Saturday, April 20, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Marxists do have a programme

This refers to “Move for People’s Front” by S. Nihal Singh. The writer has tried to play down the role and significance of the left parties in the present-day India. He has derided their attempts to build the People’s Front. Blind criticism indeed! First, he criticises them for not having any original programme and strategy for the people of India. I think he is quite biased and hasty in his inferences. The leftists know that the complex socio-economic and political realities of this country cannot be changed overnight with “a magic wand”. The Marxists have an original programme which the writer ought to go through carefully. They are not as ignorant as the writer supposes them to be. His presumption that Marxism is a “dead creed” is really questionable. May I remind him that it is only 140 years old yet it has done very well throughout the world. It is the most powerful and reliable weapon of the poor, weak and exploited. It is grappling with casteism and communalism, which are thousands of years old. It is scientific in its basic contents so it will remain relevant for the have-nots throughout the world. Yes, the rulers and the feudal elements have been attacking it and wishing its death since its very birth.

The leftists are sharply aware that the Indian state apparatus is in the control of big bourgeoise and the landlords. It is not so easy to dislodge this powerful combine from power. So the first step in this direction is to organise all pro-people, democratic and secular forces on a single platform. They don’t build castles in the air as they are in constant touch with the masses. It is only the communists in this country who have been in the forefront in people’s struggles against imperialism, rising prices and casteism for eight decades in India. 


This is also true that they are hated the most by elites who feel scared of the upward mobility of the Dalits, backward castes and the have-nots. The leftists don’t live in the past but they are in no mood to give up the pro-people ideology of Marx simply because the elites desire them to do so. They are always ready to defend the economic bases of our self-reliance, federal structure and secularism. I don’t think it was “a historical blunder” on the part of Marxists not to support the idea of having Jyoti Basu as the Prime Minister. It was not a moment of glory but a moment of patience and an objective analysis of the given situation.

Without a powerful and effective presence in the Lok Sabha, the leftists must have regretted their “moment of glory” later on when the peasants and workers of India would have expected a communist Prime Minister to implement the land reforms, the right to work as a fundamental right and nationalisation of all means of production. Could the CPI benefit in any way in lieu of its comrade’s inclusion in the Union Cabinet?

If Pt Jawaharlal Nehru emulated the economic policies of the Soviet Union, it helped in rejuvenating and strengthening the Indian economy. The first four Five Year Plans brought revolutionary changes in the rural areas which had remained neglected for ages. Yet the writer is free to mock at our first Prime Minister’s socialistic inclination. It is his personal choice. But I am not ready to agree with him.


Muscular dystrophy

The news item (April 3) declaring that a disease called muscular dystrophy is incurable is not maintainable. Being a doctor in Govt Ayurvedic Dispensary, Sector 9, Chandigarh, I can assure the patients with muscular dystrophy that it is fully curable at the onset and partially at the advanced stage. Having successfully treated numerous patients suffering from osteo arthritis, diabetes, hypertension migraine, digestive problems and paralysis, I have about 30 patients suffering from muscular dystrophy/atrophy aged 5 to 50 years who are being treated with ayurvedic medicines. All are responding to treatment well and improving.

One thing is quite sure that the condition of patients with muscular dystrophy becomes stable with the start of ayurvedic treatment. There is no further deterioration. The treatment takes two to three years for full recovery.

Dr KULDIP SINGH, Chandigarh

Crack the whip

This refers to Inder Malhotra’s ‘No end to Gujarat’s shame’ (April 4). Be it for their fear of alienating the majority or political opportunism and cynicism, the political stalwarts have generally remained silent on the question of Gujarat’s horrifying communal killings.

And as the mainstream political parties seem devoid of ideological concerns and humanistic feelings, certain determined and communally charged elements are succeeding in spreading communal hatred and turning the whole country into a tinder-box going in flames anytime.

While at the state level, Mr Modi’s communal approach and dangerous views only encouraged the administration to turn a deaf ear to the spreading rage of brutal killings and selective burnings, the Central leadership too has demonstrated no political will to crack the whip against the guilty government in Gujarat.

Does it not show that our ideal of secularism and slogans of communal harmony are no more than a myth often exploded, because at every point of testing time, we have stood divided and opposed on the caste and religious lines?

But more shocking and agonising is the deafening silence of the intelligentsia and NGOs who should have shed their complacency and as the watchdog of national secular ideals should have challenged the communal forces, no matter from which quarters they came.

Now whatever Mr Modi may do to sweep under the welcoming red carpet for the Prime Minister, an irreparable damage has already been done to the national psyche and her ideals of secularism, a part of which can be retrieved only if Mr Modi is unceremoniously shown the door forthwith.


Divine message

It has been reported that a Kenyan lioness, who has already defied Nature twice this year by adopting a baby oryx — an antelope, Africa’s top predator usually likes to eat — has done it the third time on Easter. She had previously adopted new born oryxes over the New Year and on Valentines Day.

Lord Krishna had declared in Gita, “Of the animals, I am the Lion”. In the present day of strife-torn societies of the world, wherein the human beings are blood thirsty of their fellow beings, only to prove the superiority of their religion over the others, the Nature defying behaviour of the lioness has a clear divine message to the powers that be of the world. “Protect The Weak” May, the message be imbibed and the reckless carnage stopped.


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