‘left’ out

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 07 Mar 2018 11:03:05


Nakshatra Vishakha 22H 31M
Moon Tula upto 16H 04M (Rajandekar Panchang)
Paksha Falgun Krishna Tithi Shashthi 25H 58M
Bhadra starts 25H 58M
Muslim Jamadilakhar 18th Hijree 1439

THE most critical outcome of the legislative elections in the three North-Eastern States of Tripura, Nagaland, and Meghalaya is that the Left parties have got almost wiped out from the Indian political landscape. That the Left parties are ruling in Kerala is only an apology for what can be called Leftism, and acts as a highlighter of a bygone era when the Leftist thought enjoyed a reasonable following in the Indian political narrative. Over time, Leftist ideology started getting edged out of popular mindset. The electoral outcome from the three States signals a near death-knell for what was once a fashionable ideological issue of India’s public affairs.

This was bound to happen, given the manner in which the Leftists proceeded with their ideology with little concern for what was right or what was not right for the country’s prevailing situation and condition. Not only were they aggressive to the extent of hurting others’ sensibilities, but also to the extent of declaring others in political arena as personae non-grata. Their ways and means demonstrated certain kind of intellectual terrorism that was aimed at making any other thought undemocratic and anti-people, as if the Leftists were the only representative of the people, the only sane voice. In order to distort the national political discourse, the Leftists went to the extent of obliterating historical truth and cultural ethos of the country.

Passage of time proved that they were destroying themselves in the process, not imperceptibly but almost obviously. They fought among themselves and formed many verticals under the same ideological umbrella. Their overall vote-share kept falling rapidly. Their parties almost became old people’s homes as younger generations kept rejecting them increasingly. Yet, the old ideologues of the Left category refused to learn any lessons. And to make matters worse, they also started siding with Naxalites who declared a war against the constitutionally established and lawfully formed State of India.

It was only natural that most thinkers predicted doom for Leftism. But the wiping out of the Leftist influence from North-East in one single sweep came rather much earlier than predicted by most thinkers. When Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi and Bharatiya Janata Party President Mr. Amit Shah declared that the Leftist ideology is on the brink of a precipice, the nation believed with no questions asked. The people in general believed that the Left had outlived its utility in India’s political discourse.

Another dimension of the battle in the three States was that the Congress party, too, was found fooling itself, thus losing a good enough political opportunity. In the nutshell, the Congress party repeated its mistakes of Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh a few months ago. However, it must be admitted that both, the Left and the Congress, were locked in the same ideological frame, from which they could not redeem themselves. They never realised that their appeal was being lost every passing day.

The latest electoral battle should, thus, be considered as one of those rare ones fought truly on ideological firmament. What will happen to the Congress party will be a separate story altogether, but what has happened to the Leftist ideology and politics is for everyone to see. This is one story that tells how an ideology killed itself systematically, how a potent political thought made itself irrelevant to current times. In Indian context, the manner in which the Leftist leadership made its own organisations redundant to reality was highlighted the best in the North-Eastern battle for political supremacy. And, contrastingly, this was ‘achieved’ by the Leftist leadership in the name of what it described as an eternal thought that could never die. There could be no other ideology that was in the hands of blind men.