The Indian Economy Blog

August 28, 2005

More Commie Hypocrisy

Filed under: Politics — Reuben Abraham @ 11:24 pm

Not that we needed further proof, but here is yet another story in the Indian Express that exposes the Left’s profound hypocrisy in India, especially the national leadership’s attacks on the marginally progressive CM of Bengal. What’s their beef with him this time?

He’s talking to the Salim group of companies in Indonesia, known for its links with former President Suharto—in whose regime thousands were murdered—for setting up an industrial park in Kolkata. The comrades obviously don’t want facts to confuse them. For, what they ignore to see is that China, where several CPM delegations are making ‘‘study trips,’’ has opened its doors to Salim group—and rolled out the red carpet. Today, the Salim Group is building a ‘‘five-star world plaza” in Shanghai, It’s also building hotels, developing property and constructing model dairy farms in China.

Not just that, Salim owns a part of COSCO, a company where every director on the board is a Communist party functionary. If the Suharto-tainted Salim group is good enough for the Chinese, it is surely good enough for our Indian comrades. In China’s case, the fact that Suharto’s gangs killed ethnic Chinese should have made matters worse than for our Indian friends.

Maybe it’s time for the PM to consider appointing Sitaram Yechury and Prakash Karat as Indian ambassadors to North Korea and Cuba respectively? How else do we get rid of the menace of the national leadership of the Communist Party? Clearly, they can’t be voted out of office since they were never elected into office, in the first place. The buggers!!


  1. Hi you guys. Just to let you know that I am around, and enjoying the read. Also, the FT is running this today:

    Indian security concerns threaten to derail plans by Huawei, the Chinese telecommunications company, to increase its investment in its Indian affiliate in Bangalore, according to confidential documents obtained by the Financial Times.

    A meeting of powerful Indian civil servants was informed last month that “Huawei’s operations in India had come to the adverse notice of India’s security agencies, who have expressed reservations regarding [its] links with the Chinese military, their clandestine operations in Iraq, and close ties with the Pakistani army.”

    Subscription only unfortunately. This looks really juicy if true, especially the part about Chinese military clandestine operations in Iraq. Any take on this inside India?

    Comment by Edward Hugh — August 29, 2005 @ 4:40 am

  2. There is no point in throwing tantrums about the power which Left is wielding. Get used to it. In days to come it is quite likely that Left’s power will increase. More the globalization succeeds in India, more crystallization of opposition to Globalization in Left. Invariably there is going to be large portion of Indian population which will be either left out of the Globalization bus, or even might suffer more too. Being a large country, that is inevitable. All those sections of India on the receiving end are very likely to get attracted to Left since other parties fall too short in their organization structure and longetivity. So the projected growth of Left in India is not determined by their ideological consistency but the opportunities exposed by effects of Globalization.

    I support Globalization in India. But well aware of the sufferings it brings. So the question which should be of most interest to us is how other competing political parties in Indian democracy are trying to provide necessary openings to these frustrations of large sections of the population. We need to be carefully to see how other parties are responding and reacting to this specific challenge. Response would involve economic policy initiatives as well as surprisingly large part of pure political or social issues. The ploys by BJP and JD of playing Hindu Nationalism and Caste politics are bad examples of such pure political plays. But there can be many other scenarios. For example along the lines of Chinese Communist Party if a political party in India plays hyper Nationalism of Secular variety; that might be a ticket. At times Congress attempts that, but not with the requisite thought. Mamata played quite strongly on some occasions in Bengal. Politics of “Garibi Hatao” was not simply economic part for Indira Gandhi; it was a way to empower lower sections of Indian society. In other words we are talking about a political genius who will take Indians on a “trip” so that they will effectively forget the pains of Globalization and pains of necessary economic reforms. Otherwise be ready to see the growth of Left and more power plays by CPM.


    Comment by Umesh Patil — August 30, 2005 @ 1:25 am

  3. Umesh — you talk about the “pains and suffering” brought about by globalization. Pray tell, who exactly is enduring all this pain and suffering thanks to globalization, and how?

    Comment by Prashant Kothari — August 30, 2005 @ 8:11 am

  4. I’d actually like to know (since it was not in the article) who opposed it and why.


    Comment by Arjun — August 30, 2005 @ 9:44 am

  5. Prashant, one can give lots of example. Generally it is the daily labor and wage earners. Here are some I could come up with.

    1. Bank employees in Nationalized banks. Sure, they were too militant (or could be still) and greedy when there were no large private banks. But as private banks are making inroads the pressure is felt by these banks. Unless these nationalized banks become more efficient, I do not see any other end result than bankruptcy or acquisition of many of these banks by next decade. Those employees are prime vote banks for Left.

    2. Lot of textiles exports from India are done by small companies. As this industry gets more organized, it is clear that workers in the unorganized textile sectors will loose wages.

    3. One knows that small shop owners and trades are a big group in India. What do you think will happen when Wal-Mart starts opening stores in India (which is just matter of couple of years away)? It happened that way in USA, I do not see how can it be any different in India.

    Globalization does not only impact workers in India, it does for workers in USA and other advanced countries too. The main brunt of outsourcing in these countries is sustained by workers in those countries. Corresponding winners are there in India and China; but then there are all other losers in those countries too. Imagine when Agriculture in India gets open. Brazil big farmers are giving run for money to American farmers. Why will they make life easy for Indian farmers. So there are no set patterns; it is simply the economies of scale. India cannot and will not remain to immune to these changes as she tries to integrate more with the Global Economy. As like with winners, there will be many losers too; all kind of “captive market” for Left style ideology. Until other parties like BJP, Congress, JD or Regional ones become smart to motivate people to see the positive aspects and work with them to alleviate the pains; we have a problem of sustaining reforms.


    Comment by Umesh Patil — August 30, 2005 @ 2:00 pm

  6. Umesh

    1) Private (and more efficient) banks making life more difficult for the nationalized banks

    2) The unorganized textile sector under siege from the organized textile sector, or so you say

    These two examples could happen sans globalization. Don’t necessarily blame globalization…

    3) Re small shops being wiped out by Wal-Mart…

    That’s guesswork (albeit educated) about the future, not actual fact.

    Moral: Make sure you’ve got the right voodoo doll

    Comment by Prashant Kothari — August 30, 2005 @ 6:18 pm

  7. Well, many of the private banks in India are created or financed by the Capital outside India. There is no point in denying in the role played by outside capital in that sector which is putting a pressure on Nationalized banks. About Textile sector – some time back Time ran a story about the coming free trade in Textiles and how Chinese would make the killing. They have done so. In the first 6 months of this year, Chinese export indeed has increased by 50%. In that story Time gave the figures of productivity per worker – Chinese was way too higher to Indian ($5K to $2K) and the article rightly concluded that it is not essentially the cheap labor which is making Chinese Textile export competitive; but the high productivity per worker. That productivity is direct function of higher capital. So for Indians to compete, they would need to shed workers in that sector and use more capital. If it was only closed market of India, there would be no need to compete with China. But in a global market you got to have an efficient production. This means usually lesser workers and more pains due to lost jobs.

    Why are you not accepting this very clear facts, the phenomenon for which there is universal consensus? By doing that you are on the wrong footing. About Wal-Mart’s entry in India – why go that far (which will sure happen too). What about McDonald’s operating in India? They are requiring less workers than otherwise small time food shops would employ. Besides, the workers needed are different. So there is displacement of existing workers and opportunities for some new roles. This churning is part of Capitalism and Global Capitalism makes it a fast changing world. Necessarily it results in a large pool of workers who are at the receiving end.

    I suspect it is simply the blind hate of Communists which is resulting in you (Prashant) not seeing with clear eyes. I am not here to justify Communist ideology or their consistency. As far as I am concerned, they are wrong; neither do I support them nor do I vote for them. But the reality in India is unfolding in a different way. We got to be accommodative intellectually to understand the phenomenon which requires different explanation. Simply rejecting, like the way you are doing, is very unproductive and may I say as dishonest as the Communists in India you hate so much?

    Comment by Umesh Patil — August 31, 2005 @ 1:36 am

  8. Umesh

    I’m all for ideas that have a logical premise and are backed by facts — communism meets neither criteria. I have no blind hate of communism.

    Re your response — I stand by what I said earlier.

    Comment by Prashant Kothari — August 31, 2005 @ 10:39 am

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