the nervous and pale faces of the Left front leaders, especially Karat and Bardhan (A. Bhad Bardhan as he is known because he said that the sensex can go to ‘bhad’! after the Left declared its support to the UPA government in 2004)
    It was with the support of the Left that Sonia Gandhi installed Pratibha Patil ( a most undeserving candidate, who is sheilding her brother accused of murder) as the President. The Left will soon realise its error when they hear her stance on the issue of the UPA proving its majority in parliament.

  17. July 10, 2008 10:30 pm

    The Left seem to arouse wild passions amongst the populace and especially amongst fellow bloggers.

    Like you said, we like in a democracy and it is important that we listen to opposite view points, however, disagreeable they may be. The Left articulates a stream of thought which is at odds with the more dominant parties and which is perfectly acceptable.

    Also remember no proper objective debate has taken place on the nuke deal. All stake holders viz., political parties, scientific establishment, industry, foreign lobbies at work have only sought to confuse the issue. I wonder if any one knows the strategic import of this deal and its long term implications on India.

    I do not understand, if the deal was so important and beneficial to India’s interests, why has the Congress waited for four years and now want to push the issue to its conclusion with elections less than a year away.

    Is it because

    – Remaining in power was the first priority, or
    – Now that they are battered electorally in many states, and
    – Have lost all credibility by demonstrating their incapability in handling inflation,

    the nuke deal is a very convenient fig leaf,

    It has completely derailed focus from inflation and other economic ills plaguing the economy.

    Let us get real. Even if the deal goes through, the first unit of electricity will be generated only after 2015.

  18. July 11, 2008 2:18 am

    they will make the bjps job a tad bit easier plus allow them some opposition airtime – something the left usurped unfairly

    i had posted on the current mess recently

  19. Tajbinder permalink
    July 11, 2008 2:56 am

    Excuse me for my repetitious statements. the mess that our country is in, is all thanks to the Congress.And i say Congress started it all and the others followed in the same manner. And the communists are just one of the troubles created by them.Just why do we need to be friends with USA. ? Because we are not self reliant in any manner.Be it militarily, economically etc.You say fuel hike was imminent and beneficial for the country. Taxes constiutute Major portion of the fuel costing . And where do the taxes go ? We all know where.BJP in opposition is literally doing what it is supposed to do. OPPOSE! The Congress and allies , after enjoying the “fruits” of power for 85% of their tenure have taken such a drastic step.Hell ! we Indians actually are “Ram Bharosey” !

  20. July 11, 2008 8:21 am

    Nita this is a great post. I wrote something similar on my blog almost an year back and this incident made me chuckle… out of the marathi saying:
    “अती झालं अाणि हसू आलं” (I dont know how to translate).

    Seriously, do the people who vote for the communists know that they are voting for the communists? Or they simply stamp on the sickle because its a familiar symbol. So many incidents in the recent past would make anyone shudder.

  21. July 11, 2008 11:30 am

    “mother-in-law who wants power without responsibility” haha that was a nice comparison.
    They are a bunch of people whose policy = double standards.
    Being from Kerala I know how that bunch creates chaos and threathen the development of the state.
    1. The congress govt had plans for an express way from north kerala all the way to the south, the Left was against it. Now the left is ruling and they are planning to implement it.
    2. When the congress government tried to increase the bus rates as the fuel prices increased when they were in government, the left opposed. Now the left increased it.
    3. They were against computers when many government offices were computerized. They were arguing that people will lose their jobs.
    4. They were against Dubai Internet city, against software companies coming to Kerala. Achuthanandan inaugurated the latest building in Technopark few months back.

    DOUBLE STANDARDS !!!
    I am not with the congress or any parties. But I cant just deal with these double standards.

    I think they are creating all the drama just because the elections are near. This is just a publicity stunt.

    Now even if the congress comes to power in the next elections, the left is going to support them.
    As the rule goes like this
    “there is no permanent enemies nor friends in politics”

  22. July 12, 2008 8:04 am

    wishtobeanon, Prax, thanks

    rummuser, as you say the commies are in a minority and do not represent the voice of India. But they talk as if they are ruling India and they do so by hypocritically talking about how democracy allows them the voice! They know nothing about democracy!

    Sudhir, as you said, the President will never support the communisist. She will only support Sonia, who installed her.

    Mavin, you have raised important and valid points which we all need to think about!

    Tajbinder what you said about taxes is right but when it comes to the fuel price hike, that was necessary.

    Priyank, the communists have a strong hold on the various institutions in the state, for eg. West Bengal. Now it is widely accepted theory that people vote for them because their livelihoods depend upon it. They say once the communists come into power, they will keep winning because they take control of everything. They know nothing of democratic principles.

    Xylene, yes and a mean mother in law is stingy with her praise too! And thanks for that comment on Kerala! So much is written in the papers here about west bengal but somehow less reportage about Kerala.

  23. Ravi permalink
    July 12, 2008 1:33 pm

    Apparently Mr.Karat wants to see each and every prospering city in India to become a calcutta. It used to be the biggest and the best city and see where it is. Its evident that communism shattered the progress of bengal. In the interests of poor it is necessary to have some restrictions on FDI but I dont see any harm in FDIs into education, Telecom, Civil aviation and privatization of airports. Bombay airport is pathetic when a foreigner lands in Bombay he might think that bombay and entire india is poor and dirty. China is a serious threat to India more than pakistan. Our communist leaders wants to see china occupy India. Communist leaders might be fuckin poor or ride on bicycles and that just doesn’t make them great leaders.

    Leaders are problem solvers. Political leadership is not about distributing money and food to its people. I m not advocating capitalism cause it would make ambani’s which is no good for any country.

    USA has its own problems like unemployment, poor public health care…… But we are wise enough to chose a system between capitalism and socialism when did our govt started to implement communism? I think communists in India would do everything to harm the country. Its really sad to see our moronic communists are not learning anything from their peers in china. I wish all the communists would die one day.

  24. Ravi permalink
    July 12, 2008 1:35 pm

    PS: India is not about rich and poor we are people and everyone has to make a living. If communists are not able to provide employment to our people they have NO right to stop someone from doing it.

  25. Ravi permalink
    July 12, 2008 2:50 pm

    Tajbinder

    I saw your question and thought that I could answer it. You said “why do we need friendship with USA?” Here we go

    1. China would take advantage of our weakness and back stabbers (CPI & CPI[M]) in India and occupy our country. You might wonder what Indian military would do. Nothing! cause of the coalition with communists, they would welcome the chinese with red carpets.

    2. To avoid this we need to have friends. I dont see any country except USA have business interests in India. Of course they would ask for an army base and we MUST give it for our own good. Our own leaders are hiding progress in defense research and lobbied with countries like israel/france for commissions on defense tenders. So we lack advance military equipment to battle china.

    3. We have enemies all around unfortunately all of them are friends to china. No country wants enemies on all sides but india is dumb enough to have them. So we need a friend powerful enough to smash them to ashes. India is not communist and muslim countries hate india and who else could be our friend except USA?

    4. Corruption, favoritism, dishonesty killin india and indians are diggin their own graves by cheating in every aspect. A scientist in CCMB would do anything to suppress another scientist. If we are like this then how could we face china? We need some external help in upgrading our defense system. Name one country which could help us besides USA, It has give and take policy and we should be smart enough to gain more out of every deal we make.

  26. nehru mantri permalink
    July 13, 2008 12:34 am

    Nita
    For as long as China and Pakistan can smell discrimination, caste mediated agendas leading to economic/political subjugation of a large segment of Indian population it will be virtually impossible to stop those nations from claiming a moral high ground and attempt to interfere in India’s political process. It is up to us, the new private enterprise that is India and its new generation to sober up a bit on their newfound wealth status and focus instead on roping in the underprivileged and make them a part of the happier circle rather than edging them towards the bitter radical end. To this effect I do think it is payback time for a lot of the underprivileged who have been helped by the Govt since the 60’s. This segment must be made to speak to their communities of the need to support a real working Democracy with true freedom rather than the sly preachy authoritarian type. Bengal’s shame is much due to the very class that you find boasting about its culture about all things Bangla and yet resorts to arrogant exclusion when confronted with work. Same goes for Kerala’s Chameleons. You have fellows spouting their literacy etc ad nauseum and pride themselves on opposing exploitation but are disdainful of pitching in to replace the so called maligned “exploitative process” at least in gratitude for the state’s cause. However, put these fellows in a free enterprise system as in Mumbai or Tamilnadu and they will milk the system with no second thoughts about subjugation or exploitation and they continue to spout the glories of the marxist land left behind.
    The commies are in Nepal, the NE, Orissia and in AP. With the prevailing class consciousness in the North it would be a cakewalk for them to send all the Sahibs and their beautiful bahus to their abodes across the globe and take over the la la land that is North india which produces precious little by way of wealth and we know that the only reason that may not happen is due to the existence of the other rabid maniacal extreme in the form of the bimorphic holy man/terrorist. It is not comforting to know that the jackals who pioneered money lending into an art form in the north, shifting their wealth to reappear in various avatars to suck the juice out of a nation are the beneficiaries of this outcome. However I would not be averse to the Chinese descending with polished silverware to curb the terrorist menace. It is interesting to note that the Chinese are bending over a little to placate their Muslims in return for territorial integrity. Probably as is their wont the Chinese Muslim will sooner or later be looking west at the golden gates of Afghanistan and venture to end up in its endless pit to get his 7^. If that should happen then China will be the next superpower to enter the Afghan wrestling arena and this time unlike the other two, China will know how to play dirty and win.If they decide to use their present good offices in Yemen the Chinese can then move in two directions at which point Pakistan will be just that. It will be cleaned out.

  27. Tajbinder permalink
    July 13, 2008 1:00 am

    Ravi as far as the current scenario is concerned we need “somebody’s help”. And you just hit the nail on its head when you referred to USA as the “help”.But what i also wanted to convey was that our system is termite ridden. It is simply collapsing. USA would lend its helping hand with so many riders and conditions that help itself would then become a problem. We as Indians live on a false pride. We are achievement starved in every respect. Economically , Sports among so many things.
    And Ravi let me praise you for what you think.I agree with all the points that you mentioned.Every word of it. Which alos makes me think that if there are people who think this way then there still is that hope, which is not a false one.I mentioned earlier also that i feel so relieved when i meet people like you.
    And may i know more about you?

  28. Ravi permalink
    July 13, 2008 6:42 pm

    Tajbinder

    You could get my email ID from Nita and gimme yours I would be glad to see your email.

    Thanks
    Ravi.

  29. vivek mittal permalink
    July 15, 2008 5:19 pm

    I’m keeping my fingers crossed nowadays…on 22nd anything can happen…But one thing is for sure..if Govt falls on 22nd, we have to forget nuclear deal which is very crucial for our future energy needs

    With coal reserves emptying fast..Thermal power cant be depended upon in long term, which is major mode of power generation in India today (If i’m not wrong 75% of current power generation in india is thermal power)

    We cant go back to Hydro power.(which would be like going back to bullock carts after vanishing of petrol reserves)

    So, nuclear power is ONLY solution of our future power needs, we CANT produce nuclear power until we get fuel from outside india (In india we dont have big reserves of Thorium and Uranium), which is not possible until nuclear deal is through, because India has been banned for supply of nuclear fuel by most of the countries including US even for peaceful purpose after Pokharan-II

  30. July 19, 2008 8:49 pm

    if we let the left dictate we will go back to dark ages ,if u remember the same left did not want computers to be introduced in the 80’s ;now 20 yrs later can u imagine india without computers and what it has done to the economyand again they did not want privartisation of telecom now literally india survives on the cellphone, it was manmohan singh who started the liberalisation of indan economy so if he is in for it i think it must be a good deal

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