Conscience keepers of the nation?

[This is the 4th post in a series that I am writing in the run up to the Goa Thinkfest organized by Tehelka]
Picture Courtesy NaveenBharat.Blogspot.com
"Worse, it is blatantly declaring that in order to provide further gains and super profits to its social base of the ruling classes, the ‘aam aadmi' has to suffer by bearing the burden for providing such gains to the rich. Therefore, for the shining India to shine brighter, suffering India will have to endure greater suffering"

These are Sitaram Yechury's words describing the UPA's abject failure to take care of the millions of have-nots of our country choosing to instead sacrifice them instead as log wood to keep the flame of "India Shining" burning bright. It is ironical that India Shining was BJP's election mantra. It is the Congress which is going out on one foot to fulfill it. I guess that its a thank you gesture from one party to another.

Picture Courtesy Indian-Elections.com
Ever since I have started understanding national politics, I have been curious and amazed at the Left's role in it. I mean they are the original jholawallahs aren't they. When I think of Leftists, what comes to my mind is intellect and honesty. This, obviously, is something that I ascribe to the senior leadership and Sitaram Yechury definitely takes these characteristics notches higher. He can be witty as well as scathing. But how does he explain the role played by his party (the CPI (M)) in national politics? You could always blame left governments for lethargy and inertia but not for corruption. It's a different matter that their lethargy lead to corruption at lower levels in those states. It would be definitely interesting to know the underlying reasons behind the limiting of Left to two states,  - one in the south and one in the east - but where they ruled strongly.

Moreoever, in today's political world where you know that the usual politicians - dressed in white, only to make up for the black in their politics - the left politicians come across as a group which genuinely and unfailingly raises issues of the poor and marginalized - be it about rights of those displaced by big bang projects or about the poor hit hard by ever-rising inflation. And it is in this very context, it would be enlightening to hear Sitaram Yechury speak about his party and its ideology's role in shaping up our country's conscience, more importantly, our politics. Does he feel that their place is always outside the government at best and in the opposition on normal days? What does he feels stops them from sweeping the elections despite their best intentions? Is it lack of electoral reforms? Does an Indian Left have a character distinct from Left parties in other countries, e.g. those in South America where some of them have even come to power? And lastly, is it the very intellect which exists at the top level that has prevented them from coming to center stage in national politics - from a numbers perspective?

In the end, I leave you with a lecture that Sitaram Yechury gave at IIM Calcutta in Dec 2010 on Crony Capitalism.

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