The inevitable has happened. Prakash Karat and his red army have stormed out of the ruling coalition. This is just fantastic; now they can disappear into the bottomless pit of obsurity from whence they came. For three years, the Communist Party of India (CPI), with 50-something votes, has held India hostage. Since independence, CPI’s dictum has held sway in only two states – Kerala and West Bengal. However, since the formation of the UPA, the whole nation has had an opportunity to experience the obnoxiousness of this party. My general opinion is that when alliances are formed with no commonality in ideology apart from an antipathy towards a third party, that alliance is tenuous and bound to fail. The CPI in India today exists not to expound the principles of communism or Marxism, but to oppose capitalism and any alliance with the United States. Similarly, when the Congress threw its lot in with the CPI for no reason but their mutual dislike of so-called communalist parties, that alliance was bound to fail. And fail it did. Karat submitted his decision to withdraw from the ruling coalition today, and asked President Pratiba Patil to ask the Congress to prove it’s majority in the Parliament.
Even in a country where political two-facedness is de rigour, the barefaced hypocricy of the CPI is astounding. Representing India, Karat traveled to our northern neighbor to pucker to the Red bottom. Then he suggested that a partnership between India and the US was designed to “encircle China“. I’m tempted to ask why he’s so concered about the security of the country that invaded India in 1962. So what if this hypothetical Indo-US nexus were true?. If he were half as concerned about India’s energy security as he apparently is about China’s strategic security, India may have already been brought back into the nuclear mainstream of the world. One only has to look at the state of affairs in West Bengal and Kerala to gauge the leadership capabilities of the Left. West Bengal has suffered from decades of economic stagnation and widespread poverty, while Kerala earns most of its revenue from foreign remittances from the Middle East.
The Left’s farcical drama continued, with Mayawati, the leader of the Samajwadi Party, a CPI ally, claiming recently that the Indo-US nuke deal was “anti-Muslim”. That Mayawati has actually read the “123 Agreement” between India and the US is slightly less believable than the implication that she is capable of reading anything at all. Clearly, if she had read the agreement, she would have known that the proposal was to transfer civilian nuclear technology to India to help the country meet it’s overwhelming energy demands. How that translated into being anti-Muslim, only Mayawati will be able to explain.
India is a country that is growing economically at a rapid pace. The country needs a government that can take bold decisions. For the last three years, the Congress has done what it’s best at. Pussyfooting around and hoping that nothing untoward happens that would call on it to take a stand on any issue. It appears that even Manmohan Singh, argueably the most unpolitical politician ever, was sick of the CPI’s anti-ideology ideology. He has approached the IAEA, with every intention to call the CPI’s bluff. With the CPI no longer part of the ruling coalition, the Congress is scampering for a political one-night-stand. In the opposition, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been serenading the Samajwadi Party. Argueably, there isn’t another political party more pro-US than the BJP. Yet, they are against the nuke deal, for no reason other than the fact that it wasn’t initiated by them, and if things go the Congress’ way, wouldn’t be implemented by them. There is no question that if such a proposal had ever been made during Vajpayee’s administration, India would have been well on its way to building nuclear reactors, a dime a dozen by now.
If the Congress backs away now, unfortunately, it would be nothing new. Their past record in displaying testicular fortitude has not been exemplary. One can only hope that the PM now understands that even if he is able to save the coalition, the relief will only be temporary. If the UPA is destined to fall, I hope Dr. Singh has the courage and foresightedness to at least see the deal through, so that India can get on the path of meeting that highly optimistic target of having nuclear fuel providing 25% of its energy needs by 2050.