Monday, July 14, 2008

Day 29: Indian Left Continues its journey to abyss

It is Monday and I got a strict schedule going as I planned. It did work - as I always suspected, I am a morning person and trying to get the maximum done in the morning always work for me. It did help that this was a quite day: Most of my colleagues in Northern Ireland were off work for the 12th of July holidays, which commemorate William of Orange's victory in the battle of Boyne. Of course, the nature of the celebration is very sectarian - it is the Protestants who won and Catholics lost and this unveiled a long period of Protestant rule and all that followed. I do think the Catholics resent it a bit, and clearly do not participate much, but these days, watch it for fun perhaps.

I did use this quiet day, however, to gather my thoughts. Clearly, I am not happy with what I am doing, as I would have indicated in this blog. But the problem is, I suppose, one of expectations and planning on both sides, rather than any irreconcileable differences. All of us want to achieve the same thing, though we don't agree on how to get there. Thinking gives me the perspective that I have also been wrong a lot of times. I should have gone along and given it a try as everyone else want. Instead, I took a position of doing the right thing and did not even consider the possibilities. This is clearly not right. No one knows the correct answer, and since I have tried this my way for about an year, it is time that I give it a honest try the other way, and the solution may lie there. I initiated appropriate actions, starting with the acknowledgement that I may have gone wrong on different issues, and set up a clear target date to review progress.

While this was going on, the news from India continued to be as bad as one would expect. The CPIM continued its quest to bring down the government, almost in blind rage than based on any rationale. It seems that there is a clear division of opinion in the party - some sane men are still around and they would not want to fool around with the whole country's future in this fragile global conditions - but the party discipline and the culture of consensus is holding them back. This isn't, of course, a moment of principle for the BJP too, who, despite initiating the Indo-US dialogue themselves and knowing that the CPIM leaders potentially care more about Chinese interests than Indian interests, can not shy away from the temptation of pulling down the government. It is a gamble for them, which may just work out. They are on an ascendence, and rising inflation may make people want a change and put them back in power. But, if the government falls, it will start the journey towards the abyss for the CPIM. Their gamble that Indian muslims will love them for scuttling the deal does not take into consideration that they are losing the muslim, agrarian vote bank and currently their strength comes from urban voters in West Bengal and Kerala. They will be blamed directly for bringing down the government, and putting the country in a crisis. This will show that they take Chinese interests above India's, and no sane Indian will ever vote for them again. They committed the 'historical blunder' back in the 90s by shying away from forming a governing coalition; this time, they are committing another 'epic blunder', depicting themselves as a party of street opportunists and used-car salesmen who will run away from taking responsibility all the time.

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