Washington: CPI(M) activists in Kerala were in high spirits after a picture of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan shaking hands with World Bank Managing Director, Anna Bjerde, came out. To the hardcore leftists the status of Pinarayi Vijayan as a ‘world leader’ has been cemented. They praise the veteran comrade for bringing investments into Kerala with the help of World Bank.
However, to a neutral observer in Kerala, this handshake has much more significance. By significance, it does not mean the level of World Bank’s help in the infrastructure development of the state. Or how it will affect the already debt ridden state.
This handshake is also a declaration that the Left in Kerala has buried its past of dogmatic communism and left-leaning policies. CPI(M) led protests had many times in the past brought the state of Kerala to a standstill in the name of World Bank, ADB, foreign funding, United States etc.
But now here we are: The communist CM of Kerala shaking hands with World Bank MD for foreign funding on US soil. What more significance can you expect from this historic handshake?
While the comrade looks exuberant in Washington there are many comrades back home who had sacrificed their lives and careers for the party in the numerous protests and agitations against world financial organizations like World Bank in the past. They are left lurking in the dark facing the reality that is life.
The communist party has always adopted a policy of total protest against everything and anything while they are in opposition. The minute they get grab power in Kerala, they quickly embrace whatever they opposed.
The protest against self-financing colleges by the communist party during the early 1990’s was huge. Left students and party workers wrecked havoc in the state. It also resulted in the death of five DYFI activists after police fired at protesters in an agitation against the education policy brought by the United Democratic Front, led by Congress.
However, once the Left Democratic Front came to power, they toned down their opposition to it. Now self-financing colleges are a common sight in Kerala. What happened to the stiff opposition and protests? Nothing. It just fizzled out.
Similarly, the handshake with World Bank official is totally fine until the communist party is in power in Kerala. Therefore, this picture must be engraved in the memories of every Keralite, not as a grand achievement of the comrade, but as a proof that communist party has buried its ideology long back and is now ready to hobnob with any institution as long as it is in power.