Jun 25, 2008

Sleeping with the Enemy

Times of India Column - K.Subramanyam
Russia is the primary military countervailing force to the US and the world looks to Russia to provide a balance of power in strategic terms. Yet, the Russian ambassador in New Delhi urged India to sign the nuclear deal with the US to enable Russia to step up its interaction with India in the nuclear arena. Russia does not seem to have any fears that India will become a satellite of the US thanks to the proposed treaty. China is vigilant about the moves of other major balancers, perceived to be attempts to contain it. It has no problem with India signing the deal since it has itself signed a similar agreement with the US. Yet our communist parties claim that the Indo-US deal is just a cover for India voluntarily subjecting itself to US strategic goals. This charge is so absurd that it is necessary to probe deeper into the real purpose of the Left's opposition to the deal. For that, one has to go back to the behaviour pattern of Stalinist communists from the mid-twenties. While the Indian communists claim to be an integral part of the communist ummah - to which the Chinese also profess allegiance - the difference between the ideologies of the present-day Chinese Commu-nist Party and of the Indian communists is analogous to that between Shias and Sunnis. The Stalinists and Maoists were isolationists, believers in communism in one country and were practitioners of policies that led to millions perishing in Stalin's Russia and Mao's China. The present Communist Party of China is only communist in name. It is a capitalist party and uses the communist label to sustain its single-party totalitarian rule. The Indian communists claim ideological affinity to them because China has become a successful nation with the label of communism attached to it. Deng Xiaoping, who launched China on its present path, was called a capitalist roader by Mao Zedong. Therefore, in spite of their professed ideological affinity to today's China, our communists are in reality Stalinists and Maoists. The basic objective of the Stalinist commu-nism was to oppose and eliminate social democracy. They considered social democrats as their primary adversaries and made them their first targets. This happened in Europe from the mid-twenties to the outbreak of the Second World War and thereafter during the Stalinist era. During the 50s and 60s the crucial struggle in Europe was between communist parties and the socialists. Mao's Cultural
Revolution was a conflict between reformers like Deng Xiaoping and diehard ideologues. In India, the communist party's aim is to oppose, slow down and destroy the reforms. In this struggle their primary adversary is the Congress party. Their support to the Congress party in the last four years was meant to ensure that the reforms were stalled and brought to a virtual standstill. After successfully thwarting the planned reforms of the UPA, their aim appears to be to denigrate the Congress leadership both internationally and domestically. They could have broken away from the UPA and brought down the government in 2005 when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh signed the joint declaration with President Bush. They could have done it in 2006 when the Separation Plan was adopted, or in 2007 when the deal's draft was finalised. No. They waited till the government would stake its reputation, prestige and credibility in the international arena. Now the Left's true colours are revealed and it threatens to vote against the UPA and bring it down by joining those who it claimed till the other day were, to it, political untouchables. If the UPA yields what does it gain? A measly three months more in office. The cost of such surrender to the Left's blackmail is tremendous. Over the next three months the communists will ensure that the government is completely paralysed. The inter- national credibility of India would have been damaged severely not only in Washington but in Moscow, Paris, London, Berlin, Tokyo and Beijing as well. The NDA will get an ideal election campaign platform and will say in the last four and half years it was not really UPA running the country's affairs but the communist party, through remote control. The target of the communists is not the US imperialist hegemony they imagine. It is the Congress party and the reforms it had originally planned to carry out. The communists aim at promoting a Third Front government, which they hope to dominate and in this effort their primary impediment is the Congress party. It does not matter to them if the next election is won by the NDA. In their long-term strategy, the weakening and destruction of a pan-Indian social democratic force like the Congress is essential for the advancement of the communist party in India. The choice before the Congress is stark. Will it face the next election as a party humiliated - internationally and domestically - by the communists or will it face the electorate as an assertive party ready to lead the country in the 21st century? The UPA has been sleeping with the enemy all these years. It is time it woke up. The writer is a strategic affairs analyst

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