Socialists in Indian Politics

There was in interesting report in the Telegraph the other day.
It repays reading. It mentions that George Fernandes (George the socialist turned Hindu fundamentalist) who is today gaga, is now being hounded by his wife ( with whom he has had no relations for three decades) and his mistress for those past three decades Jaiya Jaitely ( she of the Tehelka bribery fame) for his property. For a longtime socialist like George what could this property be? Perhaps a few hundred bucks in the bank one would think. It turns out that our man George owns property in his native Hubli that is worth Rs 7 crores and in addition there is the flat in Hauz Khas in Delhi which is probably worth as much.
This is the man who preached socialism to us all through the sixties and seventies. As the Union Minister for Industry, he drove IBM and Coke out of India to prove his socialist credentials. He achieved fame of another sort when he gave a rousing oration in parliament in support of the Morarji Desai government and then voted against it, deciding the defect the same day, no doubt for sound ideological reasons. Later our friend George changed tack somewhat. Having toppled the Morarji Desai government on the grounds of the dual membership of Jana Sangh members (read the present BJP), he then sidled up to them for a last crack at power. The strident supporter of Indian interests and honour also did not object to being strip searched in an American airport as a minister. If anyone was responsible for the unexpected defeat of the BJP led NDA in 2004, he must be the chief. I have noticed that the Indian electorate might tolerate dynastic rule, corruption and casteisim, but draws the line at hypocrisy. L K Advani found this out to his cost last year.
He created news again last year during the last Lok Sabha elections when, barely able to totter out of his bed, he insisted on fighting the Muzzafarnagar seat in Bihar against his party’s nominee and got a few hundred votes, probably by voters who wanted to spoil the ballot. And now he lies in his cot, wallowing in his own waste while his mistress and family fight over the spoils that he had gathered during his unremitting toil for the poor people of India.
Another old man lies in a hospital in Calcutta, probably playing out the last days of his life. I am already shuddering to imagine the reams of nonsense that will be written about his greatness when he does finally die. This other great communist lived off the fat of the land for more than three decades and systematically denuded Bengal of all that had ever made it great. The industrial, educational and health wastelands of Bengal are his legacy and it is perhaps fitting that he should die in the hands of the incompetents who his party nurtured over the decades. His high voltage medical team is too scared to do even a tracheostomy on the great man.
Whatever may be said of the present political dispensation, they are at least a little less hypocritical. And hypocrisy is paid back by the electorate immediately. L K Advani knows this. And I strongly suspect that Modi’s continued electoral success owes a lot to his refreshing candour, even when he is advocating genocide. I tired of these sanctimonious asses long ago. I only await the retirement of the last of them all: my best pal Prakash (Fathead) Karat.


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