NITN | @notintownlive | 20 Aug 2020
Author Anant Vijay was the guest at the event 'Kitaab', which was organised by Prabha Khaitan Foundation late last month, where he spoke about his book 'Marxvad Ka Ardhsatya'. India Blooms correspondent Souvik Ghosh brings excerpts of his interaction at the event
Marxism has almost come to an end across the world except in a few countries like China, Cuba. Why did you choose to write about Marxism at this time? Do you feel Marxism has a scope for a revival?
I always believe no ideology ceases to exist, though its dominance varies from time to time. During the Covid-19 era, China has emerged as a country which has created trouble to the entire world. Xi Jinping (current Chinese President) is a dictator who himself has taken the decision to rule forever. The ideology behind this mindset of remaining President forever is the one which professes equality but practices completely the opposite thing. I believe Marxism is like a Phoenix bird. It will never cease to exist.
The Marxist countries were built by hard work. But why then has the ideology been completely wiped out in most of the countries?
The biggest weakness of Marxists is that they do not practice what they preach. They do not follow the principles which they themselves have created. Let me give an example. Gandhiji had got an opportunity to send his son Harilal (Harilal Gandhi) for a great scholarship but he didn't do that and instead sent someone else. Though Harilal was not happy, Mahatma Gandhi remained stubborn in his decision. On the other hand, the Leftists say all opportunities are for their families. To the Leftists, their families come first, even before the nation. Marxism in its initial days was nothing but a romanticism in Europe.
Marxists' weakness is they don't practise what they preach: Author Anant Vijay
The Marxists talk about equality which is completely opposite to the law of nature. All entities in the world can't be equal. There is no place for the environment and the laws of nature in Marxism. As a result, it continues to rule as a romanticism for a certain period of time, which can be 50 or 60 or 100 years, but people slowly realise they can never achieve equality, rather the only beneficiaries turn out to be the Marxists themselves. The same situation occurred also in West Bengal, Kerala and Bihar.
Jay Prakash Narayan was from the state of Bihar from where you come from. Jay Prakash Narayan had spoken about equality during the Emergency period and brought all parties under the same umbrella and almost decimated Indira Gandhi in North India in 1977 elections. But what happened to his ideology that Indira Gandhi was voted back to power just a couple of years later?
Any alliance of diverse political ideologies, which is created for an opportunism or to achieve something, does not last long. Under Jay Prakash Narayan's leadership, diverse political parties came together to defeat one person. I am even amazed by the fact that Morarji Desai's government ran for two years! Two years were more than enough actually. On the other hand, Indira Gandhi then tried to regroup the lower-level workers and leaders. I feel Indira Gandhi during that period tried her best to connect herself to the masses. She had a farsightedness unlike these diverse political players.
Gandhism is accepted both by the Congress and its diagonally-opposite party BJP. Do you think Gandhism is completely opposite to Marxism or the two can co-exist?
Actually, Gandhi himself was against Gandhism. If Congress had followed Gandhism, the party would not have existed only because Gandhiji wanted the outfit to be dissolved after India's Independence. Gandhiji never wanted an ideology to be named after him. But in reality, people do believe idol worship. I believe BJP is the only party which has embraced Gandhism mostly and aggressively communicated the Gandhian principles to the masses because they speak about Swadeshi movement, Village Panchayats,'Vocal for Local' campaign. I am not delving into the reason for which the BJP did though. Congress has completely surrendered Gandhism to the BJP. The nationality, which should have been the strength of the Congress, has been virtually offered to the BJP.
But BJP also has someone like Pragya Thakur (who had called Gandhi's assassinator Nathuram Godse a 'patriot').
It can't be denied that Pragya is in the BJP and she was also given a ticket to contest the Lok Sabha elections. But it is also true that Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) had snubbed her greatly.
You have written about the private lives of Fidel Castro and Mao Zedong in your book. Don't you think Castro and Mao Zedong had big roles in making Cuba and China respectively powerful?
Saddam Hussein also had a contribution in making Iraq powerful. Can we praise him too? I have never written that Fidel Castro and Mao Zedong did not have any role in building Cuba and China respectively. I have written how in the name of democracy, they had handed over their thrones to their sons. Were there no better successors in Cuba and China? All oppositions were used to get crushed by the power of Fidel Castro and Mao. Do we aspire for such a country where the mass' voices will be crushed?
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