11 May, 2021

Story Of The Czar And The Commissar

Behind the Karat-Yechury war of documents lies ambition untouched by ruin

Illustration by Saahil
Story Of The Czar And The Commissar

The largest communist organisation in the country—the Communist Party of India (Marxist)—is as secretive as they come. Debates and discussions within a party with a cadre strength of 10,42,287 registered members are rarely carried out in the public domain. But if one has to go by the ongoing debate between its two stalwarts—general secretary Prakash Karat and Sitaram Yechury, a member of the party’s politburo and its representative in the Rajya Sabha—then that tradition seems to have been chucked into ‘the dustbin  of history’. Significant details (rather, ‘selective leaks’) of the closed-door, four-day central committee meeting of the CPI(M) that ended on Wednesday regularly found their way out in the media, informing all about the prevailing mood in the party.

At one level, one may argue that on the 50th year of its birth, the CPI(M) has finally become truly democratic and like many other ‘bourgeois’ parties, has little qualms in washing its dirty linen in public.

Traditionally, parties...

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