It comes as true joy to me – and I suspect all Indians who love their country – that our Left parties have finally shed their political cowardice, and relieved the UPA government of their uninspiring, obtuse, regressive and deeply duplicitous presence. I for one truly hope, for the sake of our country, that the Left parties have had their first and final taste of political power at the Centre – and are ejected by their scruffs when the General Elections come. India has seen audacious and deeply vindictive dispensations, but never once has it seen a political collective so wilfully hypocritical, so hopelessly outdated in its world view, and so untrusting of the fabric of Indian foreign policy, as that motley bunch we call the Left.
But let’s not for a minute here assume that I believe that the UPA government is any the better without the Commies. The Congress is woefully corrupt, weak and indecisive. But we’re talking hopefully about the end of the Left here.
When I was at The Indian Express
, a senior colleague whose opinion on political matters I respected and continue to respect very much told me that for all the criticism that was heaped upon the Left, they still held a good deal of respect for doing whatever they were doing for the “right” reasons. That opinion was for a long time a part of how I viewed the Left – a bunch of crabby old fogies with good intentions. But not for a long time now. The audacious double standards that the Left perpetuates with smug impunity are plain for anyone to see, not least in matters of defence.
Not once – not once – have the Left parties criticised Russia, even mildly, for the preposterous record of reneging on military contracts, a bold new trend manifested most intensely in the Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier episode. Joint exercises with the United States Air Force in Kalaikunda are enough to rally thousands of jobless (literally too, probably) Left party workers to throng the perimeter of the base, but they’ll remain arrogantly without opinion when Russia, in violation of agreements with India, agrees to let China sell proprietary Russian military hardware to Pakistan.
The Left only have ignorant rants against the Indian security establishment, calling the latter’s threat perceptions against the Chinese, “far-fetched” or “rooted in paranoid belligerence”.
Which is really why men and women in uniform, almost unanimously hate the Communists. The Communists offer no compassion or empathy for the hard work our security forces do, but have the temerity to question military policy. They sit on Parliamentary Committees and ask ludicrous questions of the defence establishment. It’s easy to wear patriotism on your sleeve when hard questions are never asked, but the Commies haven’t once made known that they are on India’s side even on critical issues like the disputed territories of India and China.
An Army major with the Korea Brigade at Tawang (Arunachal Pradesh) in 2006 said to me, “If the Chinese invade India, I think our Karats and Yechuries would be the happiest. They will just take a plane, land in Beijing and take new citizenship. They do not care one bit about this country, only about their so-called ideology.”
The Commies can shroud themselves in sanctimonious, smug rhetoric – the kind that says, we know what’s good, and you’re all villains – will hopefully die now, and be but a stain on India’s parliamentary history. I’ve spent a week in Nandigram, and have seen the carnage, rhetoric and insincerity straight-up. No disguises. I hope today begins the process of purging of the red. For our country's sake.