Defining Buddha moment
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- SIT to seek Supreme Court guidance on Maya Kodnani death penalty issue
- Tamil Nadu police bans Yasin Malik-linked pro-Eelam public meeting
- Kings XI Punjab end IPL 2013 campaign with a win
- Narendra Modi: India losing sheen as agricultural nation
Behind the dust and the deaths, allegations and recriminations in the wake of the Nandigram development lies another strong political reality. That India's politics is changing dramatically after nearly three years of placidity that put pundits to sleep. If Punjab, last month, showed how the definition of what is communal or secular is changing, and how, in a politics stabilising around two broad coalitions, ideological untouchability was history, last week's events underline another new and fascinating reality. That the Left, which has resisted change in its essential thinking and worldview, and which had actually used this fortuitous foothold in national power to even stop the winds of slow, evolutionary change blowing out of Buddhadeb's Bengal, now cannot duck the new inevitability. It has to face up to what promises to be the most dramatic transformation. And this, in the history of a party that believes it is blessed with a permanent ideology which had a ready explanation for all that happened in the past, and all that may challenge them in the future.
While Nandigram has now grabbed the headlines and prime-time news time, it has to be understood for its significance, along with that incredible moment in Parliament when MPs of the DMK and the Left, allies at the Centre and in a state (Tamil Nadu), went for each other's throats over an issue of such high principle as where the new maritime university should be located. Was the CPM now finally emerging as the Communist Party of Bengal, or the Communist Party of Bengal and Kerala? I remember sitting in the audience at a televised discussion that included prominent sportspersons and a CPM MP not long ago where our comrade got most impassioned when the question of Sourav Ganguly's sack came up. Another Left leader sitting by my side had then remarked, "Even Karl Marx had no answer for Bengali chauvinism." And that remark was more than some good-humoured self-deprecation unusual for the always so serious and grave Marxists. It was an admission of sorts of where Left politics was headed. Just the number of Parliament seats they had won in two states had given them the ability to swing — to use the language of corporate M&As they so detest — what can only be described as the most stunning leveraged buy-out of our political history. Just 62 MPs hijacked a whole government in a Parliament of 542, just because they had the leverage of giving the UPA the power, and so many retired old Congressmen governorships, other sinecures and even the last cabinet jobs in political carriers they thought had ended in 1996.
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- UP blast accused dies on way to jail, govt wanted to drop case against him
- Former civil aviation secy changes mind, seeks airport security exemption as EC
- BCCI suspects Gujarat players in other teams were also approached
- Police on money trail, Sreesanth in fresh trouble
- Chhattisgarh 'encounter' leaves 8 villagers dead, no Maoist link yet