People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 13

March  27, 2011


Ignorance (Selective) Is Bliss


G Mamatha


Dr Manmohan Singh, prime minister of India. Eminent economist, professor – whom it seems the world leaders listen to, for his knowledge. Former governor, Reserve Bank of India, former deputy chairman, Planning Commission of India and presently its chairman and, of course, also former finance minister of the country. A person of ‘impeccable honesty and impeachable integrity’. An enviable CV indeed! Nothing more can a person who leads the country, for that matter any country in the world, can ask for. And blessed is the party for having such a talented personality in its ranks and we for being led by the government headed by him!


As a person, our prime minister is a man of few words. Knowledgeable though he is, he rarely speaks. Rather, he lets his actions speak. We have seen that during his earlier tenure as finance minister, we have seen that during his first term as the prime minister and we are seeing it now in his second term as the prime minister (though it might be his inactions that are catching the headlines these days). It is true that he is one of the rarest among today's breed of politicians, who are branded as corrupt and self-promoting. Certainly, he is not for self-aggrandisement. But neither does he work for the majority's prosperity. For, his policy prescribes the enrichment of a few, again not certainly his near and dear ones, but his beloved 'class'.


Manmohan Singh, these days is called as a political survivor. Survivor he is, but once again not for satiating his selfish interests. He survives to carry forward his class interests. You can notice this from his dogged determination, when he went ahead with the neo-liberal economic reforms during his tenure as the finance minister. You can notice it when he pushed for the Indo-US nuclear deal, ignoring the threat of withdrawal of support by the Left parties. He was confident that the government would survive and survive it did. Such is his confidence on his 'class' to rescue him. And he need not 'know' the nitty-gritties of the 'rescue operation'. Those are the details for you and me – the aam aadmi.


He is clever enough to know that corruption, crony capitalism are all off-shoots of his 'dear' neo-liberal policies. Really he need not know who is taking bribes, who is promoting whom, as long as the government adheres to the broad neo-liberal policies he had initiated. So, he need neither know nor be bothered or concerned about the institutional integrity required of the CVC.


He need not know nor be concerned about the problems of the working class and common people of our country. There are people in his party who travel regularly to 'discover' them. Lest some get the impression that his party and government are totally ignoring their beloved 'aam aadmi', we have the NAC, headed by the venerable madam to posture on aam aadmi's behalf. The ruling party now has clear cut work division. The honourable prime minister will out and out woo his class and imperial masters, while the party president and few general secretaries will go around trying to fool the common people.


The Urdu couplet that the prime minister quoted in his reply to a parliamentary debate, in fact, suits his yearning for the blessings of imperial masters. This is the subservience that we witness in all the WikiLeak cables related to India.


The prime minister is true to his class and cannot be blamed for it. We should learn from him. We too should be true to our class – the working class and other toiling sections. Just as he works hard, day and night to protect their interests, we too should work for not only protecting our class interests, but also win our rightful due. As Pete Seeger sang, it is time for us to decide, “Which side are you dear”!