"If men could see the epitaphs their friends write they would believe they had gotten into the wrong grave"
Famous English playwright and political activist George Bernard Shaw once observed, "Birth equals all men, death reveals the eminent". As to prove his dictum true, scores of paeans from across political sections, including BJP, have been sung in praise of Comrade Jyoti Basu who passed away recently. These, perhaps, have been done keeping in tune with the traditional Indian culture that nothing critical should be spoken or expressed for the person who is no more so that he can have the quantum of solace in haven. Agreed. But then, Comrade Basu was no ordinary man. He had been in active politics since independence and had served as CM of Bengal for a record making 23 years. Therefore, his track record should be thoroughly assessed before we, as patriotic citizens of India kneeled down to worship him. Nobody is perfect and so was Com. Basu. But there is certainly a good amount of difference between committing inadvertent mistakes and deliberately resorting to committing Himalayan blunders. As a leading light of the Communist movement in India and as CM of Bengal, he committed several blunders which are not only antediluvian but also anti-Indian. So, we all must assess his life and actions before resorting to ritualistic bravados of adjectives laden golden epitaphs.
Born in a wealthy zamindar family in the then East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), Basu's life was full of contradictions and unsavoury attitude towards India and basic foundation of its polity i.e. Indian Constitution.Everybody knows that before Bengal was besieged by the Communists, it was one of the leading industrial and prosperous states of India. But with the advent of the so-called "pro-poor" Communists, Bengal has been reduced to the one of the most industrially and economically backward states of India. And Com Basu and his hordes of cohorts were behind this tragic nemesis of Bengal in their more than 30 years of misrule. In fact, the most famous trade union jargon "gherao" has been the contribution of these bunches of Communists who in the 60's and early 70's resorted to this tactic in the name of Communism (labour rights) that led to the shutting down of various flourishing industries of Bengal. The result was for all to see.
The Communists of India were nothing but the paid stooges of their holy fatherland of the erstwhile Soviet Russia (RIP) as exposed by the Mitrochin archive. They are also known as good drafter of pedantic and catchy phrases, albeit, for themselves only and not for the poor, illiterate masses who could not make out whether "praxis" is some food or name of a new brand of vodka!! The moment their fatherland was attacked by the Nazi Germany in 1941 the hitherto "Imperialist War" was overnight turned into "People's War" for which Communists like P C Joshi et al turned into British Government's trusted spies that led to the sabotaging of the Quit India movement launched to oust the reigning Britishers once for all. That is not all. After independence these very same Communists resorted to "armed revolution" against the Nehru led Govt screaming aloud "yeh azadi jhuthi hai". Our hard earned "azadi" was "jhutha" because they could not replicate a bloody October Revolution like coup in India to wrest power and let loose a totalitarian, anti-democratic regime, making India another "satellite" country for the benefit of their fatherland. Since then, they have been resorting to inciting anti-India/anti Indian State sentiments and armed upsurges against a democratically elected Indian Government. Time and again, they have shown where their allegiance lie. Come 1962, the undivided Communist Party of India (CPI) was divided into CPI and CPI (Marxist) in 1964. One was pro-Russia and the other CPI-M was pro-China. Sadly, none of them were pro-India!! Likes of Ranadive, A K Gopalan et al of CPM even held press conferences across India with maps supplied by compatriot China to "prove" that it was not their holy Communist China but unholy Democratic India that was responsible for the 1962 war. China waged armed aggression but these Marxists resorted to cartographic aggression against India much to the delight of the Communist China, Comrades of whom have been staunchly nationalistic, unlike Comrades of India who proved themselves at the worst as the Chinese Patriotic Musketeers. They even organized hartals, ghearos etc of the Defence Ordnance factories to sabotage India's wartime efforts. It was the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), affiliate of the Rashtriya Swayemsevak Sangh(RSS) which came to the rescue of Govt led war efforts against the Communist trade unions. Therefore, Govt banned it andCom Basu was one of those who were sent to jail for treason against the nation. The turn of the events even surprised PM Nehru who used to have a soft corner for them and came to appreciate the selfless services rendered by the staunchly nationalistic and disciplined swayemsevaks of the hitherto "fascist" RSS. He welcomed RSS uniformed volunteers to participate in the Republic day march-past in 1963 much to the chagrin of the anti-Indian communists like Basu, who till death called it as an "uncivilized barbarian". But then, "civilized traitors" like Basu like all of Comrades and their fellow travelers, could not erase this stigma of being resident non-Indian quislers even by donning the mukhota of a Bhadralok!!
Now, being in power uninterruptedly since 1977 via their muscled powered "scientific rigging", Basu et al even shaken the "anti-incumbency" dynamics of a democratic polity, and thus confusing not just the Aam Admis but also the students of Political Science!! Yet another astounding "feat" of Com Basu!! Jai Ho!! Operation Barga- the famous and the sole trumpeted "achievement" of land re-distribution/land reform in India by the CPM led Left Front Govt in their more than three decades old regime has been exposed as the land siphoning and cadre breeding infamousscheme as the events of Singur, Nandigram, Haripur etc. clearly showed. It does not even have a comprehensive Land Acquisition Policy (LAP) till date, then how come they "successfully" "re-distributed" lands in vast swathes of rural Bengal?? The real truth is that acres and acres of such "re-distributed" lands are at the hands of its leading cadres and their goondas who become the "benevolent" Zamindars for the poverty stricken voiceless rural proletariats of a Bengal besieged by these Stalinist hoodlums. And don't forget, Com. Basu was their much revered leader. A real sarvahara indeed!!
Now, come to their oft repeated slogan of being "pro-people" and "pro-poor". Really? A scientific and thorough work by the economists Bibek Debroy and Lavesh Bhandari entitled "A Story of Falling Behind" (2009) has revealed among others for the first time that out of the 18 districts of Bengal, 14 of these among India's 100 poorest. Uttar Dinajpur, which is Bengal's poorest district, has a per-capita SDP that is only 33.6 percent that of Kolkata, the richest district. It said-"for all its talk about equality and removal of inequalities, the Bengal Govt. hasn't been able improve the lot of the people in the worst-off and backward districts." Not only that, Bengal stands far behind in implementing MG-NREGA which they "claimed" as their own brain child and one of the many "revolutionary achievements" of their supported UPA-I Govt whose spoils of powers had been thoroughly relished by the Communists, including Com.Basu and his industrialist son Chandan Basu, without even the iota of responsibility. Now, that's called "achievement", isn't it? It is certainly an achievement for Com. Basu Sons & Co. but not for the hapless hungry people of Bengal whose development, freedom and free democratic space for dissent has been ruthlessly strangulated by the CPM led Left Front Govt which by now has lost its self-proclaimed title of being "people's party", being under the combined sway of the opposition parties and losing successive panchayat and bye-elections. They are going to lose the 2011 State election, for sure even without enjoining the customary refrain of ceteris paribus. In order to blowing a storm of sympathy wave as their last resort to save their last lal bastion, they are now, via their "eminent" fellow travelers in media, are resorting to create a demi-God like reverential halo around Godless Com. Basu. But people of Bengal are no fools; some of the elderly ones even wish to checkmate death to see the fall of the Red Brigade in their own life times. It will surely be a celebration of democracy and vibrant civil society which it wanted to give a silent burial. Lo! they are queuing up for their own burial and take it for sure that not a single drop of tear will be shed for it by the real sarvaharas of Bengal- the poor and the destitute.
Real achievements are measured by real deeds with tangible results on ground and not by cheap politicking of propaganda politics of "revolutionary feats" that what Comrades like Basu and others resorted to in all these years. His death only helps to hasten the benign fall of it and nothing else. He would scream"cholbe na" against the then Bengal Governor Dharma Vira in the day and would come to toast expensive scotch whisky with him in the evening!! Devoid of any love for his karmabhoomi India, he would occasionally went to London (thepunyabhu of his ideological indoctrination) citing the excuse of health treatment which he was so sure of not being available even in a superspeciality like AIIMS in India, his "wretched" land. He even defended the indefensible and inhuman Tiananmen massacre of pro-democracy Chinese students by the PLA of China saying "if you keep the doors open, flies will come in"!! He was certainly the Vanguard of Stalinism in Bengal which his regime had singlehandedly brought down from the pinnacle of glory as India's leading state to the nadir of being one of the worst backward states of India.
Neither as citizen of India nor as a Communist patriarch, Com. Basu never deserves our rich tributes, for he certainly reserves a Lal Salam from his fellow Comrades and Communism for which he lived and for which he died. Sorry, Com. Basu, there will be no Vande Mataram for you.