I had always held and now repeatedly reiterate that the communists, especially the members and leaders of the Communist Parties and their bandwagoners, have of late reduced themselves to becoming the intellectual henchmen of the Congress. They were the ones to weave a Nehruvian mythic India – an India which was full of sound and fury signifying practically nothing!
It was the conjuring up of such a mythic setting which, in the late 1960s and 1970s, allowed them to consolidate their academic base, to infiltrate various socio-political organisations, strike roots and then begin to wield a political influence which was far disproportionate to their actual political strength.
By metamorphosing themselves into raucous intellectual henchmen of the Congress the communists hope to be able to continue receiving patronage and academic doles and to continue with their habit of propping up a Nehruvian idea of India – which in reality has turned out to be a mirage or a garrulously coloured drama prop consisting of card and ply-boards precariously held together by puny nails and screws! It is another matter altogether that in one of his rare balanced moments, the Communist poster boy for eternity, Jawaharlal Nehru, had this to say about the Communist Party and its adherents:
The role of the Communist Party of India…had made all nationalist India its [opponent]. Opposition to the Indian Communists [is] not merely political. The whole nation [is] angry with them. When lakhs of [Indians] staked their all for the country’s cause…The Communists were in the opposite camp which cannot be forgotten…
In another of his rare moments of discern and pause, Nehru had almost caught the essence of the comrades when he confessed, during a press conference in London on 12 November 949, that he thought “the Communist Party in India is the stupidest there has ever been anywhere.”
Ironically it was this lot which kept alive and perpetuated the Nehruvian formula, which said, as the late Sita Ram Goel, famously described, ‘that Hindus should stand accused in every situation, no matter who is the real culprit.”
Of late these comrades, who have lived off the State for decades now, see this formula gradually losing its validity and beginning to dilute, especially with the advent of one of the most vocal and popular proponent for the dismantling of the Nehruvian consensus in India, on the national political scene. They have become rabid in their intellectual – or whatever little is left of it – assault on Narendra Modi and are trying to go all out in trying to prevent his ascendancy to the office of Prime Minister. It suits well their political patrons, the Congress, to allow such a mongrel-like display of caninity to go unchecked!
In a brazen display of this intellectual henchmanship the comrades have taken up cudgels on behalf of their political and academic morsel-feeders and have been trying, ad nauseam, to show how Sardar Patel considered the Hindus, proponent of Hindu rights and the RSS as a great threat to India. They twist facts, reveal half truths and take recourse to intellectual perfidy to push through their half-baked analysis and reading. The truth, however, if investigated, almost always reveals the opposite.
In fact, because of their desperation to blanket their own betrayals and conspiracies the comrades try and reverse their positions and absolve themselves of any crime. If one were to look at the early days of India’s independence the magnitude of the communists’ attack on the Indian state hits one on the face. It was a phase when the comrades, in order to impose their failed utopia on the Indian masses, had declared war on the newly formed Indian Government of which Sardar Patel was the actual pilot and captain.
Instead of gleefully rejoicing on Patel’s comments and views on the RSS the comrades may do well to turn the searchlight on themselves and to acknowledge the severe challenge they threw towards Patel who practically sacrificed himself in trying to preserve and cement India’s unity.
Patel had warned the communists ‘that if they continued to oppose the Government and create danger they would be dealt with.” The comrades had obviously their pet epithet reserved for Patel dubbing him a reactionary and friend of landholders and capitalists. Patel, conscious of this name-calling gave them a public reply while addressing a mammoth meeting in Calcutta, in early January 1948:
I have been blamed that I am a friend of Rajas, capitalists and zamindars, but I claim to be a friend of Labour and the poor as well. Since I have followed Gandhiji, I have resolved not to own any property and I have none. But like Gandhiji I want to make the capitalists also understand which way their true duty lies. I cannot succumb to the prevalent fashion to pose as leaders do or to attempt to gain leadership by abusing Princes, capitalists etc., without rhyme or reason.
Patel dissuaded the gathered crowd from participating in a communist sponsored strike the next day and the entire attempt fizzled out.
It is interesting to note and to remind ourselves that heaping calumny on Patel, the communists even accused him of conspiring to assassinate the Mahatma. One of their leading lights, Comrade PS – P.Sundarayya, publicly accused the Sardar of complicity in the Mahatma’s killing and of his being hands in glove, surprisingly, with the RSS, and of perpetuating “fascist rule in India.” Such public utterances along with the communist cadres attacking RSS volunteers spread unrest in the Vijayawada area. Here is the report of that meeting by one of the leading dailies of the period, the Madras Mail:
Bezwada, 31 January 1948 – …Mr. P.Sundarayya, a Communist leader, addressing a public meeting here, said that the Hindu Mahasabha, RSS and Sardar Patel planned to kill the Mahatma with a view to perpetuating fascist rule in India. This allegation caused bitterness in a vast section of the people.
About 8,000 RSS volunteers from all over Andhra assembled in the town to have rally, which was, however cancelled due to Gandhiji’s death.
The Communist propaganda aggravated the situation and a clash broke out when a car carrying RSS volunteers was attacked, injuring some of them… (1February, 1948)
A hurt Sardar sent a copy of the clipping along with another letter to the editor of the Statesman calling for his resignation in wake of the Mahatma’s assassination, to Nehru attaching the following letter:
My Dear Jawaharlal,
I enclose herewith two Press cuttings, one from the Statesman of today and another from a well-known Communist whose speech is reported in the Madras Mail. Of course they do not know that my resignation is already there. I had written again to Bapu when I left Bombay on the last occasion but his unexpected death has left the matter in the air…. (3 February, 1948)
Thus, those very people who today discuss the Sardar and praise his actions, are those whose political ancestors had intemperately opposed him and had used their choicest expletives to mar his public image.
The Sardar, discerning and grounded as he was, had very early understood the nefarious and anti-national designs of the comrades. But he always exuded a genuine faith in the capacity of the Indian system and of the people to withstand and to eventually decimate the communist challenge. In an interview to a foreign correspondent on 2 October 1948, the Sardar, in his inimitable manner, had spoken of his perceptions of communism in India. It is indeed instructive to read the interview a good six decades after it was given and to realise the menace that the communists had posed and also understand how conscious Sardar was of their inflated notions and capabilities.
It is an interview which is bound to continue to raise the hackles of the fast depleting tribe of comrades. It is forgotten now, or conveniently kept under wraps, that the comrades had collaborated with the Nizam’s Razakar militia – the militia which was responsible for letting loose a reign of terror on the Hindus of Hyderabad – in trying to prevent the State’s accession to India.
On being asked to assess Communism’s strength in India and what the Government of India was doing about it, Patel stoically replied;
The strength of Communism is not so much in India… During the War, Communists supported [alien] Government and it helped them. They built up their strength with the help of the [British] Government. Since our release [July 1945] and holding the reins of Government, they have received a set-back. The Razakars [in Hyderabad supported by the Nizam] gave them some arms, but I do not think they will be able to do much with them. They will not be able to stand long. We are capable of handling them there… Their object has been to create dislocation and disruption. We cannot allow the breakdown of Government or organised machinery by force or coercion.
He was of course categorical on their future in Indian politics and proved prescient:
I do not think Communism has much chance in India. The reason is they did not help the Struggle for Freedom but took advantage of it to consolidate themselves. They have thus created a considerable resentment against them. The general tendency [in India] is against any foreign element in the body-politic of India.”
A few days later, in his fortnightly letter to the premiers of Indian provinces, Patel while discussing “global matters”, expressed his grave concern with the communist threat in Asia;
In East Asia, our main problem is still the developing Communist menace in Burma. Despite the heroic resistance and even offensive on the part of Government forces, the insurgents still command a hold over a number of provinces. The economic life of the country has been thrown completely out of gear. The administration is on the verge of a breakdown and conditions of transport and communications are chaotic. …. Indeed, the only bastions of security and law and order are India and Japan…
It was largely due to Patel’s timely actions that the comrades’ menace in newly independent India could be finally checked and obliterated. Even the comrades’ supreme deity, Joseph Stalin, had, it is said, frowned on them for a while when he flatly told a delegation of starry-eyed Indian comrades from the Communist Party of India in 1950 that “his country could have done without it [CPI] and the CPI should have looked after itself”!
As I have pointed out above, the communists did not hesitate to join hands with the rabidly communal, anti-India and anti-Hindu Razakar militia of the erstwhile State of Hyderabad . It is a phase in history which their intelligentsia or political columnists prefer to gloss over. But it requires reiteration simply to keep reminding them of their murderously communal past. K.M.Munshi, then India’s Agent-General in Hyderabad and one Sardar’s chief lieutenants in the entire operation had this to say about the entire phase, in his masterly reminiscences of the Hyderabad episode, End of an Era:
In May 1948] “…The Communist Party of Hyderabad issued a pamphlet reversing their earlier policy. The accession of Hyderabad to the Union and responsible Government in the State were denounced on the ground that the Government of India was a capitalist government. To maintain a show of consistency, it was suggested that before real freedom was achieved, feudalism had also to be liquidated. The reports indicated that not only was there some understanding between the Nizam’s Government and the Communists, but explosives were in process of being supplied to the Razakars by the Communists from West Bengal. … According to their new propaganda line the accession of the Indian States to the Union was a gross anti-democratic act calculated to crush the revolutionary consciousness and the democratic movement of the people. If the Indian Armies marched into Hyderabad, it would be to crush the people’s movement. They exhorted their workers to resist the movement of the troops wherever the people’s Government – that is, their little Soviets holding the villages by terror, murder and arson – was established.
Munshi also mentioned how Ravi Narayan Reddy, a “leading Communist” submitted a report to his own party in 1950 in which he “claimed that over 3,000 persons had been murdered and 3,800 dacoities committed in the two or three preceding years.” The activities of the Communists and Razakars combined imposed a heavy burden on the state and people, as Munshi described it:
The activities of the Communists and the Razakars between March and September also imposed a heavy burden on the people, through forcible collection of subscriptions; burning of villages and village records; looting of property; murder of suspects, hostiles and village officers; attack on police, home-guards and officers and men, and the destruction of police stations by the Communists and the reprisal atrocities of the Razakars.
Describing how the comrades took advantage of the myriad crisis facing the fledgling Indian state to launch their insidious struggle and how the Sardar faced the crisis and nipped it in the bud, D.P.Mishra, another stalwart of the freedom struggle, an active participant in post-independent India’s politics, observed thus in his memoir of the “Nehru Epoch” in Indian politics:
…When in the wake of independence, mass murders and migrations, and later the Kashmir problem, made the first government of independent India vulnerable, the Communists found their opportunity and by a series of bloody insurrections tried to smash and replace what they called bourgeois democracy by socialist democracy…They planned to develop a mass movement by their violent activities throughout the country, hoping that these would culminate in people themselves taking up arms to throw out the government. But Home Minister Patel acted swiftly and the Communist design was almost nipped in the bud. Very soon their violence lost its fury and force and the planned mass insurrections degenerated into terrorist activities.
Such then is the past history of the Indian communists, a history of violence, of terrorism and bloodshed against their own people and country. That today they have substituted their ground activities with intellectual and academic terrorism does not mean this past history can be forgotten. Whatever colour or nomenclature they append to their past terrorist activities the communists in India, it is clear, have constantly worked to subvert the Indian state, to dupe its people and to hack away at the Hindu identity root of its civilisation.
They have for long gotten away with their subversion by conveniently reversing their stand on crucial issues and key personalities– their new found admiration for Sardar Patel forms part of that double agenda. Every other cause or person that they have endorsed and which is apart from their worldview and belief they have solely done for their political survival and subsistence. They speak of broken promises to the Sardar but it is they who had constantly tried to wreck and break the ship of the Indian state which the Sardar steered through turbulent times.
Let us hope the new political era in India also heralds the end of the political and academic fortunes of the Indian communists, for too long have they succeeded in deceiving the people of India. Let us hope the prophecy of the one whom they now defend – Sardar Patel – regarding their politics being foreign and therefore facing eventual rejection comes true in its entirety. That would indeed be a true tribute to the indomitable Sardar and to his immortal legacy.