Jyoti Basu’s stance is unpardonable!
Jyoti Basu must put India’s supreme interests above party line!

Even to be seen as Mr.Somnath Chatterjee is seen with a stoic silence after his return and consultation with Jyoti Basu, even for a day or two, seems to us, as unjustifiable. Thank god, the Speaker had seen wisdom not to succumb to the irrational and unreasonable politics of sheer blinding opportunism of the CPI (M) secretary’s confusion to ask the Speaker to resign from his office. Now, the Speaker has decided to stay on and defy the whip against the holder of the highest Constitutional office is a silver lining in the murky politics of the CPI(M).To cohabit with the BJP can be the ultimate irony  for a party that thrives on empty rhetoric and no substance in any of its thesis formulations.

What is national interest? If one is a nationalist only one can speak of a national interest. The CPI (M) obviously seems to cultivate still, in this day and time of history, an extra-territorial loyalty, it is a betrayal of the national interest only!

Jyoti Basu, 95, is a grand old man of India. An elder statesman of unique stature. He is looked upon by the country, without any party or regional divide as a supreme leader, a wise and sagacious person with lots of wisdom.

He has now taken a stand on the Indo-nuclear deal when his own party, the CPI (M), had differed from the stand taken by the UPA and that is why the CPI (M) had pulled out of the UPA. That is fine. But for having that line, now Basu is consulted by the UPA negotiator, Pranab Mukerjee for his moral support. Also, it is no more a secret that even the West Bengal Chief Minister, the much-harassed Buddadeb Bhattacharjee is sympathetic towards the stand of the UPA.

Now, even one of the prominent ministers, Mr.Subash Chakraborti, the transport minister in the Left front government of Bengal, has taken exception to the Delhi-based CPI (M), in particular the stand taken by Mr.Prakash Karat, as very dangerous, as the Left when it is joined by the BJP in voting against the deal, it would create a very contradictory position for the CPI (M).So, clearly, the line of Mr.Karat is not endorsed by sections of the party. The minister said: “I will write to Mr.Karat and convey my feelings about this”. Fine. Jyoti Basu’s loyalist, Mr.Chakroborti has contradicted not only Karat’s stand but also contradicted the stand of the Lok Sabha Speaker. Fine, fine!

All along, the CPI (M) was taking a pro-UPA stand on the ground it is for the sake of keeping the communal forces at bay. Now, to go and cohabit with the BJP for the sake of opposing the deal whose soundness is now almost supported by all sorts of persons and sections of opinion, is to undo a position that is at the centre of the present controversy.
Where does Hyoto Basu come in?

The CPI (M) in its strategy to defeat the deal wants to add up its numbers.

Mr.Somanth Chatterjee, the Speaker of the Lok Sabha is a veteran CPI (M) man and as such he is now almost forced to quit his office just to fall in line with the party stand.

Is this justified? Even the Speaker himself is undecided. Given his stature, as a senior member of the Lok Sabha for years and also his legal background, a barrister and also as the very conventions and the rules would have it, the office of the Speaker of the Lok Sabha is above any party consideration once the incumbent is elected by the parties, not his own party. Once be or she becomes a Speaker, the occupant becomes a non-party person and he or she should not be swayed by party controversies. Now, the CPI (M) had withdrawn support for the UPA government. But then, the CPI (M) should not pressure or seen pressure the Speaker’s office to take any partisan stand.

Now, for the veteran Jyoti Basu to come in and ask the Speaker to toe a party line is, to say the least, not only unbecoming of his age and wisdom and to take a party line and advise the Speaker who sees Basu as his mentor is also to create a very unpleasant and unbecoming conduct, to say the least.

Basu is also creating some other unpleasant thoughts by his current stance.

Taking a ‘man on the street’s thoughts on the subject one can surely ask Basu some uncomfortable questions.

Now, the Indo-nuclear deal is seen as a move to counter the perceived China’s threats to India’s strategic strengths. So, what are Basu’s perceptions about China’s unfriendly postures on the India-China border issues?

Second, in case of any future flare-ups, god forbid, on the India-China borders, what would be Basu’s position? Will the elder statesman support India or take a neutral position on China’s moves?

Third, what is his own way to secure India from its energy needs in the short, medium and long-terms?

As a serious thinker and a veteran politician, he must surely must have some views of his own?

What are his own thoughts?
What are the thoughts of his own party?

What are the thoughts of the one person who stands out, namely, Mr.Prakash Karat?

Mr.Karat is now seen as an unreasonable, irrational and even blind man who hates America for the sake of hatread, and no other considerations.

He says time and again, lately, this deal is done just to please the American President. This seems simple nonsense. Everyone knows that George Bush wont be there in next January. So, the deal would still go through the same sort of regime, the opportunities and the conditionalities, even after a new President comes in and so what is permanent about George Bush. May be his widely perceived bad legacy only. As far as India is concerned, we had a deal that gives us access to nuclear fuel and technology and also access to much else in the nuclear club.

India as a mature economy and democracy must be part of the mainstream developments in technologies, such as the nuclear field.
India cant remain outside the nuclear technology regime.
As the National Security Adviser as well as the Chairman  of the Atomic Energy Dept, Mr.Kakodkar says India is now a nuclear  weapons state, whether we say it or not and recognized as such for all practical purposes.

So, we should move forward and build our future strategies and our energy needs and our technology and fuel needs accordingly.
So, it is all the more important we have to take the broadest consent for the deal and in this context the role of a senior leader like Basu acquires all the more seriousness when everyone who thinks of the country’s supreme interest as above every other consideration, the party or the region or other narrow and immediate concerns.
The mainstream Indian media has its own angularities, even some outwardly conservative media, pretend to be progressive and known to take public stands that might seem one day pro-Left and the very next day it might carry a full-page interview with L.K.Advani!

Poor Indian newspapermen, they have to survive in a highly competitive media environment and that is why we don’t see in-depth analysis of why Manmohan Singh government has to go through the deal, initiated by the BJP regime earlier and in a deal like nuclear deal there is not much room for twists and turn in a short-run point of view.

So, Mr.Karat’s antics about price rise and inflation don’t cut much ice and he is already seen as an adventurer and he is very likely to be isolated in his own party.

India is a mature democracy where everyone can have his or her own views about what is good for the country and what is the country’s national interest. And that is why we should take a public stand on what Basu does and it is in this spirit we have expressed our views here.

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