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Mainstream, Vol XLV No 21

Correct Diagnosis of CPM’s Political Ailments

Monday 14 May 2007, by A K Dasgupta

[(COMMUNICATION)]

Even nearly two decades back Nikhil Chakravartty correctly diagnosed the political ailments of the CPI-M when he wrote in his column in the Mainstream (August 25, 1990):

Nobody denies that the Congress-I is a discredited outfit in West Bengal. But this by no means indicates a growing swing to the Left. Rather there is not only disenchantment but ramblings of discontent at the ground level. In this context, a ruling party can gain if it displays humility and an eagerness to interact with all, to listen to criticisms and patiently respond to even its adversaries. But the CPI-M leaders seem to take the position that if one is not with them he or she must be regarded as being against them. (Emphasis added) (“CPM in West Bengal—A Moment of Truth”, reproduced in Mainstream February 16- 22, 2007)

This tradition continues, and the party today stands totally isolated from even its sympathisers, many belonging to the intellectual community. The public display of arrogance of Biman Bose, Benoy Konar, et al., has damaged the credibility of the CPI-M as a party of the poor, dispossessed and disadvantaged. It has successfully rehabilitated the politically bankrupt and discredited Trinamul Congress leader Mamata Banerjee.

A.K. Dasgupta
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