The Intellectual Bankruptcy Of The Left In India

by David Frawley - Aug 3, 2016 10:58 AM +05:30 IST
The Intellectual Bankruptcy Of The Left In IndiaIndian left-wing party activists walk with party flags as they participate in a rally in Kolkata on September 1, 2014 (DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP/Getty Images)
  • There’s a coming together of disparate Left parties in India today, born not out of a visionary inspiration for the future but out of defeat.

    As we are moving into a new century of IT, India’s Left is looking back to the last century of failed revolutions, as if their minds are stuck in a time warp.

    Fortunately, India’s Dharmic tradition is alive even today. It can lead the country and the world into a new era of science and spirituality and show the way forward.

India’s Left has not been famous for original ideas or deep thinking. It has mainly served to imitate and repeat worn-out leftist thought from Europe and China. It has failed to appreciate, much less understand, India’s profound philosophical traditions that go back thousands of years with numerous enlightened sages.

There is a new coalescence of Left parties in India today, such as we see with Congress allying itself with the Communists or Rashtriya Janata Dal, which some may regard as a resurgence, or at least persistence, of the Left. But these Left parties have always aided one another in the background, sharing a common worldview. This new coming together of the Left is happening out of defeat. It is a desperate alliance of disparate parties, not a visionary inspiration for the future.

We cannot look to the Congress and Left parties today for any new insights in the political or economic realms. Their rhetoric seldom goes beyond slogans, innuendos and insults, except to populist promises they have no intention or ability to fulfill.

The Congress Party long ago farmed out its educational wing to the Marxists to provide demeaning history books about India’s extraordinary civilisation. These read more like socialist propaganda items rather than any serious rendering of the national heritage. This leftist view of history is called “deconstructionism”, meaning, you destroy someone else’s view of history, removing culture and spirituality, leaving only your own take on politics and economics as the main factor.

Nostalgia for the Failed Revolutions of Last Century

While we are moving into a new century of information technology, with many cutting-edge developments in global communication and commerce, India’s Left is looking back to the last century of failed revolutions, as if their minds are stuck in a time warp. The Left’s icon for the youth is not Steve Jobs but Che Guevara, a nineteen-sixties violent revolutionary and cohort of Fidel Castro, whose Cuba went nowhere except into greater poverty.

The Left’s youth leaders are would-be new Che Guevaras, with a streak of Osama Bin Laden thrown in as Islamist sympathisers. They go to universities not for education but to organise students against the government. Instead of motivating a new high-tech generation towards a potential dawning prosperity, such student agitators encourage separatism and denigration of India’s culture, and don’t seem to have economic or scientific skills in any field.

The Left continues to follow its old agenda of class and caste warfare to divide the country and keep the masses afraid, insecure and mistrustful of one another. Repeating old attitudes, they criticise the rich as dangerous, though Left and Congress leaders belong to the wealthy elite of the country. The Left continues to claim that it wants to protect the poor, but so far has only succeeded at protecting poverty.

Against National Advancement

Left leaders have no positive national agenda, ignoring the fact that the country can only go forward as a whole, not while split into hostile camps. They don’t believe in a comprehensive national development, but encourage each social group to pursue its own interests as if they were not part of the nation.

Left leaders treat economic advancement in the country with suspicion, hoping that the country will be unable to progress. They would rather see India fail than succeed under the stewardship of their opponents. They consider a failed India to be a better target for their self-serving agendas, rather than a successful country confident of its national identity. The Left is only concerned with lowering the image of India on the world stage, not promoting any new productive foreign policy or joining the world economy, as the Narendra Modi government is so effectively doing.

The Left approach to global terrorism is to downplay and excuse it, blaming it on India and Hindus rather than on anything Islamic. They have no insights on how to combat terrorism, but are only interested in using it for political gain with minority vote banks, as if terrorists were the victims. In their view of the world, terrorists are often freedom fighters, even if their aim is to break India or destroy Europe. They treat India’s military as the enemy rather than as the protectors of the country.

No Vision of Innovation or Progress

The Left has little by way of new ideas with respect to economic development or technological innovation, no new plans to improve how the country operates and raise the standard of living. It has no new agenda to develop the country’s infrastructure or improve its education system.

The Left is mainly an obstructionist force in Parliament, not proposing but blocking legislation. It is not concerned with good governance but, rather, with bringing governments down.

The numerous Left-oriented state and national governments that have been formed in India over the decades, with their endless committees and regulations, have never succeeded in their projects to raise the poor and backward classes from their condition – though the bureaucracy flourished and became the new aristocracy. Look at what the Left has done to Kerala and West Bengal, or Uttar Pradesh today, where Left parties are claiming to deserve to come back into power.

Meanwhile, the Left-dominant media is more respectful in its communication with Pakistani leaders than it is with leaders of their own elected government, who they treat almost as criminals or pariahs. Having failed at the polls, the Left is trying to use the media to keep itself visible on the national scene. It is trying to create outrage against the government on cultural issues, as the development aspect does not favour them – anything to confuse the voter from recognising India’s progress over the last two years, compared to the incompetence of the previous Congress administration.

Moral Bankruptcy

Not only intellectually bankrupt, the Left seems to be morally bankrupt too, as it recycles Lalu Prasad Yadav, ignores the massive scandals of the last United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, defends Naxalites, and has more sympathy for Jihadi terrorists than for young entrepreneurs in India.

Fortunately, India has a tradition of seers and yogis spreading their light of knowledge and wisdom across the ages, and does not need to imitate superficial political ideologies from the West. This tradition of Dharmic visionaries is still alive, and needs to be honoured and followed once more.

India’s contribution to world thought is vast, but very little of it is from the Left. That mind of India can lead the country and the world into a new era of science and spirituality, but needs to be awakened in the new generation that has aspirations for a positive future. That inner light of eternal India shows the way forward for the country, not the shadows of leftist political aggression.

David Frawley is an American Hindu teacher and author. He has written more than 30 books on the Vedas, Hinduism, Yoga, Ayurveda and Vedic astrology.

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