MayDay!May Day!May Day!

#Left-Out: Not the football of Politics!
It is May Day and what a travesty.That day which symbolises everything about empowerment of the labour, justice, fair play, egalitarianism and power to the people is no longer celebrated.Much less remembered.In another extraordinary way the call – ” May Day! Mayday! May Day!” is an internationally acknowledged call of distress.Is it frightful coincidence or serendipity that such a call for help is being heard for some time now from the fore and aft of the sinking ship: the Left?

The Left would need to explain at the grass roots what it is to be seeking its own individual identity, a collaboration with the far left and the broader spectrum of the unity of pro-secular forces.It would need to examine the globalised surge towards individualism and self-aggrandisement and the disenchantment of the millennials: the young who grew to adulthood without a sense of history and pride of the nation’s true strengths of diversity and pluralism and near-obsessive preoccupation with poverty.The people would like to know how and why the world is swinging to an anti-people philosophy and programme of action and the sudden honeymoon to play surrogates to the vile designs of world domination of the USA.

The downslide had started since Independence.Only the termites of compromise were too small or invisible.The legacies of anti-colonial movements and the overarching presence of the Soviet Union and the rise of China had kept the Left lulled and seduced in a sense of false well-being.Until the deluge…

The people would like to see the Left to once again be on the streets among them and from whose seeds this radical idea of political, social and economic transformation was born.The people want to be led and also to lead.Leadership, organisation, participation, party, flag and a philosophy of action is the crying need.

Bengal stands in the crosshairs of all such questions and much more.Chauvinistically, perhaps pride in that very parochial saying”what Bengal thinks today, India thinks tomorrow.” might still leave them inspired, to say the least!

Setbacks, retreats or defeats can only be temporary.Do they have it in them to arrest the decline, overturn the debacle to rise in defiance and usher in hope for the victory of the people?may day

Sitaram Yechury with great political acumen and sagacity talks honestly about what went or is going wrong with the Left movement and CPI(M) in particular.For all patriots irrespective of where you stand in the final analysis: an insightful and must read…

Click Here

Continue reading “MayDay!May Day!May Day!”

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Randhir Singh is no More

I remember you, Sir.

The Class of 75 at Delhi University, (undergoing Masters in Political Science) hearing you rapt on the Political Thought of Marx. I used to hear of you having leftist sympathies.But, when I used to look around at my fellow students in the class :they were mostly girls and some boys who could not get enrolled into any other Masters programme.They chose to be there. And yes,there were  some careerists students too, who wanted to appear for the Civil Services who had travelled all the way from Orissa and Bihar. I used to be one of them.None seemed to me to be interested in anything more serious than that.At least, that is how I recollect those days. Whether you did manage to inspire this lot (of mostly defaults) is not known to me for sure ! But, I would seriously, speculate in the negative. That said, however,yes Sir,I remember: those fervent articulations of great quotes in defence of Marx and his poetry of humanity from the Communist Manifesto,On Religion and the Theory of Alienation.That, I shall not forget. religion among other things was about the anguished sigh in an oppressive world;the heart of a heartless world;Alienation, simply understood,was to be able to fish and love reading books without being a fisherman or an author;to be a carpenter and fall in love with what you create-a table perhaps…

Marxism was a frame of reference, a scientific tool to understand society and change it. It was about moving from the particular to the general and vice versa. It was in a manner of seeing the world in a grain of sand. I remember that simple illustration that you used to provide to make us understand which otherwise would be a mumbo-jumbo of philosophy. You talked of a social scientist who came to investigate a death of an unknown discovered on a normal morning in the streets. He went on to opine that it was a case of death due to inadequate medical attention. Whereas, the same case on examination by another, had reported that the individual was poor and unable to support his family of six which included his aged and dependent parents.He had not succeeded to find a job despite having the right qualifications.There were not sufficient openings for employment and they owned no land of their own. A drought had thrown many labourers too, out of work.There was a general state of deprivation and destitution in that area. Most of the land was owned by a few  and the  small factory employed only a handful. The death, therefore was a larger reflection of the state of the society.This analysis was possible because  of the Marxian methodology and praxis.  This is  how I remember after almost 40 years.

Yes, that was a window to a world,you did, ever so gently ,open for those who were willing to see. I am grateful to have been there:to have seen and heard you. Whether I do carry any of the seeds that you spread within me,today, I have no idea. But, I do feel, anguished, when I cannot rise, on my two feet,to fight,much less protest against injustice and inequality that I see or witness in much of my daily life.In that recognition, of my inadequacy, I shall always remain indebted to you.


Sir,Fare Thee Well ! May you sleep ever so peacefully.

The Last of a Kind: A Student’s Reminiscences of the professor Randhir Singh