17 June, 2021

Class Will Tell

Indrajit Gupta's penchant for off-the-cuff remarks reflects his past

Class Will Tell

HENRIETTA Marx is credited with the bitter wish that her son Karl "would accumulate capital instead of just writing about it". A century later in 1940, Mrs and Mr Satish Chandra Gupta probably wished the same for their younger son, 'Sunny'. Recently returned from Cambridge, where he had successfully negotiated his Tripos, this scion of an upper class Bengali family of aristocratic lineage was expected, at the very least, to follow his grandfather and brother into the Indian Civil Service. Instead, within a year of his arrival in India, Indrajit 'Sunny' Gupta was a whole-timer in the (illegal at the time) Communist Party of India (CPI), working underground.

That is the man who today, at 77, is the Union home minister and general secretary of the CPI—apart from being arguably the best parliamentarian of his generation who in his ninth term commands respect from across the political spectrum. In the news over the past fortnight for what his colleagues term "all the wrong reasons", he is being panned by critics as a true...

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