If there is one thing that has to be said for Indian Communists, it is this: they know how to deal with internal contradictions that would make other peoples’ heads explode.
I’m not taking about ‘privatization is good for Bengal but not for India’. That’s just administration, and is hardly important. Contradictions in that hardly make a difference. No, I’m talking about the important stuff. Ideological contradictions.
Do you remember the APJ Abdul Kalam election? The Communists had opposed Kalam at that time, saying that it would be a bad idea diplomatically to have a President who had run India’s nucear program. Then, with stunning irony-deficiency, they put up their own candidate: Captain Lakshmi Sahgal, formerly of the Indian National Army, a guerilla group which had fought against the British Indian Army alongside the Japanese Army during World War II- which was legally treason and effectively terrorism. Chew on how that would go down diplomatically.
But the stunner is not just in the irony deficiency. It’s that the Communists, who normally shag over China and all its doings, and plea for China to be given a special status are hand-in-glove with the remnants of the All-India Forward Bloc, the remnants of the Indian National Army- the ally of the Japanese army which conducted the Rape of Nanjing, used the Chinese as slaves, and conducted human rights abuses which make the Gujrat riots look like a pleasant day trip. So much so that the Chinese are still using them to whip up nationalistic fervour.
In a rational world, you’d expect the Indian Communists to be at least embarassed about the association with the AIFB. But no, they’ve had them in the Left Front coalition for years now. You have to applaud the way they deal with contradictions.