Monday, October 03, 2005

Left's Coalition Drama

It’s been more than one year since Mr. Man Mohan Singh was living under the Damocles’ sword. Literally. A sword called The Left Alliance. Every time Mr. Singh declare some new policy, be it privatization of BHEL or new foreign policy, it’s been undermined by this determined partner of his coalition. They were armed by the fact that, if they pull out from the coalition, the government is finished.

After 2004 elections, the most surprised group was the left itself. They were actually won an influential number! The initial euphoria and excitement led the leaders to make contradicting statements. Some said they will join the UPA government and some said they will sit in the opposition. Lack of co-ordination and never-before position of strength led them to a near-ecstatic mindset. This was a clear indication of what is to come.

They started flexing their muscles after the honeymoon is over with UPA government. The very thought of handing over the PSUs to private players agitated them. But what was annoying them is not the loss to the PSU sector, but the loss of strong hold of union. As everyone knows, most of the national unions are controlled by the Left parties, mainly in Kerala, Bengal, Manipur & Tripura. If these PSUs are privatized, or even corporatized, they stand to loose huge earnings as a more efficient management means the end of Unionism. Or at least the workers had to work and if they are working, they have no time to do party work.

Pan to Kerala, one of the most literate states in India. But 10% of India’s total unemployment is from this same state. But why? The state has a highly qualified and well equipped young generation but no opportunity. The real reason goes back a long way.

Kerala has the unique distinction of electing a communist government by democratic means. Then the time was ripe for a revolution, and the government brought in land reforms which enabled the poor to own the land where they worked for their zamindars. It was a time for such ideology. Once that social divide is bridged, the very existences of these communist parties are questioned. The goal achieved. The mission is over. What next? From that point onwards, the contamination of Marxism or communism, started. They latched on to petty political issues, created non-existing issues to strike and closed down many factories and industries. To the industrialist the message was clear. You are not welcome. The writer belongs to this state and have first hand experience of how someone can destroy the growth of a state. Only one reason. The left parties spine was young blood. As long as there is poverty and unsatisfied youths, they have a chance. To maintain this chance, they need to create a vacuum. A void. The tactics used for this purpose are outrageous.

Just imagine this. You are shifting your business / house to some other location. You have your own employees who can do the loading and unloading of your furniture and other heavy stuff. The local trade union won’t allow you to do this. It’s their right to do that type of work in that locality. But if are ready to pay, “Noku Kooli” or Watching charge, which is the same as loading charge, they would let you do the loading. Till recently this barbaric practice was in place. This was the extreme the left parties went to. Just to create panic and turn back the industries. There was a famous movie, Varavelpu, in which the protagonist worked in some gulf contries and coming back to his mother land with his hard-earned money, to start a bus service. The unions mark him as bourgeoisies and finally broke him. It was a touching and real story.

Now this same party who fought against accumulation of wealth and social divide, is one of the richest party in Kerala. They own a satellite channel, Kairaly, the leaders travel in imported cars, they go to posh foreign holyday spots, own huge wealth, and most damning, the party secretary was named in one of the biggest scams of Kerala’s history, the Lavlin Case. All these are done in the name of a party which claims to represent the poor and underprivileged.

So the way they destroyed Kerala state is a model for all other states. That’s why some state leader famously said that he is wary of the leftists the way he is wary of a King Cobra. But look to Bengal now. Recent incidents show that how much of a clout the Bengal CM has in the party. In India they oppose privatization, but Mr Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee recently said he welcome 100% FDI in Airports in his state, while he was touring Singapore. There was a big hue and cry from left leaders but after some meetings and brainstorming, the party said what Mr. Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said was party’s official line. So why they are opposing the divestment of PSUs? It is common knowledge that a government run organization can never grow beyond a point. There is lot of other interests. Private-run companies are more efficient, fast and user-friendly. So why oppose it?

The next thing was the recent fiasco of Voting against Iran in the UN. Iran itself said that they don’t hold any grudge against India but our poor left leaders are still crying themselves hoarse about the change in our foreign policy. So they want us to stick our decades-old, cold-war-era relations to keep even if at the coast of sacrificing the new more advanced friends. No wonder the left’s saying this. When China attacked India, every one knows where the left’s hearts were. They still live in those times. They look to china for every solution but they don’t see the changes that are turning the Red China into a more vibrant China. The iron curtain is almost gone. They push capitalist reforms. But still their Indian counter parts are living in dark ages and pushing utopian theories.

It might be playing in their minds that, next time they may not see the inside of Lok Sabha again. May be never. That might be the driving force behind these draconian acts. What a pity that no one can now stops the wheels of our nation. It will surge forward and whoever comes into it’s way, will be grounded to earth and thrown to the pages of history!.

4 comments:

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Dilip D'Souza said...

So tell me, Shinu, why do you call yourself the Mumbai Marauder? Nice analysis or Kerala politics, sorry it has taken me so long to get to reading you! WHere are you these days? Stay in touch.

Shinu Mathew said...

Dear Dilip Sir,
I will attack for truth if necessary. I am out to raise my voice against things that I found wrong. Things that make me wonder were are we heading. So I chose to be a Marauder. And since I belongs to this throbing city called Mumbai, I became Mumbai Marauder. :)

LI said...

Interesting , Well feel the problem is basically with the political climate in Kerala and the election process as well .It cant be single handedly attributed to left .