With the crushing defeat of Communist Party of India (Marxist) (hereafter referred to as CPM) at the hands of the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) in the Tripura Assembly elections held in February 2018, the CPM has been almost wiped out from India, except a small bastion of Kerala. Earlier in West Bengal, the CPM led Left Front was defeated and marginalised by the All India Trinamool Congress (AITMC) in 2011 and again in 2016 after seven consecutive terms ever since 1977. The defeat of CPM in Tripura came after about 25 years of uninterrupted Communist rule. The remarkable feature of the elections both in West Bengal in 2016 and Tripura in 2018 is that the challengers viz. AITMC and BJP received an overwhelming two-third mandate against the Marxist governments. The pole debacle in these states poses a larger question whether it is a temporary mandate for change or final rejection of the left political and social ideology by the people.
Another remarkable change is that the CPM has not only lost two consecutive Assembly elections in its traditional stronghold and major province West Bengal in 2011 and 2016, it has also slipped to a dismal third place after the AITMC and Congress. In 2016, in terms of seats, the AITMC, Congress and CPM won 211, 46 and 26 seats, respectively. This slippage has not only been in terms of seats but also in percentage vote share which was about 50% in 2006 that came down to around 26% in 2016 suggesting a significant downslide in the voters’ support base.
Thus the CPM has now shrunken only to Kerala, a rather small state representing less than 3% of the total Indian electorate. Kerala has been a traditional stronghold of the Congress and CPM with insignificant presence of other national and regional parties which invariably align either with the Congress or CPM in elections. Traditionally, two fronts the United Democratic Front (UDF) led by the Congress and the Left Democratic Front (LDF) led by the CPM play the decisive role in Kerala polity and head almost alternate governments. For illustration, since the beginning of the twenty-first century, the UDF formed government in 2001 and 2011 while the LDF formed government after 2006 and 2016 Kerala Assembly elections. Significantly, BJP too has registered its strong presence in Kerala with a significant over 15% vote share in 2016 though it has not been able to convert this mandate in terms of seats share so far.
With the disastrous results in West Bengal and Tripura, a party of national stature which had strong presence in several parts of the country after independence and was the chief opposition in the first Lok Sabha has now reduced to minnows localised only to a small territory. Ideologically too, the CPM appears to be paradoxically divided among its cadre because one faction led by ideological hardliners is critical of both the BJP and Congress and is keen to maintain equidistance with these parties while the other faction has a soft approach and favours alliance with the Congress at national level for the continued survival and relevance in the Indian politics.
The question is if these outcomes are of any concrete indication? The obvious corollary of these developments would be that indeed the leftist politics and its electoral base is clearly on a sharp downslide with the left parties increasingly losing their charm and relevance in the Indian polity. To learn and understand more of this phenomenon, let us try to explore the background, evolution and relevance of the leftist ideology and politics in the Indian scenario since independence inter alia including the probable causes for their failure and decline.
Left Parties – A Brief Historical Perspective
At the outset, let us remember that the leftist ideology and parties were not born out of any revolution or oppression in India. Instead they were an offshoot of the revolutionary movements and civil wars in Russia and China. Of course, some people cite the popular peasants’ movement of 1920s in Oudh region of the United Province (now Uttar Pradesh) as a precursor of the origin and rise of the Communism in India but there is no conclusive evidence to sustain this theory. Even the Communist Party of India (CPI) officially maintains its foundation day as 26 December 1925.
The early years of Communists were marred with controversies and intriguing events in 1920s and 1930s including banned activities and prosecution of activists by the British who were obviously not happy with the growing influence of the Communism in Europe and elsewhere including India. It appears that in order to get the ban lifted on the party, the Communists initially supported the British government during the independence struggle which was consolidated in the later years to further bargain their political freedom and comfort. Yet another reason for this continued support was that the Britain and Russia became ally during the Second World War and jointly fought the war against the Germany and Japan. Each civilization or nationality has its own critical and innate features and associated issues which were quickly assimilated by the Communists in Russia and China but the Communists of India sadly never really tried to associate self with the Indian realities.
In 1952, the CPI became the main opposition party in the first Lok Sabha, while the Indian National Congress (INC or Congress) was in power. Till such time, the CPM was not in existence. In the general elections of 1957, the CPI emerged yet again as the largest opposition party and even won the state elections in Kerala. This was the first time that an opposition party won control over an Indian state. By this time, many Communist leaders also came under the influence of the Communist Party of China. It can be surmised with a reasonable accuracy that the Communist leaders always looked up at Russia and China for ideological motivation and inspiration, that hindered the natural evolution of loyalty, emotional and nationalist feelings for own nation and landmass.
The CPI (undivided) reportedly supported China during the Indo-China war of 1962 and this was widely circulated by the national dailies during the time. As the Indian army was fighting against the Chinese aggression in the Himalayas, the then leaders of the undivided CPI were praising the Chinese action and stand, putting the ideology above the national interests. Consequently, the Indian government threw many key communist leaders in prison. VS Achuthanandan, then a senior party leader and CPI central committee member put in the Thiruvananthapuram central jail urged people to donate blood to the Indian Army during the war and contributing money from the sale of prison rations saved by inmates to the defence kitty of the government reportedly in an endeavour of doing some damage control. His action was a marked deviation from the stand of the party line for which Achuthanandan was reportedly later punished through demotion from the central committee to the branch level member.
The growing ideological differences within the senior party leaders led to the split in the party in 1964, one as the CPI and the other as the Communist Party of India (Marxist), more popularly known as CPI(M) or CPM. The common perception is that the rift among the nationalists versus internationalists in the Communist party during the war was the main cause of the split while some others hold that it was actually the result of the ideological tussle of the leftist versus rightist in the party. Whatever has been the cause, the undisputed truth is that the party leaders were under dilemma and their loyalties remained divided between the ideology and nation during the Indo-China war, for which the nation would never gorgive them. It doesn't come as surprise that even now many leftist leaders and intellectuals use the jargon 'hyper-nationalism' for the genuine love and sentiments for the nation. Thus their lack of nationalism is not something new when they are found to support the cause of anti-national elements in JNU, Rohit Vemula suicide, separatists in Kashmir or the Naxalite movement.
India constantly struggles to defend its borders with two potential enemies on the north-eastern and western borders as China and Pakistan. After forcefully occupying Tibet in 1959 and a large area of Ladakh in 1962 war, China is constantly eyeing and staking claim on the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh as part of Tibet and other land masses across the long Indo-China border. Their Their hostility and arrogance is so much so that they even everytime object the visits of Indian national leaders to Arunachal Pradesh and deny or give staple Visa to the state people. Their aggressive posturing on the border and Indian Ocean, and constant political and diplomatic moves against the Indian interests internationally is not a secret yet the CPM leaders continue to show their leanings and love for China at occasions.
Only recently, the Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan made allegation that India was becoming a strategic partner of the US in that country’s effort to form a larger defence alliance against China. He stated that this development is as per the interest of the Rashtriya Swamsewak Sangh (RSS) which aims to build an axis of countries like US, India and Israel against China. CPM leaders’ pro-China stance is not something new but the fact that their stand has not changed even after the recent Doklam standoff pushing the country at the brink of another disastrous war with China is certainly a cause of concern not only for the Government of India but also for the common people of the country. Almost simultaneously, CPM state Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan too triggered another controversy when he stated that an axis of countries like US, Japan, Australia and India has taken shape for attacking China from all sides.
Contemporary Approach of Leftist Leaders & Intellectuals
Ironically, while the left ideology overwhelmingly favours the peasants and labourers, the majority of the leaders and so-called intellectuals and rationalists themselves come from the elite background. I call them ‘so-called intellectuals and rationalists’ because I have often found them suffering from paranoia and lopsided vision of the Indian realities and the humanity at large. If your heart cries for a victim of the minority community then you should also be able to appreciate the miseries and injustice when inflicted to people of the majority community; because leave aside the numbers, the pain and miseries are equally felt by all humans. In the name of social vulnerabilities of a particular class(es), they are often found promoting the agenda of hate and victimization.
In the name of social democracy, they are often found creating or promoting rift among the various sections of the society such as the upper castes versus dalits, rich versus poor, Hindus versus Muslims, Hindus versus Christians, and so on for their electoral gains and political survival. The hate agenda and narratives of the leftist leaders and self-proclaimed intellectuals is so intense and vigorous that many of them are at times found to lose every sense of social, moral, political and professional ethics and responsibility. To illustrate the point, one could refer to few recent cases of the anti-national activities and slogans in the JNU campus, Rohit Vemula suicide case, army action on the stone-pelters in Kashmir, support to the separatists in Kashmir and Naxalites and Gauri Lankesh murder case.
The point is if some mis-guided students in JNU or Hyderabad University make some unwise or unscrupulous move to glorify convicted terrorists and raise anti-national slogans, why can’t this be spared as a normal law and order problem of the students to be dealt with by the university authorities in the normal routine. Instead, the entire band-wagon of the leftist leaders and intellectuals would come in open support of such elements in the name of intolerance and freedom of expression causing not only political turmoil and unrest in the length and width of the country but also raise malicious propaganda to tarnish the image of the nation in the international foray.
Nation has not forgotten how a much restrained army action against a stone-pelter to avert the large scale violence and save dozens of innocent lives in Kashmir in 2017 was compromised by citing it as a ‘Dyer Moment’ by an alleged left historian and scholar and supported by the top CPM leadership. Those who have some knowledge of history would know how the British Army General Dyer’s troops had indiscriminately opened fire on an unarmed civilian crowd of some 20,000 who had gathered in Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar, Punjab on 13th April, 1919 for a peaceful protest against the Rowlett Act. By official count, 379 people were killed and about 1200 wounded, while the unofficial estimates put the figure of dead alone over a thousand.
The murder of any human being is a heinous act and deplorable but the recent case of the journalist and left activist Gauri Lankesh was made an epitome in itself. Her social media activity with imprints of extreme left ideology and systematic crusade against the right wing politicians and Hinduism, if closely scrutinized, could easily put her conduct in the category of a sick mind or psychopath who would constantly abuse and make allegations against people without reasonable ground or proof to sustain it. She was convicted and was on bail in a defamation case while several other cases still pending against her. Even the Indian Constitution allows a person to make choice about own ideology, religion or job but it doesn’t grant a person or group any liberty to malign or hurt the social or religious feelings of any community or individual. Ironically, many people who call themselves intellectuals and rationalists are so selective in choosing issues and subjects to propagate own agenda and ideology.
Recently, there was a humour circulating on the social media that the only Communist bastions now left in the country are Kerala, JNU and a particular news channel. It is not a secret that there are JNU professor(s) and students who are found justifying and even supporting secessionist movement in Kashmir and North-eastern states as also naxalite movement. One wonders if the Government of India is spending millions every year for their salary, tuition and maintenance to enable them to pursue hate agenda and lead campaigns to justify more partitions of India. Projected as a great Indian writer after writing a book decade back and winning a controversial Booker, Ms Arundhati Roy propagates the seditious narrative that India is at war with Kashmir and often denigrates and belittles the Indian army. In the name of journalism, the likes of Barkha Dutt and Sagarika Ghosh seldom find anything right that the Government of India does nationally or internationally.
It is rather intriguing to find that the leftist leaders, intellectuals and rationlists have particular dislike for the Indian army which, otherwise, has such a great reputation and support nationwide having earned laurels and appreciation for variety reasons of the defence from the external aggression, internal security and relief operations during the civil unrest and natural disasters. Arundhati Roy is known to have stated in the past that the Indian army uses rape as a weapon. Even Kanhaiya Kumar, the student leader from JNU, has made allegation on army about rape and other excesses in Kashmir. At occasions, the student leaders of CPM have been found mocking the Indian army. In the context of the army action against a stone pelter in June 2017, Praksh Karat, the senior CPM leader, attacked the army chief by saying that he was reflecting the views of the Modi government in supressing the people of Kashmir through sole reliance on the use of force. Among many sarcastic remarks, he went to the extent of saying that the Army chief of the staff had let down the high professional standards of the Army.
These are only a few illustrations of the modus oprandi and approach of the political leaders, followers and so-called intellectuals and rationalists with left ideology. This suggests that the current left ideology has been merely reduced to a political weapon where elites and intellectuals equally found taking advantage of the social and political vulnerabilities to spread hate and fission in the society to further own interests in the country. Unfortunately, in this process, they have implicit support from a large section of media too which is ordinarily left leaning with many editors and executives of the print and electronic media houses being either pro-left or ex-workers of the left parties.
The Culture of Political Violence
As already stated, the Indian Communists continue to derive motivation and inspiration from the communist parties of Russia and China. The Russian and Chinese revolutions aka civil wars of 1917 and 1947 are basically tales of organised bloodshed, murder, loot and forceful capture of the properties of the elite and landlord class. Such estimated killings in Russia alone from 1917 to 1923 were approximately 12 million. In China, the estimated killings from 1947 to 1951 were of the order of approximately 4.5 million which reached to a staggering estimate of 14.25 million during the regime of Mao Zedong from 1947 to 1976. Reportedly, those condemned as landlords and elite were buried alive, dismembered, strangled or shot and their properties were redistributed among the peasants and landless workers during the civil war. So it is not surprising that the Indian Communists, particularly Marxists, too have never been averse to the culture of political violence. The early history of communists after the independence in 1950s and 1960s, emergence and activities of the activists like Charu Mazumdar could be cited as a case in point in this regard.
Historians like Romila Thaper with a leftist mindset blame the right wing ideology as the root cause for the political violence in India. In this context, Rohit Ticku, a PhD candidate in Development Economics based at the Graduate Institute, Geneva, had published interesting data on the political violence in the Indian states in 2016. According to his report, the maximum instances of political violence have occurred in the CPM and Congress ruled states in the past, and the West Bengal under the CPM alone accounts for about 35% of such incidents. His report strengthens the hypothesis that the political violence is correlated with the political power enjoyed by a party. By all probability, the increased electoral success emboldens the party workers to resort to violence under the state protection against their opponents to systematically target and weaken the opposition. Even going by the recent events, one would find several instances in Kerala and Tripura as well, where right wing activists and workers have simply vanished without clue or were killed in the broad day light. The West Bengal under the CPM rule has a long history of political violence and gruesome killings.
While the narrative of the Communist violence in the state of Kerala is the recent phenomenon, a brief yet sordid saga of atrocities during the communist regime in West Bengal is something difficult to be ignored or forgotten by any rational thinking person. Ironically, a large number of the erstwhile CPM activists and workers have now changed their loyalties to AITMC in power and are resorting to the same culture of the political violence earlier incurred by the CPM to supress any healthy and democratic opposition during their regime.
During three decades of power in West Bengal, on numerous occasions the common people and political opponents became victim of the political violence often leading to gruesome killings. Another paradox is that during their long rule, the CPM on one hand created and nurtured committed intellectuals as party card holders with prolific literary and intellectual output, on the other hand the grass root activists and workers were used to perpetrate and control lower strata of society such as small traders, peasants, fishermen and refugees from across the international borders so as to ensure that they stick to and toe the party line.
To illustrate the above points, a few such gruesome violent incidents are cited here. In most of the cases, either the real culprit were not brought to the books or the cases were so hushed up that the proceeding could never reach to conclusive ends for long years. In January 1979, the Left front government allegedly starved, shot and killed several Bengali Hindu refugees, who had taken shelter in the Sunderban area having escaped persecution in Bangladesh seeking shelter in India. The case is remembered as the Marichjhapi Massacre wherein CPM cadres and state police used blockade, tear gas, firing, burning of the camps to disperse the refugees. According to a recent article of Jadeep Mazumdar of Swarajya magazine, nearly 1700 Hindu refugees from Bangladesh were killed by the police and CPM cadres and not even a single person was ever held accountable for the worst ever massacre of people by a state in the independent India. In another incident in April 1982, 17 Ananda Margis were allegedly charred to death by the CPM cadres by burning them alive as the party was apprehensive about Margis forming a formidable force to challenge them in the state politics. Some local CPI-M activists and grass-root cadres killed 11 landless labourers in July 2000 at Nanoor because they were supporters of the opposition party and were resisting encroachment and land grabbing. In another gruesome incident known as Nandigram Massacre in April 2007, at least 14 farmers died and several others got injured in a land grabbing case in the action taken by the police and CPM goons. The unofficial sources claimed the casualty figures to nearly 100 people.
One of the most horrific and nightmarish event that occurred on 17 March 1970 is known as the Sainbari Incident in Bardhaman district of West Bengal. The Sain brothers, staunch supporters of the Congress who refused to switch sides, were killed and their mother was allegedly forced to eat rice stained with her sons’ blood by the CPM goons. Reportedly, the person who led the death squad later became a member of the CPM's central committee. The incident was so inhuman and horrific that then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi reportedly personally visited the bereaved family to offer her sympathty and solace. Rekharani Sain, one of the survivors of the Sain family and now about 67 years old, still recalls how the eyes of her husband were gouged out and two younger brothers were slaughtered in front of her eyes by the CPM goons, "...flaming arrows were shot from all direction into our house...then attackers rushed into the burning house...speared and hacked Malay and Pranab and then set them on fire...". Her blinded husband too was killed a year later. While speaking to a newspaper in 2011, she said, “Unfortunately, things haven't changed a bit in the last four decades. People are still scared of speaking against the CPM or openly supporting the opposition. I wish the elections bring about a change this time." To her solace, the election indeed brought the change.
The saddest part of the political mob violence is that in most of the cases, people know the culprits but they are seldom brought to book and conclusive end in legal battle because of the tacit support of the state admintration and witnesses' fear of own security and life. This happened in the Sainbari incident in West Bengal and, unfortunately, this is also true in other parts of the country where the party leaders and activists themselves incite and resort to the political violence.
In Kerala, Kannur is probably the most violent district in the state where during the last few decades nearly 180 people have been allegedly killed as a consequence of the political violence. Kerala has been traditional stronghold of the CPM and Congress is another major party since independence. In the recent years, ever since the BJP and RSS cadres started making attempts to augment their influence and following in Kerala, the state has shown increase in violent attacks against their cadre. Recently, the BJP president observed that wherever BJP activists talk on ideology and development, the CPM workers commit murderous attacks on them. Further, this is not just happening in Kerala, but was happening everywhere where CPM governments have been in power or in those areas where they were effective.
Reasons for Downslide of Left Parties and Ideology
For the last few years, the CPM and other Left parties have shown a regular trend of downslide both in terms of legislative strength and vote share even in their erstwhile stronghold bastions – an indication of being a spent force. Since independence, we have experienced the times when the CPI became the principal opposition and challenger to the ruling Congress, its spread and dominance as a national party in several states, break-up within party due to ideological differences, long and sustained presence and rule of CPM in three states of West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura and now a sharp decline and shrinkage to a small state of Kerala. And why the Communists alone, even the Congress has remained left-centric after independence and opted for a mixed economy. Consequently, the country could neither whole-heartedly adopt capitalist nor communist model for its economic and social development.
The obvious result was a very slow growth on all parameters till the country finally embraced liberalization in 1990s. Whatever worthwhile development we see today is largely the product and outcome of sustained liberalization. Interestingly, the leftist ideology talks about the equality for all but during their long years in power, an elite class of politicians and so-called intellectuals/rationalists with left leanings indeed became rich and resourceful will all privileges at disposal but a large section of the Indian masses continued to remain poor, illiterate and unprivileged. The current generation has largely perceived and understood that being left has done no good for India. Everybody wants a progressive and prosperous life and people now know that mere slogans of social equality and egalitarianism are of no use without the actual development of the infrastructure, agriculture and industries that needs investment through liberalisation of the economy.
The Left parties and intellectuals feel that their ideology is supreme, and nothing else is more important than it. This is the reason why they always put the ideology above the nation. Their inclination and support to the enemy countries like China even during the crisis time is the result of this ideology. This is also the reason why they are often found supporting separatist movement in Kashmir and elsewhere, and even convicted terrorists in the country. They have no hesitation in even calling the Indian army a rapist and murderer.
They are taking the hypocrisy to new low levels and Indian Communists often do this in the name of the freedom of expression and speech. Everybody knows the status of the human rights and the freedom of speech and expression in the countries like China and Russia from where the Indian communists derive their motivation and inspiration. The Russian and Chinese communists have at least learnt to love their country or the Communist Party has made them to do so that the Indian Communists are still found lacking miserably. Clearly, the duplicity has not gone well with the Indian masses in the present generation, hence the disillusionment with the left ideology and parties.
The left parties, particularly CPM leaders and intellectuals are often caught for their double speaks and double standards. They justify the widespread subversive and violent action of the separatists and terrorists in Kashmir and simultaneously blame the Indian government and army for excesses and disproportionate use of force. On the other hand, when isolated incidents like Rohit Vemula suicide and Gauri Lankesh murder occurs, they immediately plunge in the foray to blame the federal government and right wing workers even without an iota of evidence. Incidentally, the most of the apprehended or identified terrorists in India are Muslims but nobody can say that all Muslims are terrorists. So how can the left parties and intellectuals blame any right wing party or community for a murder without evidence or lead? For that matter, the killing of any human being is heinous and unpardonable but the same people do not raise any voice when right wing activists, social workers or even journalists are made to simply vanish or killed in broad day light in states like West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura.
The left and left-centric parties so often blame the BJP and RSS for the communal politics and division of the society on caste and religion. But the truth is, they are the ones who have actually carried out the hate agenda by systematically denigrating and denying the merits of the Indian civilization and culture, and wilfully ignoring and denying what is due the majority community. While the history of the right wing parties in the Indian politics is, in fact, not more than few decades, the left and left-centric parties have been playing the game of the division of the Indian society on the religion and caste basis for electoral gains ever since independence. The main agenda has always been how minorities of India, largely Muslims, are declared unsafe and endangered, while facts and statistics would present a completely opposite picture. The standard strategy is that they will tend to create a fear psychosis among minorities and project themselves as their saviours in return of the electoral support. The policy of appeasement has worked till recently but now more and more minorities are getting a knack of it, hence looking for the alternate choices. Ironically, the minority agenda of the left (and left-centric parties) is limited only to Muslims and Christian Catholics, other indigenous minorities like Jains, Buddhists and Sikhs find no place in their scheme of things.
Another crucial reason for the downslide of the left parties and ideology in India is their conservative approach, stubbornness and arrogance. They lack futuristic vision and are not ready to change with the times. The concept of the state ownership, distribution of all produce and penny among the poor thereby spoon feeding the whole population no more works. Even the hard core communist regime like China achieved noticeable socio-economic and military progress only after liberalising their economy and opening doors for the investors world-wide during the late 1970s. As against this, the Communists in West Bengal continued to stall reforms and enabling measures till finally they were ousted and shunted out to oblivion. The party’s leadership is yet to learn right lesson and apologise for its actions in places like Singur and Nandigram. The economy of Kerala is largely sustained through the remittances of the NRIs in the Gulf and other West Asian countries and Tripura continues to be among the states with least infrastructure and other development.
Yet another reason for the left’s downslide appears to be the narrowing down and disappearance of issues which marked the difference between the left and right wing parties and politics. Traditionally, the left parties used to fight for the issues and cause of the farmers, tribals and factory workers. They also used the cards of minorities and dalits highlighting injustice done to them by the upper classes in the Hindu society. Now these issues have been picked up by all parties including the right wing irrespective of their basic ideology. Obviously, the left has now run out of the new ideas and need fresh issues and for their resurgence and continued survival.
In India, the current generation of the majority educated youth has strong nationalist sentiments and aspiration seeing the nation as the next super power both as the economic and military giant. As the Armed Forces have a major role to play in fulfilling these aspirations, people have high opinion and respect for the Indian army. Knowing Communists’ position in 1962 war and their continuing affinity and concern for China as is also apparent from the recent utterances of the senior CPM leaders, many people wonder and get scared of the scenario if the Communists were in power, how India would have handled Doklam stanoff and the Chinese claim on Arunachal Pradesh in recent times! Obviously, even such notional thoughts are quite disturbing to every right thinking Indian, that easily triggers a wave of anger and dislike for the left parties and their approach that puts the ideology above nation.
I do not hope a rational and logical response from the Communist parties and left-leaning intellectuals or rationalists modifying or changing their ideology in favour of the nation. Also I do not see them being sorry when innocent civilians, including woman and children are killed or property damaged by terrorists in Kashmir or elsewhere in the country. I do not expect any favourable response when Kashmiri (misguided and erring) youth and children scold, slap and kick Indian soldiers on streets. While the army exercises utmost restraint in handling them on all such occasions, it still receives flak and bitter criticism from the left politicians and intellectuals. I have not found them opposing naxalites’ excesses despite the fact that the erstwhile cause of the tribals has now been hijacked by the mafia and hardcore criminal elements among naxals to serve own interests. But they become most vocal and come out to fight in streets if any action is taken against erring students and outsiders in JNU engaged in the anti-national slogans and activities. They will be silent on killings and excesses on Hindus and right wing activists but make a national cause on isolated events if the alleged victim is from the minority community or left activist.
They prefer to doubt and criticize almost every action of the Army and Government be it the surgical strike to destroy terrorist camps in enemy territory, killing of hard core terrorists in Kashmir or routine surveillance duty to guard civilians and property on the LOC and international border. According to their interpretation, such actions are the consequence of the hyper-nationalism. Hence even if one does not doubt their loyalty to the nation, their contribution to the society and nation is next to nought. They are prisoners of their own thoughts and ideology that renders them biased with the coloured vision. While they would suspect and criticise every action of the Army and Government, but it is seldom that they will come out with any worthwhile suggestion or a viable solution to a problem. The frustration of losing the ideological and electoral battle has forced some leftist politicians and intellectuals to stoop even to the level of distorting facts and spreading untruth.
Ironically, one of the chief reasons for the failure of Communism in India is their lack of nationalism too. It was not in a very distant past that they had strong hold in West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura with a reasonable presence in several eastern states like Bihar, Jharkhand and Odisha as also in southern states of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. But the decline of their influence has been so steep that the vote share of the Left in these States came down to less than one per cent in 2014 Lok Sabha elections. It is now for anybody to see how fast their base has eroded in the country including their erstwhile strongholds and they are almost simmering through a survival crisis. If the left parties continue to refuse change and adjust with the Indian realities, their ideology is destined to lose its relevance in the Indian socio-economic and political realm and they are doomed to be lost in oblivion.