ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Wither on the Vine?

This is with reference to your editorial entitled “Fall of the Left” (EPW, 7 June 2014). The debate over “secularisation” was a Congress ploy and left parties of any strand (the Communist Party of India or the Communist Party of India (Marxist) – CPI or CPI-M) should not have joined ranks with Congress in its efforts to destroy the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Over the years, it was becoming more and more evident that secularism, as envisioned by the framers of our Constitution, had lost its primacy and become a vestigial remnant. It suited the Congress, especially the Palace, to harp on it as it considered it to be the most emotive issue for campaigning. They were mistaken in this assumption. They did not take note that they themselves had covertly imbibed Hindutva even as the BJP led by Narendra Modi showed signs of moving away from the earlier agenda like the mandir, Ram, etc. Regrettably, the left parties were trapped into the Congress trail. Instead, they should have stuck to their economic ideo­logy and attacked the United Progressive Alliance – II (UPA-II) over its failure to fulfil the aspirations of the people, lack of governance, corruption, etc.

Unfortunately, much earlier, they had lost their bastion in West Bengal due to lack of ideology and internecine quarrels and debates within leading to their disastrous performance during their last term in office. They had even failed to stand by their own land reform (ownership to the poor) policy while dealing with Tata’s car project. The economic slowdown, depressed conditions in West Bengal, growing unemployment, etc, added to their misery. Mamata Banerjee rode to power on this wave of anger against the left.

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