Clutching at Kanhaiya: A Straw Man Turned Hero


Lord Krishna, also lovingly known as Kanhaiya, had assured his devotees in Bhagwad Gita that whenever dharma declines and adharma spreads in the world, he will take avataar in order to strengthen the forces of dharma.

Communists may not believe in Lord Krishna since as per their world view faith in the Divine is opium of the masses. But Left parties & their intellectual supporters are treating JNU’s Kanhaiyya as their saviour incarnate at a time when the credibility of their chosen dharma – namely Marxism and class war, have suffered irreversible decline. It is as though they found in him Lenin, Mao, Che Guevara and Bhagat Singh – all rolled into one to win the war against Narendra Modi. And what are his credentials for being catapulted to this super hero status? That he won the JNU student union election with 1000 votes out of 7000 and delivered a thundering speech against Sangh Parivar soon after his release from Tihar jail.
While the February 9 speech of Kanhaiya was a masterly performance, within no time Kanhaiya let the exposed himself to be a strawman catapulted to fame by Modi government’s ham handed intervention in l’affaire JNU. In his interviews with leading TV channels, he denied involvement with the unauthorized gathering where Maoists and Kashmiri secessionists shouted slogans threatening to wage war till India is cut up India into pieces.
Kanhaiya’s mischief was exposed by JNU administration which confirmed that when permission for the meeting by Maoist outfit DSU was cancelled, Kanhaiya insisted that permission be granted. A Bhagat Singh wouldn’t have lied!

When questioned about his stand on slogans raised in the controversial meeting Kanhaiya slimily evaded the issue at hand to deliver pious sermons on azadi from hunger, poverty discrimination, Manuvaad and Sanghis. But the high level inquiry committee of JNU found enough evidence of wrongdoing to rusticate Kanhaiya along with four others. Last year, in a revealing incident JNU had fined this women’s rights crusader Rs 3000 for abusing and threatening a female teacher who reprimanded him for urinating in public.

The truth is that CPI whose student wing he represents adopted the same position in 1940’s calling for India’s Balkanization under the influence of Stalinist Soviet Union. It also lent open support to the creation of Pakistan. That is exactly what the DSU meeting facilitated by Kanhaiya sloganeered.
Incidentally, Kanhaiya had no hesitation in greeting Rahul Gandhi (the scion of the Congress Party which contributed majorly towards wrecking & criminalizing India’s economy and society during its 60 year rule) as a valuable ally in his fight for “freedom” from all the above mentioned curses. He is astute enough to know that had he attacked the Congress & Communist Parties in the same vein as he did Modi & Sanghis he wouldn’t be a media star today!

Let’s examine the worth of Kanhaiyya’s charges against BJP:

a) Indian democracy and Constitutional rights are under dire threat since BJP assumed power in Delhi: Can any sane person accept that citizens in BJP ruled states like Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat are less free than citizens of Congress or Opposition ruled states or of West Bengal under Communist or TMC rule?
b) Farmers, downtrodden castes and women need freedom from oppression of Sanghis: Are we supposed to become oblivious to the fact that Congress Party has ruled India for over 60 years? Have farmers and Dalits prospered under Congress or Communist rule? Do women enjoy total freedom and equality under non-BJP governments? Are Dalits worse off in BJP ruled Gujarat or Madhya Pradesh than Laloo-Nitish ruled Bihar?
c) Sanghis are a divisive force: Isn’t the ideology of “class war’- a core commitment of Communists not intrinsically divisive? Is society more strife ridden in BJP ruled states or under Communist rule which pitched workers against industrialists till industries were forced to shut down? They pitched farm labourers against small peasants through rabid trade union activity as in Kerala till farmers started abandoning agriculture. Have Congress ruled states not witnessed countless communal and caste riots?
d) Privatization of education assaults democracy: Did this process start with BJP’s rise to power? Have the state run colleges and universities under 60 years of Congress rule, or 30 years of Communist rule in West Bengal and Kerala fulfilled the educational aspirations of rural poor,dalits, women, tribals?

He mocks the BJP for securing only 31 percent of total vote share and warns the Party not to presume to speak on behalf of entire nation. However, Kanhaiya arrogates to himself the right to speak on behalf of India’s 1.5 billion people even though his parent body, the CPI secured a mere 0.78 percent of national vote.
Sangh Parivar politics and Modi government’s performance has many serious flaws. However, Kanhaiya’s pathological hostility is purely ideological rather than product of serious engagement with concrete issues or keen observation of ground facts expected of a PhD scholar. Clearly his mentors at JNU have turned Kanhaiya into a well indoctrinated, robotic political activist not a serious scholar or even an astute political observer.

The a fledgling student leader is projected as a savior for the almost dead Left movement & the shriveling Congress Party in India shows the deep morass they have sunk into. This desperation comes from the fact that the ideological fulcrum of the Left, i.e. the working class has abandoned the Communist parties for good because their prescriptions only bring strife and stalemates, not economic prosperity. Similarly, the scam ridden, dynasty dominated politics of Congress with its reliance on communal polarization has shrunk its appeal.

Having lost their connect with their traditional support groups, the Congress & Communists are clutching at the irreconcilable combination of Marxism, Ambedkar & Jinnah to help them secure a vote bank among SCs and Muslims.

Positioning a half baked student activist mouthing clichéd socialist rhetoric as a challenger to Narendra Modi and the combined might of Sangh Parivar amounts to ballooning in cloud cuckoo land. If fiery speeches are all it took to win elections, Modi wouldn’t have suffered humiliating defeats in Delhi & Bihar.

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