how to lose friends and alienate people: an e-pamphlet about poets, philosophers and the left
an e-pamphlet : about activities that are left and the need to understand the left
so basically, in a recent discussion (where i had to put up with a few "leftist" people ploughing the carcass of our democracy with fervent chants of mao mao) they decided that except the left and in that too, a specific group - the rest of them have been conformists to the status quo which is namely congress, while Bjp has always been the violent right. (to which i totally agree) as a poet, i despise labels and if only it was compulsory to assert to any identity, which no poet in the true sense will like - i'd be a poet, just a poet, with very specific old world set of ideals, and a very lower middle class consciousness.
let us not dwell into history. that is useless. let us forget the stalins(for murder is not always murder and the frame of references are fixed stringently and they never shift- mind you , this defies derrida and all common sense)lets us forget that, congress has been the status quo and has ruled the country because of the left (though the specific group has always maintained "ample distance" and what that means in politics is very difficult to understand. ) let us forget that a 40 something seats holding left did not decide in favour of jyoti basu becoming the prime minister - no matter for how long.
these points can be easily refuted but then this has been the problem of indian politics- the failure of the construction of a third strong center- and left being a left that is almost non-existent. there are certain points which were discussed and though i was not seriously involved in the discussion since you discuss with people who you think are respectful towards your understanding of the subject and most importantly you and then too, one requires an open mind- not bookish philosophies and certainly not politics. all poets yearn for objectivity and all philosophers disagree that it is attainable. the yearning makes a poet, the disagreement- a philosopher.
so we are clear that Bjp and the other right winged group are the enemies- for their outrageous and outward support towards capitalism and for being non-secular( though others are secular might raise some eyebrows - mamta for one comes to mind) . the recession in the west brought about two books from the left side of the intellectualism at least - one by zizek and one by picketty, i am yet to read one by an indian marxist, if not a book, something vehemently criticizing the policy in economic and theoretical terms ( i would love to read, the readers please suggest- all i could get was an ashish nandy interview and he is not a marxist though it always has been quite the trend.)
now the status quo- congress! yes true. the alternative sadly is a pseudo liberal more intrusive century old family ruled group of smug intellectual men- very similar to what a tory parliament will be to the monarchy and despite that congress has nehru- if a monarch- still more socialist and a doer than the whole of left. one of those leaders whose legacy the right wing has to strongly deny and corrupt to legitimize itself and through most parts of the post independence history, "left" has stood with the congress. now my common sense defies me dear diary but what does one calls the one who aligns itself with the status quo. if any party which has not openly conformed or formed its coalitions with congress except for a forty nine day mishap, it is AAP- and they have filled a space which ideally left should have occupied much to the relief of common people and soul of mao. oops for mao, it doesnt exist- for akhmatova's misery in a Stalinist torture camp - the idea is absurd. certain factions have always maintained distance but then the strong opposition has always been non-existent. to think that a left party can play the board while conforming to the vote bank politics. (the hostels in patna college are divided according to religion and it is always obvious which hostel is going to vote for whom.)
that brings us to mandal commission. while, the reservation system was a necessity in states like bihar, over the years, it has become necessary to reassess the whole situation. this is a touchy topic and less intelligent leftists have always labelled me as a Brahmmanical patriarch upon criticizing the system. but then not all the left leaders are like that. just a day before the discussion i talk about here, i had another discussion with another active member of the same party who would go to countless measures to search for a missing child even, and he admitted the formation of a creamy layer in all castes due to the obvious flaws that have amalgamated over time- that a discussion of parameters was necessary and that left would have always gained more if the system would be more economy based and would remain more fluid over time. in the discussion mentioned here, i refrain from saying the word maoist because i dont understand the full implication of the term here in India or the term marxist for that matter- this neo-Brahmanism is what keeps the people away from left- may be except for some tiny factions -for the lack of better choice probably. the problem with vote bank politics is that it is always community dependent and there have always been bigger politicians in every faction to sway the crowd. there is an obvious "disconnect", except for the facebook dimension which always strives for the ideal and the heroic and is over with it as soon as the screen is turned off.
AAP has been a part of a two-day revolution. most of its leaders have come from there and are generally elitists. the so-called revolution was futile and the discourse of pseudo-nationalism even aligned its major figures with the right wing. the left has its share of revolutions and far better ones- but the sum total has always been zero, the responsibility quotient negligible and the need of a third center and not merely the amalgamation of ideologies countering the center in the form of an alternate which yearns for the status quo.
a poets need to conform to an objective ideal i understand- it provides him with a string to hold on to, in the emptiness. that is his flaw. a philosopher's need to conform to his readings is also understandable for the world of books is ideal where the cause and response work as they should, without the trouble of application and assessment of that application. he has only one task and that is to conform to the ways of his ancestors and to form an opinion based on them, mind you- this will kill a poet. i also understand a young left leader's need and compulsion to hide behind the ideals he has so long revered without asking questions because it is there where he feels most secure, how incompetent his life may have been- in terms of the lingua franca of the market.
what i don't understand is what left strives for? for being in power- which they refused when they were in a position to accept and do some actual good- distance itself from america perhaps, who knows, or for the formation of a classless society- something which has never been it's prime motive in the country, to end feudalism- by depending upon a system which in it's very roots very much appropriates caste-ism? the failure of left has been it's failure of propagating, in focaultian terms, this knowledge to the masses correctly, it's success is the ability to fill the void that only it can fill only if it becomes more application based, ordinary and humane in contrast to what it generally comes to people today- elite, smug, overtly theoretical and at times foolishly close-minded prudes.
dear diary, india doesn't need red flags and torture camps, it needs destruction of salma judums, defiance against capitalist propagandas, more toilets and a health system like castro's cuba.
the believe in good old love continues.