(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
July 13 , 2008
PROFESSOR HIREN MUKHERJEE CENTENNIAL LECTURE
PRAKASH Karat, CPI(M) general secretary said that the present Congress-led UPA government has been trying in a desperate fashion to do two things about the proposed India-US nuclear deal. First, the Congress leadership would mislead the people about the true nature of the deal, slickly bypassing the dangerous portents it contains once in place. Second, they would initially covertly and now in an overt fashion, blackguard the Left in general and the CPI(M) in particular, for its strong, principled resistance to the deal and overall strategic relationship with the US.
Prakash Karat was delivering the Professor Hiren Mukherjee centennial lecture at Rabindra Sadan auditorium on July 5. Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee chaired the meeting. A B Bardhan, the CPI general secretary, Somnath Chatterjee, the speaker of the Lok Sabha, Hashim Abdul Halim, the speaker of the Bengal assembly also spoke on the occasion. Professor Hiren Mukherjee was described by all the speakers as an undaunted and untiring soldier of democracy against forces of reaction, and especially US imperialism.
Prakash Karat recalled how Professor Mukherjee would not suffer from any depression when the Soviet Union collapsed. On the contrary the eminent communist had expressed hope in the revival of communism in a much bigger way in the years and decades to come.
Karat debunked the arguments put forward by government and Congress leaders about the nuclear deal's importance for our energy security. He said the gas pipeline project from Iran through Pakistan to India once in place would really be of service to the Indian energy sector. And it is precisely because of a possibility of the country’s energy empowerment, that the US administration is engaged in pressurising the malleable Indian administration not to go ahead with the project, talking boastfully instead of bombing Iran out of existence. He said one of the factors in the spiralling crude oil price is such bellicosity of US.
Directly as a fall-out of the US depredations in the Middle East, oil production has slackened off especially after 1990. Presently the US imperialists have decided to target Iran, another major oil-producing country, where everyday over four million barrels of crude oil are lifted. The recent taking to the air of thousands of the latest Israeli fighter jets, air-to-surface missiles at the ready was but a stage rehearsal for the impending US assault on Iran. The world economy would suffer from a major wound once Iran is attacked Prakash Karat served a grim reminder.
In the meanwhile, as the Indian finance minister had grudgingly admitted at the OPEC conference recently held at Jeddah, forward trading in crude and refined oil is a major reason why the price level for oil is getting pushed up, and up. The reason for the price increase cannot be laid at the door of India and China for their increased use of this form of energy.
The veteran communist leader Jyoti Basu who was a scheduled speaker was not able to attend because of indisposition. Prakash Karat paid a visit to Basu at his Salt Lake residence. Accompanying the CPI(M) general secretary were Bengal state secretary Biman Basu, and chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.