Communists in India & TN: Out of touch with reality

India must be one of the few places in the world where the old school communists, who have rapidly become irrelevant elsewhere, still hold sway. It’s a pity that they do, because all the communists at the centre do seem to slow economic progress by holding up much needed reforms with tired and failed ideology and arguments.

Lest someone leap up and brand me a capitalist of the worst hue, let me hasten to clarify that I am fairly apolitical, nor do I subscribe to one system or the other. Let me also add that I am all for government that brings in reform with the least pain to the disadvantaged. Especially because we do not have social security in our country, and there are millions living below the poverty line.

So I applaud our central government for the focus on rural infrastructure, governance and job creation, as well as the guaranteed employment scheme. The continued focus on the national highway network will also hasten development in rural areas, and make them accessible to the rest of the country, bringing in more development. This is the way to growth and development that will bring the disadvantaged into the economic mainstream. And up the socio-economic ladder to a better quality of life.

But it does go against the grain when the communists at the centre, ever ready to hog the lime light, in an irresponsible way, stall reform after reform in the name of public good. Especially when their system of governance has failed miserably in Russia, and been abandoned by China. China, in fact, has become the global poster boy of development, and is a model that Buddhadeb in West Bengal would like to follow.

Now we have the CPI in Tamil Nadu mimicking their bretheren in Delhi, arriving at the sweeping conclusion that online trading is driving up prices. They haven’t clarified online trading in what, and how it is driving up prices. It has been proven the world over that online trading brings in transparency, cuts out the middle men, and therefore brings prices down. There are many examples available of how online processes have benefited individuals, companies, governments and entire economies by bringing down prices and generating real surplus through efficiencies and savings.

But the CPI in Tamil Nadu? Oh no, in the search for the next ‘capitalist’ bogey that they can flog, they grab something that sounds vaguely progressive and trot that out as a reason for rising prices! There can’t be a better example of how out of touch with reality they have become.

7 Comments so far

  1. Ramesh (unregistered) on November 12th, 2006 @ 3:11 am

    An article in Economist that talks about the changing world of communists.


  2. david appasamy (unregistered) on November 12th, 2006 @ 7:27 am

    Thanks Ramesh. That was most informative. Ironic that the hero of communists the world over is Cuba! The state of that island nation, its people and their quality of life only proves its a system that does not work.

  3. Nastikan (unregistered) on November 13th, 2006 @ 2:10 pm

    If you want to criticize the CPIM pov on online trading, do so. But if you “apolitically” and with your deep concern for the downtrodden, drag in China and Russia and Cuba, I’d have to ask you “apolitically” why you think the record of Russia is more relevant to Indian Communism than the record of Kerala.

  4. silanthimanithan (unregistered) on November 13th, 2006 @ 5:38 pm


    What exactly is the “record” of Kerala? How many new industries have set up shop there in the last few decades as compared to TN, AP and Karnataka?

    As a result of its marxist idealogy, Kerala has only bred several succeeding generations of lazy people after independence. People who do not want to work but want equal living conditions. All rights, no responsibility. Thats been the communist idealogy all along. Kerala is a fine poster boy of that. What has 100 percent literacy done for that state except to teach poorest of poor people(oh, there are plenty of those out there)…how to make their own signatures. Why is Kerala have such contempt for entrepreneurship and independent small businesses? How many of those can you find in the god’s own “striking” country?

    All mallus are hard working. Outside Kerala.

    And West Bengal(the only state that makes Kerala seem better by comparison) makes for a even more brilliant advertisement for what communist idealogy can do to its population. Creating generations of bhadralok that have long forgotten how to do any work and keep revelling in how rich the bengali tradition used to be in the 18th century.

  5. Cheemachu (unregistered) on November 13th, 2006 @ 7:56 pm

    You have a point. Since China and India are increasingly competing for the same natural resources (oil, minerals, and the like) and the same markets and the same foreign investors, one wonders if the Chinese Communist Party has asked their comrades in India to throw the spanner in the works so to say. Block ever reform move, drag the nation back to dark permit licence raj days. Pity.

  6. bala (unregistered) on November 13th, 2006 @ 9:10 pm


    The commies do have a point here. While commodity trading is good for price discovery and supplying liquidity to the markets, trading without proper regulatory mechansism has lead to wholesale price manipulation and rigging

    The Regulatory mechanism of NCDEX is pathetic and is in fact a great contributing factor to wild swings in commodity prices. The futures and Spot prices are sometimes diverging by as many as 30% and rumors of default are indeed making the price discovery process fail.

    It took a lot of scandals and lapses to make stock exchanges implement stringent regulatory regimes, the same lessons are being relearnt in commodity markets.

    Read this article for more basis

  7. Nastikan (unregistered) on November 14th, 2006 @ 5:19 pm

    The record of Kerala is better not just in literacy, but in infant mortality, gender ratio, land reform, and a host of social indicators. As per the recent Social Dev Report, the incidence of poverty is also one of the lowest in India.

    But my main point is that the record of Indian Communism is more relevant to “apolitical” discussions of Indian Communism than Russia or China, which is why I was not saying that Russian mortality rates have dived or Chinese peasants are worse off.

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