[DEBATE] : (Fwd) On Nandigram, Vijay Prashad replies
lsifuentesore at gmail.com
Thu Dec 13 18:17:55 GMT 2007
Thanks for providing these voices from the traditional party-political left
I await further response from Indians who have been criticising this
tradition in the case of West Bengal...and Kerala!
One would appreciate the present writers informing us of their
party-political affiliations or sympathies, in addition to the formal
academic or state appointments they provide. The latter may qualify them in
the eyes of their professions or class. But amongst would-be comrades, we
require other information also.
I am disappointed by the nature of the two responses, amongst which there is
only one admission of serious error by the West Bengal CPM-dominated
administration - regretably not spelled out. This reminds me of British
Stalinist, Raji Palme Dutt, referring to the millions (of also Communists)
starved, tortured and killed by Stalin as 'spots on the sun'.
Whilst myself certainlyunqualified to evaluate the evidence and arguments of
the opposed sides, I do note that the arguments of these two defenders of
the CPM/Left Front, or whatever, do tend to see the world in terms of
Manichean oppositions (in which the two binarily posed positions are
identified with virtue and vice). It would be much simpler if the world was
so divided or divisible. But such a view has nothing to do with Marxism, nor
with reality, marked as both are with wheels within wheels, of
contradictions within contradictions.
In a world so marked, a morality is certainly required, to guard, amongst
other ills, against messianism of either the right or the old left. This
morality says, for example, that if the left reproduces the practices of the
right, then this can in no way be justified by its red flags, its rhetoric
and its loyalty to a Party or a State (customarily capitalised by the
These two voices are from the archaic, Manichean and Machiavellian left. As
well as - in at least one case - from the vulgar Marxism, popularised by
Stalin. Here is an example from one of the complaints, replete with 'Camps',
'The People', 'Principal Contradictions' - all decided and defined for us by
the Party and expressed by the State:
"The crux of political praxis consists at any time in distinguishing between
two camps: the camp of the "people" and camp hostile to the interests of
"the people". This distinction in turn is based on an analysis of the
prevailing contradictions, and the identification of the principal
contradiction, on the basis of which the composition of the class alliance
that constitutes the camp of "the people" is determined. And corresponding
to this constellation of classes, there is a certain constellation of
political forces among whom relations have to be forged. It is obvious that
the relationship between the political forces representing the classes that
constitute the camp of the people at any time, and the nature of criticism
among these forces, must be different from the relationship and criticism
across camps. Not to distinguish between the camps, not to distinguish
between alternative constellations of political forces, but to club them
together on the basis of the identical nature of their presumed moral
trespasses, is to withdraw from politics. What is striking about the
attitude of the intellectuals arrayed against the organized Left at present
is their complete withdrawal from the realm of political praxis to a realm
of messianic moralism."
As for messianic moralism, is this a property of the highly diverse and
quite contradictory collection of forces, here lumped together and accused
of such? Or of a Party and State that assumes that IT represents 'the
longterm general interests of the working class and the peasantry', and that
what it does is moral because the utopian Communist end justifies the
statist and/or capitalist means.
Life, as Czechoslovak novelist, Milan Kundera, once said, is elsewhere.
It may be a hard rock to swallow, guys, after such a long period of
self-righteous assumptions. But the capacity to admit and understand one's
own errors, and to say so in public, is one of the characteristics of the
Initially it hurts but, with time, it becomes easier and earns both trust
The CPM, whatever it did or didn't do in Nandigram, has so far been proud to
share the aura of regimes from those of Lenin to Mao Tse Tung. Maybe it does
not deserve to be judged according to the company it has been so far proud
to keep. But today, in the world of the global justice movement and the
World Social Forum, people, parties and movements are judged according to
standards they can no longer themselves define and impose.
And it is no longer considered that being 'right' on some self-defined
'primary contradiction' allows one to ride roughshold over all the others.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Patrick Bond" <pbond at mail.ngo.za>
To: "debate: SA discussion list" <debate at lists.kabissa.org>
Sent: Thursday, December 13, 2007 8:33 PM
Subject: [DEBATE] : (Fwd) On Nandigram, Vijay Prashad replies
> -------- Original Message --------
> Subject: Nandigram.
> Date: Thu, 13 Dec 2007 10:22:33 -0500
> From: Vijay Prashad <vijay.prashad at trincoll.edu>
> To: <pbond at mail.ngo.za>
> Dear Patrick,
> I saw that you had forwarded the ACHR report on Nandigram. The report is
> very biased in its depiction of the facts.
> For one, there was no formal notification of land acquisition. It was an
> erroneous act by a local development corporation, and it was quickly
> rebutted by the state administration. The report is wrong to say that the
> project was "declared abandoned" by the Chief Minister on March 28. The
> state administration had already said it was not going forward with the
> project months earlier.
> Further, the report says that the armed CPM cadres fought the BUPC "made
> of poor people," which is far from the case. It is an alliance of the
> right-wing Trinamul Congress, the cult-communist Socialist Unity Centre of
> India and certain Maoist groups (who have been assassinating locally
> communist leaders for years, intensified since the early 2000s).
> The reclaiming of the area was done to allow about three thousand CPIM
> supporters who had been kicked out of the area from January to November,
> 2007. The state police tried to go in on March 14, and conducted an
> unforgivable firing. The fourteen that died were not all killed by the
> police, by the way. At any rate, the state government immediately called
> an inquiry, took the blame for this, and refused to send in the police
> again. They asked for the central government's forces, who are less prone
> firing, but the central government refused to get involved. It was at this
> point that the party decided to go in and bring the 3000 people who had
> living in refugee camps back home. As my colleague (the historian) Irfan
> Habib put it, "Should I be a CPI(M) supporter, any ³activist² who dislikes
> this, but likes my house and land, can just seize possession of them, and
> throw my family and me out. I cannot go to the police, because on the
> of the conscience keepers of this country, the police posts have been
> abandoned. If sick of life in a camp, with children unable to go to
> and no income to sustain my family, I take the help of an ³organized
> to get my property back, I stand condemned by you for committing a most
> unlawful act. I do not know what other citizens would do in such
> circumstances, but I would cheerfully bear with your condemnation."
> The events around Nandigram require deeper analysis. On the role of the
> media, I recommend: http://www.frontline.in/stories/20071221503204400.htm.
> I have appended two essays below, one by Prabhat Patnaik on the
> that led to this enormous break in the Left, and the other by Prabir
> Purkayastha on the two lines in the Indian Left.
> Best to you,
> (1) THE LEFT AND ITS "INTELLECTUAL" DETRACTORS
> PRABHAT PATNAIK
> With normalcy returning to Nandigram, and with the heat generated over it
> intellectual circles somewhat subsiding, it is time for us to ask the
> question: why did so many intellectuals suddenly turn against the Party
> such amazing fury on this issue?
> This question is important because joining issue with them on the basis of
> facts on the specificities of Nandigram, which is what we have been doing
> till now, is not enough. It is not enough for instance to underscore the
> fact, implicitly or explicitly denied by virtually all of them, that
> thousands of poor people were driven out of their homes into refugee camps
> for the only "crime" of being CPI(M) supporters; it is not enough to argue
> against them that there was no semblance of an excuse for keeping
> out of bounds for these refugees and for the civil administration even
> the Left Front government had categorically declared that no chemical hub
> would be built there; it is not enough to point out that the so-called
> "re-occupation" of Nandigram in November was an act of desperation which
> followed the failure of every other effort at restoring normalcy and
> bringing the refugees back to their homes. All these facts and arguments
> have been advanced at length, and are by now passé. But the phenomenon of
> several intellectuals who till yesterday were with the Left in fighting
> communal fascism but have now turned against it requires serious analysis.
> There is no gainsaying that the Left Front government made serious
> in handling the Nandigram issue; and Buddhadeb Bhattacharya has said so in
> as many words. But disagreement with the LF over this could have taken the
> form of friendly criticism, articles, and open letters, and not of such
> outright hostility that even put the LF on a par with communal fascism.
> Likewise disagreements over the LF's industrialization policy could have
> been aired in a manner that had none of the ferocity which has been
> displayed. Differences with the LF, even basic differences, therefore
> suffice as an explanation of what we have just witnessed.
> Likewise, the fact that most of these intellectuals are in any case
> anti-organized Left, especially anti-Communist (and in particular
> anti-CPI(M)), belonging as they do to the erstwhile "socialist" groups, to
> NGOs, to the ranks of Naxalite sympathizers, to the community of "Free
> Thinkers", and to various shades of "populism", would not suffice as an
> explanation. After all, despite this basic hostility to the organized
> they did make common cause with it on several issues till recently. Why is
> it suddenly so different now?
> The context clearly has changed. With the perceived decline in the
> of the communal fascist forces, a certain fracturing of the anti-communal
> coalition was inevitable and has happened, and this no doubt provides the
> setting in which it becomes possible for these intellectuals to express in
> the open the hostility which they might have felt all along against the
> Left. Indeed, this perceived weakening of the BJP may even encourage
> attempts, on the part of intellectuals hostile to the Left but aligned to
> earlier owing to the pressure of circumstances, at establishing a sort of
> intellectual hegemony over society at large at the expense of the Left.
> while the recession of the communal fascist threat certainly creates the
> condition for these intellectuals to come out openly against the Left, the
> manner of their coming out cannot be explained only by this fact. It
> indicates something more serious, namely the process of destruction of
> politics that the phenomenon of globalization has unleashed.
> The crux of political praxis consists at any time in distinguishing
> two camps: the camp of the "people" and camp hostile to the interests of
> "the people". This distinction in turn is based on an analysis of the
> prevailing contradictions, and the identification of the principal
> contradiction, on the basis of which the composition of the class alliance
> that constitutes the camp of "the people" is determined. And corresponding
> to this constellation of classes, there is a certain constellation of
> political forces among whom relations have to be forged. It is obvious
> the relationship between the political forces representing the classes
> constitute the camp of the people at any time, and the nature of criticism
> among these forces, must be different from the relationship and criticism
> across camps. Not to distinguish between the camps, not to distinguish
> between alternative constellations of political forces, but to club them
> together on the basis of the identical nature of their presumed moral
> trespasses, is to withdraw from politics. What is striking about the
> attitude of the intellectuals arrayed against the organized Left at
> is their complete withdrawal from the realm of political praxis to a realm
> of messianic moralism.
> Such messianic moralism is not just politically counter-productive. The
> withdrawal from the realm of politics that it signifies, strengthens
> politically the camp of the "enemies of the people". (In India for
> the attack inspired by messianic moralism that has been launched on the
> organized Left at a time when the latter is in the forefront of an
> crucial but difficult struggle against the attempt of imperialism to make
> India its strategic ally, weakens that struggle, and thereby plays into
> hands of imperialism). But messianic moralism, quite apart from its
> political consequences, is smug, self-righteous, self-adulatory, and,
> all, empty. An attitude that does not distinguish between types of
> between the different episodes of violence, that condemns all violence
> equal abhorrence, that places on a footing of equality all presumed
> perpetrators of violence, amounts in fact to a condemnation of nothing. To
> say that all are equally bad is not even morally meaningful.
> This messianic moralism, this withdrawal from politics, is based
> fundamentally on a disdain of politics, of the messy world of politics,
> which is far from being peopled by angels. It constitutes therefore a
> image of the very phenomenon that it seeks to resist, namely the "cult of
> development" spawned by neo-liberalism. Manmohan Singh says: politics is
> filthy; rise above politics; detach "development" from politics. The
> anti-Left intellectuals say: politics is filthy; rise above politics;
> the struggle against "development" from politics.
> This disdain for politics, this contempt for the political process, is
> characterizes substantial sections of the middle class in India today. It
> visible in the absolute opposition of the students of elite institutions
> the legislation on reservations passed unanimously by parliament. It is
> visible in the persistent resort to the judicial process to overturn
> decisions of legislatures, and the exhortations to the judiciary to act as
> body superior to the elected representatives of the people. This middle
> class contempt for politics and politicians is apparent in the rise of
> movements like "Youth For Equality" that make no secret of it and whose
> avowed aim is to combat "affirmative action" which they consider to be the
> handiwork of "opportunist" politicians.
> The rise of messianic moralism is a part of the same trend, which is
> else but a process of "destruction of politics". Middle class moralism
> upholds causes, not programmes. It flits from cause to cause. And it
> apotheosizes the absence of systematic political alliances. Some may call
> "post-modern politics", but it amounts to a negation of politics.
> Messianic moralism always has a seductive appeal for intellectuals. To
> systematic partisanship, to stand above the messy world of politics, to
> pronounce judgements on issues from Olympian moral heights, and to be
> applauded for one's presumed "non-partisanship", gives one a sense of both
> comfort and fulfillment. This seductive appeal is heightened by the
> contemporary ambience of middle class disdain for politics which the
> phenomenon of globalization, subtly but assiduously, nurtures and
> The answer to the question with which we started, namely why have so many
> intellectuals turned against the Left with such fury, lies to a
> extent in the fact that this fury against the Left is also fed by a revolt
> against politics. The revolt against the CPI(M) is simultaneously a revolt
> against politics. The combination of anti-communism with a rejection of
> politics in general gives this revolt that added edge, that special anger.
> It is the anger of the morality of the "anti-political" against the
> of the "political", for Communism, notwithstanding its substitution of the
> "political" for the "moral", has nonetheless a moral appeal. The venom in
> the anti-Left intellectuals' attack on the Left comes from the fact that
> this struggle, of the "morality of the anti-political" against the
> of the political", takes on the character of a desperate last struggle, a
> final push to destroy the latter, since "our day has come at last!".
> Ironically it was a group of US-based academics led by Noam Chomsky who
> sought to introduce a political perspective to the anti-Left agitation of
> the intellectuals on Nandigram. It is they who pointed out that in the
> anti-imperialist struggle, which is the defining struggle of our times
> struggle around the principal contradiction), the organized Left was an
> essential component of the camp of the "people", and that nothing should
> done to disrupt the unity of the camp of the "people". But the response of
> the anti-Left intellectuals to the injection of this political perspective
> was a barrage of attacks on Chomsky et al for taking a "pro-CPI(M)"
> position. A political position ipso facto was identified as a "pro-CPI(M)"
> position. There could be no clearer proof of the proposition that the
> of the intellectuals against the Left was simultaneously a revolt against
> politics, a disdain for politics that has become so prevalent a phenomenon
> in the era of globalization that it affects as much the proponents of
> globalization as its avowed critics. In fact these critics and the
> of imperialist globalization share in this respect the same terrain of
> The hallmark of the organized Left lies precisely in the fact it rejects
> this terrain of discourse, that it accords centrality to politics, that it
> does not substitute an abstract Olympian moralism for concrete political
> mobilization. It is for this reason therefore that the Left's attitude to
> these intellectuals must be informed by politics; it cannot be a mirror
> image of their attitude to the Left.
> Prabhat Patnaik
> Professor, Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, Jawaharlal Nehru
> University, New Delhi
> Vice Chair, Planning Board, Government of Kerala.
> (2) Difficulty Of Growing Tails Again
> PRABIR PURKAYASTHA
> As the events in the last few months have shown, there has been a parting
> the ways between the Left parties, particularly the CPI(M) and various
> sections, which had earlier appeared to be a part of a larger coalition of
> forces against imperialist globalisation. While the parting of the ways
> not be surprising, given the ideological differences that existed on a
> number of issues, what has surprised many is the venom that has been
> out against the CPI(M). Otherwise, it is difficult to understand why these
> sections think it is alright to drive CPI(M) activists and sympathisers
> their land and throw them out of their homes, but not ³democratic² for
> to come back. Obviously, Nandigram and Singur are symptomatic of a much
> larger difference that existed and which has now surfaced.
> For a number of activists who are currently on the other side, the issue
> not been one of capitalist development but development itself. As one of
> these activists had put it in a discussion in which I was also a
> participant, ³why should we look at other alternatives to globalisation,
> traditional modes of production are our alternatives² (emphasis added).
> them, the ³enemy² is science, technology and development, divorced from
> class issue of who owns the means of production, which in traditional
> of production amounts to who owns the land. For them, land reform is
> therefore not on the agenda; neither is industrialisation.
> The second divergence with these forces is on the issue of the State. For
> large sections of these activists, capitalism, imperialism and development
> are all the same. Therefore, they do not see a role for the Indian State
> either promoting development or fighting against imperialist dominance
> the national economy. The post-colonial period saw the use of the Indian
> State as an instrument of development; in this view, this is of no
> consequence. Therefore, the dismantling of the infrastructure built up by
> the post-colonial State today by the protagonists of the neo-liberal order
> and the battle to keep it as public infrastructure is not their fight.
> Though some sections of these forces have tried to join with the trade
> movement in the fight against privatisation of the State Electricity
> by and large they have remained outside such battles.
> The third issue which divides the Left from such forces is the issue of
> imperialism. For a section of the anti development forces, the
> of global capital such as the World Bank have been courts of appeal
> the big bad Indian State. For others, imperialism is just capitalism and
> nation state is not only not a terrain of struggle against global capital,
> but a hindrance. There is no national dimension to the struggle against
> global capital but only one single global battle.
> Post-Colonial State
> After independence, India chose a path of development in which the State
> provided the basic infrastructure for industrial capital. Thus, the major
> infrastructural activities were all carried out by the State. Some of the
> projects, such as the river valley projects are so large that they were in
> any case outside the scope of private capital. This led to the growth of
> infrastructure services that had stagnated under the earlier colonial
> However, while the rhetoric for such projects was ³development², the State
> was really involved with capitalist development: the fruits of such
> development went largely to the capitalist class. What was worse, was
> displaced by such large projects, rarely received full compensation for
> taking over of their lands, and their traditional right to the natural
> resources they had exercised. They were thrown out on to the lowest rung
> class society as a pauperised reserve army of labour.
> In the view of some of the critics of development, as development in India
> in the last five decades has led to increasing inequality, there should be
> moratorium on development itself. Secondly, they regard big projects as
> villains of the piece and as the State is closely involved with many of
> big projects, this development is viewed as ³statist².
> The demand for a moratorium on development that such movements raise, stem
> from the belief that if big projects can be stopped, then the tribal and
> peasant communities will not lose their land and livelihood. However, the
> issue here is not one of pauperisation versus a bare subsistence economy
> the choice between the two, but how to break out of such a choice. The
> problem is that stopping big projects is not going to save the natural
> resources that such populations are using today. Forests are disappearing
> the timber mafia, in collusion with State authorities, are denuding
> ever-larger areas of existing forest cover. Peasantry is already losing
> to market forces as real estate developers take over their land and then
> convert to high value real estate. Thus, the encounter of capitalism with
> those using the forest or agricultural land as a means of subsistence is
> wider than a few large hydroelectric or industrial projects. By focusing
> such big projects, the larger encounter of capitalism with pre-capitalist
> formations is lost sight of. Industrialisation, electricity, irrigation,
> telecommunications may create growing inequalities, but their stagnation
> means freezing not only current inequalities but also absolute levels of
> poverty that are prevalent in both urban and rural India. By focussing on
> the struggle against big projects and industrialisation, a possible
> of those who are fighting the loss of their land and other resources with
> the workers who are fighting against the owners of their factories is also
> aborted. The fight for a more equitable society cannot be for remaining
> the current level of development but fighting for a more equitable order.
> This cannot be achieved by limiting the alliance to only to those who are
> fighting against capitalist inroads of pre-capitalist formations.
> The attack on Statist development has become fashionable both from certain
> sections of the ³left² and the right. Thus, both the NGO movements and the
> IMF/World Bank theorists demand a roll back of the State. The Fund/Bank
> theorists argue that the economic functions of the State be handed over to
> private capital. The NGOs¹ demand that social functions of the State be
> handed over to NGOs; in effect the attack on the State by the Bank/Fund
> lobby is complemented by the NGOs. In Latin America, the NGOs shifted the
> focus of the struggle against foreign capital to micro management at local
> levels. In a larger sense, their attack on the State without defending
> public assets that had been built by the State led to the
> of the State and made it easier for foreign capital to take over the
> national assets in Latin America.
> Freezing Development or Supporting Subsistence Economy
> To bring out the problems of freezing development, let us examine India¹s
> needs, starting from only two items: food and energy. Is there a way of
> meeting the demand of India¹s growing population and giving them minimum
> nutritional levels without increasing foodgrain production? At the moment,
> by all accounts, a large part of India¹s poor do not get enough to eat.
> self-sufficiency in food is also due to depressing peoples consumptions.
> Obviously, food production and productivity of land has to be increased in
> big way if we have to achieve true food self-sufficiency. We need to
> replenish the nutrients in the soil, put in water and improve the seeds.
> Staying where we are using traditional methods will not allow for this
> growth in productivity to take place. Is there a way of increasing food
> production without using additional energy in some form? Without
> fertilisers? Is it our objective that the Indian peasantry should remain
> this subsistence level for the future? If we want to stop the influx of
> rural poor into the cities, would we not have to consider a minimum
> of living in the villages including health, education, and easy
> To understand the energy economy, we must understand that there are two
> aspects of energy. We do not create energy: we only transform energy to a
> useful form, for example solar or coal to electricity. The other aspect is
> that while we transform energy, we also produce waste products that need
> be disposed of. The crisis today regarding energy is a two fold one: one
> how to access stored energy such as fossil fuels which are finite in
> and how to dispose waste products such as hazardous nuclear wastes and
> carbon di-oxide which is accumulating in the atmosphere creating the
> well-known greenhouse effect.
> To those advocating traditions as the alternative, it is a back to nature
> argument that is put forward. The cities and the rich are then seen as the
> villains while the ³protagonist² is the peasant or the tribal living in a
> non-monetised energy economy and supposedly in harmony with nature. His or
> her low-energy economy is juxtaposed to the high-energy economy of
> countries arguing therefore that this is the only answer to the global
> energy crisis. Obviously, it has a resonance with the advanced countries,
> which are busy arguing that while their high-energy lifestyles are not
> negotiable, the developing countries should not ape these lifestyles but
> stick to their traditional ones with maybe some marginal changes; that
> should be content with energy consumption one twentieth that of the US or
> Europe, as otherwise the global energy consumption levels are not
> If we want to increase food production and also the standard of living of
> the poor, we will need a larger amount of energy per capita then we are
> using now. It has been shown that per capita consumption of energy matches
> quite closely with per capita GDP using purchasing power parity. So
> energy levels to current ones we use per capita 1/20th the energy that
> does is also asking for freezing current levels of development. In fact,
> when the US asks India and China to put a cap on emissions of greenhouse
> gases, it is effectively asking for a cap on development also. It is not
> surprising therefore that those forces who in any case do not have
> imperialism on their radar, have no problems with dovetailing their
> on the Indian State with that of the US. For them, freezing development is
> the objective and if the US also propagates this for India, then the US is
> an ally.
> Of course, we also need to look at the model of development that produces
> inequitable development and also inequitable use of resources. However,
> if we look at equitable models of development, we will still need a much
> greater per capita consumption of energy than we have today. Any solution
> the problems of meeting food and energy needs of the people necessarily
> entails a higher level of production and a greater use of science and
> technology. It demands a different mode of production. It will bring the
> issues back to production relations and locate the development debate
> this context. We come back to the question of who owns the land, who owns
> the factories and who provides the labour for production.
> Those that propagate traditional modes of production, forget that one
> essential component of these models is the division of labour in terms of
> castes. The traditional modes of production had embedded social relations
> including the caste system. Any ³going back to our tradition² model
> including the Gandhian one, cannot break with the caste system but will
> necessarily reinforce it. It is not possible to have the land owned by one
> caste, with other castes providing the labour and not replicate the
> traditional social relationship between castes.
> The rejection of industrialisation and urbanisation has also brought out
> another distorted view of development. These forces now argue that the
> should play no role in planning land use and acquiring land, leaving this
> the ³market². The market, as is well known in neo-classical economic
> literature, fails when dealing with ³limited² resources such as land. It
> neither delivers compensation to those who do no own the land but depend
> it, nor does it provide development of public facilities so important for
> healthy development of the city. That is why world over, the State
> land use and does not leave it to the market. Those arguing for a market
> land use, are in effect on the same side as the most ardent market
> fundamentalists. Even in the US, the home of neo-liberal economics, no
> serious economist talks about urban development being left to the market.
> The parting of the ways over Nandigram/Singur with the organised Left is a
> part therefore of a much larger picture. The so-called anti-globalisation
> forces have a large section (e.g., NAPM) that identifies development
> as the enemy. Their view of development also dovetails with their belief
> the essentially ³evil nature of the State², a belief that this section
> shares with the protagonists of the neo-liberal order. A section of the
> (different sections of Maoists) joining them is not surprising, as they
> also looked upon the peasantry as the only basis of resistance and bring a
> kind of limited peasant radicalism into the equation. It is these sections
> that would reduce the global issues to one of rejecting the global order
> opting out of the system.
> Interestingly enough, the Maoists, who otherwise profess Marxism-Leninism,
> have no problems with identifying also with these sections. For them, the
> Indian State is in any case already ³comprador² and therefore its role in
> development or fighting against imperialism irrelevant. Therefore, in
> view, engaging with imperialism on issues such as WTO, Intellectual
> Rights, India-US Nuclear Deal are all only cosmetic exercises. The net
> result is the same as not recognising a category called imperialism.
> The other section that has also parted company with the Left is one whose
> constituency is primarily the ³West². In their view, global democracy is
> centred on New York, Paris and London, with periodic travels to these
> as the only means of establishing their democratic credentials. It is not
> surprising therefore that fighting against imperialism on the ground the
> India-US nuclear deal for example has drawn at best a lukewarm response.
> For most in this section, the opposition is to the US giving India such a
> good strategic deal. It is not about fighting Indian elite, which wants
> India to become a subordinate ally of US imperialism. The critical stage
> the battle over the India-US Nuclear deal and therefore against India
> becoming part of US¹s war mongering in West Asia, has not been of any
> concern to them. In this period, they have had no hesitation in joining
> hands for Left bashing with the worst elements of the Trinamool and other
> similar forces, including repeating of all the usual canards, which the
> Trinamool uses.
> The key issue is to engage with the actual imperialist agenda on the
> be it in WTO or the India-US Nuclear Deal. The slogans for quitting WTO,
> promoting traditional models of production, arguing for reduction of trade
> are attempts to work out a solution in isolation from the rest of the
> and not joining the national struggle to the larger global one. Going back
> to our traditional models of production is not an option for the future.
> problem with a back to the trees campaign as is being propagated is the
> difficulty of growing tails again. Evolution is a one-way process, true no
> less for societies as for the species.
> Prabir Purkayastha
> Vice President, Delhi Science Forum
> Co-author, Uncle Sam's Nuclear Cabin (with Ninan Koshy and M. K.
> Bhadrakumar) and Enron Blawout (with Vijay Prashad).
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