An essay tracing the near-comprehensive trajectory of the consequences of the Congress-Communist cosy relationship
I have always had a healthy distaste for and maintained respectable distance from tracking political developments on a day-to-day or regular basis. At a very fundamental level, this obsession with political “analyses” etc clouds and even distorts one’s understanding and perception of civilization, which I regard as a value in itself. Our ancient political thinkers didn’t randomly make politics subservient to civilization and culture—it was the result of deep, sustained philosophical reflection on the nature of things and the nature of fundamental human impulses itself.
But most importantly, our ancients set real and workable limits to the boundaries of politics by prescribing a restraint known as Dharma. However, it can be argued that democracy as it has evolved over the centuries up to the present time has ensured that politics has indeed become all-pervasive to the extent that it continues to be one of the most dominant features in our lives without our own conscious knowledge.
This is extremely unhealthy to put it mildly. And it’s also exactly what philosopher-statesmen like the legendary D V Gundappa had clairvoyantly realized, proclaimed, and warned against on numerous occasions: that the Western style of democracy must be adopted in India with great caution because this land and its people took inspiration, ideal and lifestyle from the heartbeat of a far profounder sort. But DVG’s words were largely unheeded by the powers that be. Yet again, such voices of wisdom, moderation, reason and balance were lost like plaintive cries in the forest.
One glance at the state of Western democracies today and the honest person will correctly conclude that they are broken beyond repair. Hate Trump if you must—and for the right reasons—but don’t ignore the political system that has reached such a point that he actually won the top spot. Or the even worse alternative, a political system that would have made Hillary Clinton the president. The condition of Europe is far worse to say the least.
Or look at it another way. In a democracy which is essentially a game of numbers, it is only a matter of time before the system morphs into a sickening and dangerous race to the bottom. Argument, disagreement, debate, and that new weasel word, “dissent”—all of these will last until the said race begins. What “debate” can you have with someone like Pinarayi Vijayan? And how can you “dissent” with someone like Mamta Banerjee?
And folks like Pinarayi, Mamta, Mayawati, Karunanidhi, Jayalalithaa…are merely creations, the embodiments of the original evil strain that mutated horribly out of control.
Which in itself is the vilest combination and incarnation of the worst elements of both the Abrahamic cults. The specific details apart, Communism is as life-negating as Islam and Christianity. It needs to be repeated: the three have wiped out entire civilizations and cultures on an industrial scale across the globe. Repeatedly.
It doesn’t matter what it is called: socialism, Marxism, communism, collectivism, Left, Far-Left, Extreme Left…these are merely external labels that really don’t mean anything concrete, positive or life-affirming. At best, a discussion of these terminologies is meaningless hair-splitting.
And the Vedantic genius lies precisely in piercing this external veil of surface intellectualism and placing one’s finger on the pulse of what animates and propels these “isms.” Unless we rediscover and recover this original Indian felicity, we’ll continue to be akin to a dog chasing its own tail. Never forget: Sanatana Dharma is the last man standing.
It is for this reason that I mentioned earlier that an unhealthy obsession with political and ideological developments on the part of the proverbial common man will alter and distort matters of civilization and make his daily life purposeless, joyless and vacuous.
We cannot have an enduring political system in India by sacrificing the civilisation of Bharatavarsha. If you try doing that, you’ll end up destroying both—this has been the lived experience of the last seventy years. There’s just no other way of saying this so I’ll say it candidly: even in the realm of well-meaning and sincere Hindu activism, what is being actually sought is for retrieving some valuable scraps buried underneath the expansive wreckage of Sanatana civilization and culture. Or in the memorable words of that fine contemplative writer and scholar, Aravindan Neelakandan, for the last seventy years, “the Indian state has been waging war against the Hindu nation.” It’s worth quoting Aravindan at some length simply it makes my job easy, of setting the context:
The consequences are all too visible.
To put it bluntly, the last six years have witnessed the Nehruvian Indian National Congress party shed its clothes one by one and stand naked as the political face of Breaking India forces.
This essay narrates the story of how it happened.
Consider the person who supposedly heads the Congress party today. Don’t lie. The very thought of mentioning the name of that person made you laugh involuntarily. Now consider—nay, imagine even the notion of this person occupying the chair of the Prime Minister of India. Now consider a very real probability: whether this person is actually fully in control of the Congress. Or whether he has become a mere puppet in the hands of his various handlers.
Two random news reports are a good place to begin.
The first is the big revelation that erupted sometime last year: the exposure of senior Congress leader and lapsed mentor of Rahul Gandhi, Digvijaya Singh’s alleged links with the breaking India group, Elgar Parishad. Digvijaya Singh also happens to be the former Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh. Let that sink in.
The second occurred during the same period when Rahul Gandhi met the ultra-fanatical veteran Maoist and advocate of armed war against the Indian state, Gummadi Vittal Rao or Gaddar. This is what transpired:
And this is barely scratching the surface. When even a new entrant like the TRS has to spurn the Congress thereby pushing Rahul Gandhi into the arms of someone like Gaddar, it shows just how close to extinction the Congress party has come. Even a Kanhaiya Kumar wants to contest the 2019 elections on a CPI ticket. Equally, there’s not a single intellectual or thinker of any serious talent or depth in the party. The best it can boast of is Shashi Tharoor, who seems to be permanently stuck in a time warp, treating politics akin to the debating halls and podiums of the St. Stephens elocution society. Think about it: today, there’s not a single person of any consequence in the Congress who knows Indian history, our native culture, epics, traditions, heroes, and even the names of our Deities.
The gist of a long story is just this: after losing nearly thirty elections under Rahul Gandhi’s “leadership,” the Congress is no longer fighting for political relevance, it’s fighting for survival while its ideological battles are being fought by Communists. It doesn’t matter what you call them: urban Naxals, Naxals, Maoists, liberals, left-liberals, and not to forget, the global nexus of the breaking India forces.
This combined cabal has taken over the Congress party. And their coveted and ultimate prize is not the Congress party but Bharatavarsha.
That was Nayantara Sahgal writing in the Sunday Standard in 1969 about her cousin Indira Gandhi who had just split the Indian National Congress. On her part, Indira Gandhi retaliated in a breathtaking display of pettiness by barring Nayantara Sahgal and her mother, Vijayalakshmi Pandit, entry into Anand Bhavan, her Maika.
Forty-five years later, the same Nayantara Sahgal would issue a similar statement against incumbent Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the eve of the Congress-sponsored charade called Award Wapsi.
..[as a result of the split, the Congress] party…degenerated into an unaudited company for winning elections. [It became] a simple mechanism for collecting funds, distributing “tickets” or nominations for seats, conducting campaigns.
That was Sunil Khilnani, author of the mischievous tome titled, Idea of India, and a prominent worshipper of Amartya Sen. Needless, the numerous assaults of the legislature that occurred during the disastrous two-term UPA rule have been committed under the cloak and flag of the selfsame “idea of India,” (or IOI as fine bloggers like Reality Check India have aptly castigated it). The daggers have been the deadly socialist nuclear bombs like RTE, Food Security Bill, MNREGA, and similar communist experiments of social engineering that became law.
But the roots of the Congress party’s aforementioned takeover by the breaking India forces lie—as always—in the person of Jawaharlal Nehru.
But while Nehru merely drenched himself in the poison of communism, Indira Gandhi actually swam in its treacherous waters, befriending the toxic sharks. For a good reason. Indeed, during her formative years, the extent of her fascination and fondness for the Far Left, left even her father stunned.
Indira was only warming to her main theme. She reminded Nehru of how right-wing Finnish forces led by Baron Mannerheim had…slaughtered 15,000 communists. ‘This is the democracy…world imperialism is aiding.’ …. [Harold] Laski and Nehru’s other admirers in London had misjudged Indira. She was more than a pale reflection of her father. In this letter, she takes a position considerably to the left of Nehru…
But just how sophisticated…Indira’s left-wing, communist-leaning sympathies were is unclear. She was greatly influenced by Feroze [Gandhi} and his radical friends in London, many of whom were communists. The intelligentsia’s disaffection with…Stalin had certainly begun in 1939, but it was not shared by all those on the left. Indira, like many in the India League circle, still looked to the Soviet Union, even in the wake of Stalin’s show trials and the Nazi-Soviet pact…Stalin’s Soviet Union seemed the only alternative. A good many fellow-travellers and sympathisers remained loyal to the USSR, and ‘the prestige – and the gullibility – of Western intellectuals were considerable assets to Stalin.’ [Indira—The Life of Indira Nehru Gandhi: Katherine Frank, pp.154-55. Emphasis added.]
Indira Gandhi wrote that letter in 1940.
Two events might be considered as significant turning points in the post-1947 history of the Congress party.
The first was the vile Avadi session of 1955, which definitively altered the face, and permanently changed the course of the Congress party towards softcore Communism alias socialism. This was preceded by the Congress party’s manifesto of the 1952 elections, which read:
It is not possible to pursue a policy of laissez-faire in industry…. It is incompatible with any planning. It has long been Congress policy that basic industries should be owned or controlled by the state. This policy holds and must be progressively given effect to. State trading should be undertaken wherever the balance of advantage lies in favour of such a course. A large field for private enterprise is, however, left over…But the private sector must accept the objective of the National Plan and fit into it. [Emphasis added]
Indeed, Nehru was able to get away with this brazen manifesto precisely because Sardar Patel had been dead by then. It is this heedless and disastrous socialist tilt that made the venerable JRD Tata remark that “Jawahar was foolish.”
A former communist, Philip Spratt correctly diagnosed the long-term dangers that the Avadi Congress resolution posed for India.
Nehru’s Communism is revealed in the extraordinary favour he shows to the Communist Party….He allows the Russian Government, and apparently the Chinese too, to subsidise them. It has been admitted in Parliament that the Home Department knows about some of these foreign funds. No other ruler in the world tolerates this kind of thing. Why does Nehru? … Ten years ago (1953) the Congress Party was by no means socialistic. When the resolution on the socialistic patter was passed at Avadi, an important Congressman compared it to Akbar’s Din Ilahi. Socialism, he said is Nehru’s personal fad, which will quickly be forgotten when he passes from the scene. It seemed a shrewd judgment at the time, but it overlooked the attraction of socialism for a ruling party of hungry careerists. The experience of socialism in the nine years since then has won many Congressmen over. [Genesis and Growth of Nehruism: Foreword: Sitaram Goel. Emphasis added.]
Spratt concludes with great foresight:
The purpose [in the aftermath of Nehru’s death] is to arrange the succession to Nehru in such a way that the pro-Communists retain control. The dispute over this question is of the greatest importance for India’s future…It is really whether India shall continue to be ruled by a Government of usurpers, who will go on pushing the country against its will towards Communism. [Ibid. Emphasis added.]
Unfortunately, the latter occurred under the direct patronage of Nehru’s daughter, Indira Gandhi.
The second milestone was the well-known and notorious 1969 spilt of the Congress party. Indira Gandhi continued to retain her iron-like grip both on the Government and the party but packed most if not all institutions with Communists.
It was Indira Gandhi who inaugurated the now-commonplace, disgusting culture of public servility: of people her father’s age prostrating before her, falling headlong at her feet. The example of the “freedom fighter,” Radha Raman comes to mind. He was appointed the Delhi Congress chief for this public service of prostrating.
In a more fundamental sense, as Dr. S L Bhyrappa remarks, Indira Gandhi, in one stroke, extinguished the innate moral sense of the Indian people. It is implausible that an oily “slogan” like “Indira is India” could ever be conceived without erasing this unenforceable, moral line.
While the story of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s toxic deal with the Communists is well-known—gifting them the evil JNU is perhaps the most visible facet of this deal—it had a far more extensive backdrop.
In the form of the Dushta-Traya or the Communist Troika in her closest circle.
The members included P N Haksar, D P Dhar, and I K Gujral, all committed Communists. In hindsight, it appears that they vied with one another in the vile project of communizing India. Among others, it was they who advised her to split the party and at every stage pushed her closer and closer to the USSR acting not merely as its agents but as its enablers.
If you add Mohan Kumaramangalam’s name, the Troika becomes a Dushta Chatushtaya (Evil Quartet).
The more we read history, it becomes clearer that there must be a special place in hell reserved for the London School of Economics under the hegemony of Harold Laski, a guru of sorts to Jawaharlal Nehru and that other reprobate V. K. Krishna Menon, and every vile communist of the era. Speaking of Harold Laski, the inimitable George Orwell says that his writing is not only
Among other disciples that Krishna Menon indoctrinated into radical communism, here are the most prominent ones: Feroze Gandhi, P N Haksar, Mohan Kumaramangalam, Nikhil Chakravarthy, and Mulk Raj Anand. We all know what they eventually became. Here’s a whiff of the kind of things that transpired under their watch:
…in…1971, the twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth amendments to the constitution were passed. These empowered the government to alter the fundamental rights…and to protect such changes from judicial review.
Indira’s programme of constitutional change was officially defended by Mohan Kumaramangalam – an old Marxist friend of Feroze Gandhi and P N Haksar…Kumaramangalam had left the [CPI] to join Congress…and she appointed him Minister of Steel and Heavy Engineering. He soon became one of her key strategists and the vocal spokesman for a leftist group within Congress called the Congress Forum for Socialist Action. A primary aim of the Forum was to alter the Indian constitution ‘so that the relationship between Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of State Policy was reversed, and the larger social good placed above the good of the individual…[because] there was no reason why individual rights should be considered more fundamental than society’s rights. Kumaramangalam also called for a ‘committed judiciary’ just as Haksar defended the idea of ‘a committed bureaucracy.’ ’ [Indira—The Life of Indira Nehru Gandhi: Katherine Frank, pp. 328-9. Emphasis added.]
The implications are as clear as they’re direct. One, Kumaramangalam minces no words in expressing his intent to turn India into a Communist totalitarian state. Two, and ironically, the “committed judiciary” and “committed bureaucracy” that Indira Gandhi couldn’t fully realize in her own lifetime when she wielded hegemonic power, has been achieved by her daughter-in-law who has been out of power for over four years.
In a sense, between 1969-75, both Indira Gandhi and the Communists ruthlessly, cynically used each other. Both had realized one thing with great clarity: their mutual terms of engagement. The Communists knew that they could bend Indira Gandhi to their will. But only so far. She knew she could harass and suppress them whenever she willed. But only so far.
On their part, the Communists flooded the educational and cultural institutions and virtually auctioned themselves at every KGB/Russian outpost operating in New Delhi. It is this shameless spectacle that would later be revealed in the Mitrokhin Archives of how “it seemed that the entire country was up for sale,” and that Moscow had about “40 MPs in the Indian Parliament on its payroll.” This was also the period when the Communist Party of USSR was rampantly and easily buying out editors and journalists—who sold themselves for dirt-cheap rates—and planting stories in their favour. According to one account, the USSR was able to plant over 5500 pro-Communist propaganda in Indian newspapers in a single year!
And on her part, Indira Gandhi was busy sacking powerful Congress Chief Ministers, marginalizing disobedient regional satraps, hounding anti-Congress outfits and destroying democratic institutions.
But two events marked a decisive turn in their Mephistophelian arrangement.
The first was her merciless crackdown against Naxals: West Bengal is the most representative of this. Especially, the violent action against the Communists unleashed by her childhood friend and West Bengal Chief Minister Siddharth Shankar Ray. In a well-planned, swift and brutal operation, Ray rounded up the Naxals and their prominent supporters in the CPM, and in an astonishingly short period, crushed the rebellion ruthlessly. According to some estimates more than a thousand CPM members were killed. Even today, tales of police brutality during that action are legion. The rebellion was crushed but it simultaneously ensured that the Congress lost the state forever.
And then Indira Gandhi began to realize, perhaps a little too late, how foolish and suicidal her deal with the Communists was. They were feeding off her to build their own political base.
Which paved the way for the second event: imposition of the Emergency. On the surface of it, while the ostensible reason was that Allahabad High Court verdict that set aside Mrs. Gandhi’s election, there are enough grounds to believe that this was also a reaction of panic on her part. The Communists had manipulated her with aplomb. As always, the Rishi Sita Ram Goel comes to our aid.
Mrs. Indira Gandhi…had no ideology except unbridled power for herself and her family. So she was prone to use and be used by those who could support her single-minded pursuit. By the time she split the Congress Party in 1969, the communist mafia had perfected the Kumaramangalam plan of supporting her as the rope supports the hanged man. And she walked into the trap, prompted by the apparatus she had inherited from her father.
She surrounded herself with Moscow’s men and women, recruited directly from the Communist Party of India and its fronts. The “progressive” flock from all over the country rushed to her “rescue” in her confrontation with patriots of long standing in her own party. They helped her to the hilt in retaining power…
In the next few years, the “progressive” flock multiplied fast and several fold…Moscow’s hatchet men, notably P.N. Haksar, [her] Principal Private Secretary, had a field day…
The Emergency that followed in June 1975 was by no means an ad hoc idea accepted for meeting an abrupt situation. The idea of imposing an authoritarian regime on the country had been maturing for a long time in the minds of the communist mafia that Pandit Nehru had promoted…The seeds sown by Pandit Nehru were bearing fruits. All those who stood up against Mrs. Indira Gandhi’s guiles and greed were denounced as agents of the CIA. The “progressive” flock was once again in the forefront of the “fight against forces of fascism.” And by the time Mrs. Indira Gandhi realized what was happening, much mischief had been done. [Genesis and Growth of Nehruism: Volume I: Sitaram Goel pp. xi-xii. Emphasis added]
The Emergency blew the lid off many aspects in more ways than one. For one, the CPI under instructions from Moscow, “warmly endorsed the Emergency.” [Indira—The Life of Indira Nehru Gandhi: Katherine Frank, p. 382]. Indira Gandhi had assumed supreme powers but she was also isolated like never before—politically and personally. Sensing her vulnerability, CPI heads like S.A. Dange, Rajeshwar Rao, Bhupesh Gupta, and N.K. Krishnan tried numerous maneuvers to ensnare her furhter but she proved smarter. However, the CPI achieved a big success in Kerala where vast sections of the Congress readily jumped into bed with it.
But the greatest hurdle to the CPI was her own son, Sanjay Gandhi whose Emergency crimes are well-known to bear repetition. But he also did something else. He gave a recorded interview to Uma Vasudev of a rather bizarrely-titled magazine, Surge.
Of the CPI – which had given the government crucial support during the early months of the Emergency – Sanjay said, ‘I don’t think you’d find a richer or more corrupt people anywhere.’ [Indira—The Life of Indira Nehru Gandhi: Katherine Frank, p. 393.]
That interview, wrote Indira Gandhi in a handwritten note,
“struck me like a sledgehammer. At a most crucial and delicate time, we have not only greviously hurt…[the CPI] who have helped us and are now supporting us within the country, [but also] created problems with the entire Socialist Bloc….How do we inform the USSR?” ’ [Indira—The Life of Indira Nehru Gandhi: Katherine Frank, p. 394]
Perhaps this is the plainest confession from this “Durga Ma” and “Iron Lady” of the extent to which she was in the thrall of the Communists. She vowed to remedy it. She had generously nurtured them and they had outsmarted and backstabbed her on more than one occasion.
Almost immediately after her Second Coming in 1980, she went after them with open hostility. She dismissed the Kerala CPI government in 1981 and began targetting Tripura and Bengal with such aggression that it sent shivers down their rank and file. In fact, the 1980-4 years spelled the most trouble for the Communists.
Indira Gandhi died in 1984 but Frankensteinesque parasite that she created has not only outlived her but has skllfully mutated ever since, eating into the very innards of the Indian state and chopping off its civilizational roots decade after agonizing decade.
Indira Gandhi could be ruthless and she had the numbers, guts, and her practiced brazenness to do so. The same skill was displayed by the late Christian Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Y S Rajashekhara Reddy. Both met gory ends.
But what temporarily halted the march of this deadly Frankenstein was the extraordinary Hindu resurgence that began in the late 1980s and dominated most of the next decade. It was a true game changer but—and one says this with regret—as always, the Hindu leadership (for what it’s worth) was content with Idli and Poha instead of the full meal. It is also a profound tragedy that not one work has emerged from the so-called Hindu side that captures the enormous civilizational achievement it attained in this truly historic decade. And so, to turn to Sita Ram Goel again:
The regimes that followed the Emergency did nothing to free the establishment from the stranglehold of the communist mafia…[which] have continued to…man many other prestigious institutions…
And what is much worse, nobody seems to care as to how and by whom this communist mafia is being financed and used after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and whether it has been hired by the oil-rich Islamic imperialism…
Had the Indian establishment purged itself of the poison that is Nehruism, this lapse of memory vis-à-vis the communist mafia would not have been possible. [Ibid]
That was written in 1993. One and a half generations have passed. And more than four years since Narendra Modi took office. But it is the said mafia that remains in power where it really matters: in the psyche, which in turn gets reflected in movies, music, books, and behaviour.
The Hindu resurgence of the 1990s delivered a tight slap and a great lesson to the said communist mafia: the sheer impossibility of an electoral victory no matter how hard they tried. And they learned the lesson and how! One big learning was the fact that vast and influential sections of the so-called Hindu side—be it the ideologues or active politicians—were hungry for acceptance and praise from the perfumed circuit of Lutyens. And even worse, they were susceptible to flattery. This among other reasons is why the BJP was unceremoniously ejected from power in 2004.
And when the hungry careerists returned this time, they did so with a sort of determination, long-term planning, and focus that was truly unprecedented. And scary.
One of the first things they did was to repeal the highly-effective anti-terrorism law, POTA. What followed almost immediately was a spate of Pakistan-sponsored terror attacks against India with seeming impunity and frequency. Followed by the mother of all: 26/11.
The response? Sacking a highly-dispensable Home Minister named Shivraj Patil. Which other country allows this sort of thing to occur?
The NAC, an extra-constitutional collegium of extremist NGOs more powerful than the PM himself virtually began running the country. In fact, a well-researched volume is waiting to be written unearthing the full record of the members of the NAC. In hindsight, and especially after some damning revelations that have emerged since 2014, a valid question needs to be asked: between 2004-14, did Sonia Gandhi control the NAC or was it the other way round?
To answer Sita Ram Goel’s question, the communist mafia in its new incarnation was now funded by every breaking India force in every continent and country that could afford to fund it. From the Middle East to Scandinavia to the UK to the US; from wealthy oligarchs to Churches of every denomination.
The two-term Congress-led UPA Government was able to inflict this colossal damage on the country with relative ease for another simple reason. The framework had already been primed decades earlier by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s generous patronage. And when they recaptured power in 2004, it was simply a matter of settling in and rigging the institutions wholesale. Almost irreversibly.
The rigging continues to deliver splendid dividends, something that Prime Minister Modi with an absolute majority Government has been learning the hard way. This is what I meant when I said that Sonia and Rahul Gandhi have achieved in defeat what an Indira Gandhi in power couldn’t achieve: a committed bureaucracy and an even more committed judiciary.
But there’s another important reason why the breaking India forces that now control Rahul Gandhi continue to stay invested in him—and in whatever is left of the Congress party. The sheer amount of time that this party has been in power, the loyalty that the institutions still retain towards it, and the unparalleled global network that it enjoys is simply unbeatable by any other political formation in India, least of all the BJP.
And unless the BJP—or at any rate, folks who care about India as a civilization—recognizes this lethal, breaking-India force that the Congress has become, there won’t be a “next time” after 2024. While Narendra Modi supporters, the BJP, and Hindus in general may still rejoice at the 2014 and 2019 victories, it is a mere blot, a temporary setback in the eyes of said breaking India forces.
Think about it. They have now directly recruited the chief of the Congress party by actually employing their resources to work towards his victory; and if not a victory, at least dashing Narendra Modi’s chances of reelection.
Their goals are civilizational and therefore multi-generational. It is up to Hindus to decide what their goals should be.
|| Om Tat Sat ||