06 December, 2020

Fellow Travails

Like all parties whose leaders are chosen thr­ough a sham election, the CPI(M) is cut off from the world outside.

Fellow Travails

A dispute on a tactical line that begun in 1978, when the USSR seemed more permanent than God, that is if He existed, and when the disputants were newbies in the hammer-and-sickle club, is bizarre by general standards, but not for the CPI(M). The differences between Pra­kash Karat, general secretary, and Sitaram Yechury, politburo member and a regular on Delhi’s party circuit, are on whether it was a good idea to decide, at a 1978 party meet, to form governments in states in opposition to the Congress, the then lion of the political forest. If it was a bad plan, as Yechury now says, why didn’t he try to take the party back to the jungles of his native Telangana and make friends with his ideological cousins of the Maoist faith? And if Karat never liked supporting a government with the Congress in it, shouldn’t he have revolted aga­inst supporting the Congress-led UPA as soon as he got elec­ted as party chief?

The problem with communist parties, as many scholars have noted, is their organisation—crafted not by Karl...



To read this piece, and more such stories in India's most exciting and exacting magazine, plus get access to our 25-year archives goldmine, please subscribe.

In this article:

More from Sumit Mitra

Latest Magazine

December 14, 2020

other articles from the issue

articles from the previous issue

Other magazine section