What is a "political party" in modern India's "socialist democracy"? This becomes a serious question at a time when the CONgress is morally, spiritually and intellectually bankrupt, when Hindutwits appall, when Commies seem insane, and as for the rest...
The other day, I read this Times Crest article that recorded some strange facts about the "student politics" of the Trinamool Congress in Kolkata.
Here is Strange Fact #1:
Said Samit Kar, sociology professor at Presidency: "I don't find any ideology in student politics now. It's a means to establish hegemony in colleges.... Yes, there was violence during the Naxalite movement, but there was also some kind of ideology, flawed perhaps. That is missing now."
Politics without ideology?
Also, do note that "real students" - that is, those who "study" - stay away from all this shit:
[This violence is]... the surrender of student leaders to political parties capturing campus politics. The intrusion has been possible because of a vacuum created by a disdain for politics amongst students. This alienation has given space to external forces grabbing students' unions, most of which earlier went uncontested to the CPM's student wing, the SFI.
But there is a lot of violence, including killings - and a lot of money is being spent by the student's wing of the Trinamool Congress. This is "legitimate party politics"!
And there is no "ideology"!
The Trinamool Congress is just an off-shoot of the main CONgress. The two are combining to oppose the Commies in the next elections. The Trinamool leader is a "rail mantri" - like Laloo.
Since we are on the subject of "student politics," and the CONgress is telling anyone who wants to listen that it is 125 years old, allow me to record how our Grand Old Political Party was founded.
Allan Octavian Hume, a retired East India Company "civilian" - and a "Haileybury man" - wrote to all the graduates of Calcutta University. He called for 50 volunteers "to promote the mental, moral, social and political regeneration of India" - and the enthusiastic response he received led to the formation of this Great Mistake, in 1885.
And as for the "ideology" of the original INC under the guidance of the Haileybury man Hume, the following is an extract from Surendranath Banerjea’s presidential address to the Indian National Congress in 1895:
England is our political guide and our moral preceptor in the exalted sphere of political duty. English history has taught us those Principles of Freedom which we cherish in our lifeblood. We have been fed upon the strong food of English constitutional freedom. We have been taught to admire the eloquence and genius of the great masters of English political philosophy. We have been brought face to face with the struggles and the triumphs of the English people in their stately march towards constitutional freedom.
[A longer extract from this speech is available in this earlier post.]
This was not the Marxist-Socialist-Nehruvian "Soviet model" CONgress that has misruled India since 1947 - who don't know what "constitutional freedom" means.
In 1895, when Surendranath Banerjea headed the INC here, Britain was still in the Victorian age and the ruling ideology was "Gladstonian liberalism." The British Labour Party had not yet come into being.
Surendranath Banerjea spoke the language of a "classical liberal." It might be pertinent to note that today, if some classical liberals in our country attempted to establish a political party, it is illegal. Ask SV Raju. Or Sharad Joshi.
A few months ago, the socialist Supreme Court of India upheld the legislative ban on political parties that do not adhere to socialism - and I wrote that the judges were being "patriotic."
Politics is a "civilising activity" that enables the formation of a political community through the open clash of competing ideas - which is why "debate" is really what MPs are supposed to be doing. In India, one set of ideas is being deliberately and brutally kept out. This is to the loss of the Indian people. I find it hilarious when Barkha Dutt claims ours to be a "liberal democracy" - and her primetime show is called "We, the People." This reveals that the "liberal" tag is important for our enemies!