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

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Marxism: Managerial Politics?

Pinarayi Vijayan as the new chief minister will inaugurate a new era of left politics in Kerala. Sadly this is not going to include party discipline or the restraint in administration that his acolytes predict. Rather it is going to be a kind of nonchalance that seems to be gradually engulfing the space of democratic governance in the country. There is a certain form of anxiety that is reproducing leaders like Pinarayi who can preside over calculated violence by cadres, defend it in public and even get away with it by winning elections. A blatant show of male chauvinism on the one hand and a surrender of revolution to lumpenism on the other marks his selection as the chief minister of Kerala by the Communist Party of India (Marxist)—CPI(M).

Kerala has been traditionally marked by a strong rivalry between the North and the South, integral to every dominant caste in the state, especially the Thiyya–Ezhava. Pinarayi’s selection clearly indicates an achievement for the sanskritic, arrogant face of Hinduism. V S Achuthanandan was quite easily marginalised even after the left victory in 2006, but a strong resurgence of popular emotion in defence of his claims to the office helped him survive. But this time the marginalisation has been rendered easier because of the age factor that has been pointed out as unfavourable to his selection. That Indian politics is a factory to produce raw and aggressive power and that wisdom is not its most revered virtue any longer is a lesson that the top brass of the CPI(M) like Prakash Karat and Sitaram Yechury is trying to teach the cadres and voters. The transformation of Marxism to a form of managerial politics is slowly happening under the younger crop of leaders. Sadly this is a form of Brahminism that a state like Kerala alone can support because of its natural exclusion from the rest of the peninsula. Its form of social prohibitions, especially those draped under the cover of communism, has been comfortably concealed for decades but likely to emerge before long into broad daylight with the rise of Hindutva outfits steadily gaining ground with a substantial share of votes in all the constituencies.

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