Published On:Monday, 19 September 2016

Red Ideology: Then, Now and Tomorrow

​South Asian Humor: Bhishma Kukreti

I was unaware about Communism in a Garhwal village. Economically in rural Uttarakhand, there was no vast gap between a poor landless scheduled cast and Jamindar (Padhan), even P.C. Joshi being first General Secretary of Communist party of India, communism never spread in Uttarakhand. There was a red patch in Tehri Garhwal from where comrade Vidya Sagar Nautiyal used to win UP legislative election. However, he was proud that he was winning due to red ideology but in reality he was winning due to people past rage against ex Tehri Riyasat King.

When I came for high schooling to Dehradun, I heard much about communism.  DAV College was the central place in Dehradun for discussing communism. There were many Red Comrades those used to talk 'Sarvhara Kranti' in Dehradun. On that time, there were three political ideologies in Dehradun among students, Indira Congress, Communism and Janasangh.   Garhwal including Dehradun had 90 percent Hindu population, Garhwalis left speaking own Garhwali mother tongue for benefits from Hindi, English and India; Hindi. Hindu, Hindustan of Janasangh could not attract Garhwalis barring migrated Punjabis and local Baniyas.

All three political ideologies had exclusive dreams for people to dream. We used to see all three dreams. When we thought about Congress ideology, we used to dream there would be only Indira Gandhi ruling India and there would be lakhs of Tata, Birla, and Gujarmal Modi but won't be Garibi (poverty) in India. When we thought about Janasangh, we dreamt that there would be Hindi, Hindu in Hindustan. However, HHH dream was fearful even for Brahmins. There were four tier classes of Brahmins and Rajput. HHH means same caste equation. Therefore, HHH could not attract Garhwalis on that time. Most of Garhwalis or non Garhwalis were poor and Communism or Lal Salam attracted   at least for discussion. It was fashion among students for discussing communism and working for winning Congress candidate in election. Students influenced by Communism used to greet every one by 'Lal Salam' but not to parents or relatives. There were many learned comrade students those used to tell us about labor ruling India in future and rich working as labor. Communist students never talked about prosperity but only economic equality among people. Really, it was nice dream for dreaming for economic equality. However, Brahmin and Rajput Garhwalis never liked cast equality of communism. Left wing students used to talk much about a word 'Bujarva' (bourgeoisie). The common admirers of communism never understood meaning of 'Bujarva' then and now too.

People used to call glazed papered Soviet Union magazine (free) and used to amaze by reading so many facilities for poor in Soviet Union. Soviet magazine was costlier than Indian magazines in old paper (raddi) market. Later, marketing professors taught us publicity, promotion and perception. Professors offered us the case study of Soviet Union Magazine as the best example of great publicity. The Magazine sold the hell as 'the best place for living' and Indians accepted it too.

Indira Gandhi ended communist movement in India barring Bengal, Kerala or Tripura. Her 'Garibi Hatao' slogan attracted Tata, Birla and Bata too because before American business houses Tata, Birla and Bata were poor.

As student, I worked for Congress, Janasangh and Communist party in election time.  Congress and Janasangh workers used to offer us full breakfast and good lavish lunch. Communist workers used to preach us getting tea from rich comrades, buy tea by own money or be hungry. 

Slowly, Indians knew that only equality was not enough. All poor but equal or all equal but all poor ideology lost charms among Indian poor. Prosperity less communist movement did not work and most of the communists joined Congress, Janta Party or its branches or Bhartiya Janta Party.

There is no hope for communism movement revival.  


Copyright@ Bhishma Kukreti, Mumbai, 2016

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