Lenin's statue being toppled in Tripura
Lenin's statue being toppled in Tripura | @cpimspeak
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We are a country where you will find followers of Gandhi and Godse living together, as do admirers of Hitler and Stalin. However, this perception of India is fast changing.

Barely one day since the election results in Tripura, Section 144 of the CrPC has been imposed in several areas of the state. Among the various acts of violence, one stood out in particular — A statue of the erstwhile Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin was torn down by a mob whose members wore BJP caps. Of course, it was hailed as a symbolic act against oppression.

Across the world, India is known for being a vibrant, peaceful democracy marked by tolerance and diversity — ethnic, linguistic, religious and political. We are a country where you will find followers of Gandhi and Godse, as well as admirers of Hitler and Stalin, living together. However, this perception of India is fast changing.

The razing of the Lenin statue marks the beginning of the fall of India’s tolerant political culture. The incident does not signal the fall of communism, as many people on the Right would have you believe. The space where you could freely express your political ideas is shrinking and tightly monitored — especially opinions that go against the majoritarian view. One ideology wants to hijack the nation as its own. If you don’t subscribe to it, you are not patriotic and are acting against the nation.

Decades ago, you could belong to different ideologies and still pursue the shared endeavour for development and nation-building. Bhagat Singh, a revolutionary freedom fighter worshipped by many in India, was an ardent follower of Lenin and inspired by communism. In fact, right before his execution, he was reading a book written by or about Lenin. Manmath Nath Gupta, a close associate of Bhagat Singh, wrote about those moments:

“When called upon to mount the scaffold, Bhagat Singh was reading a book by Lenin or on Lenin, he continued his reading and said, ‘Wait a while. A revolutionary is talking to another revolutionary.’ There was something in his voice which made the executioners pause. Bhagat Singh continued to read. After a few moments, he flung the book towards the ceiling and said, ‘Let us go.'”

Despite being deeply inspired by Lenin, was Bhagat Singh hated by his fellow freedom fighters? No. Subhas Chandra Bose, another legendary freedom fighter, sought to form an alliance with Hitler’s forces. Was his role in the freedom struggle erased from history books because of his ideology? No. That India was very different.

Today, the razing of the Lenin statue has been justified by several people, including members of the ruling party, saying that it was the fall of a destructive ideology.

This raises a big question mark on the future of our country. Will acts of mob justice and vandalism of public property henceforth be supported by the government if they are in accordance with its political opinions? What if the government changes in the future? Will it be justified for a future government to endorse the vandalism of RSS members’ statues?

Some supported the razing of the statue with the argument that it was a symbol of painful oppression for some people:

However, does a mob have the right to decide what is a symbol of painful oppression and act against it? If, tomorrow, a mob of Nehru-haters pulls down his statues saying 60 years of Congress rule were painful and oppressive for them, will it be justified?

The truth is that if the rule of the mob is allowed to continue, the country will descend into anarchy. The police and judiciary would become mute spectators.

Our country has unfortunately started down that path already. Violent protests in the name of a ‘baba’ in Haryana, and against the movie ‘Padmaavat’ elsewhere, as well as the recent spike in mob lynchings: The common theme across all such incidents is the unwillingness of the government to implement law and order. These are all signs pointing in the same direction.

When one ideology wants to rule over others, it will not selectively choose which of its competitors to kill; it will want the elimination of all competition. And all kinds of criminal acts favourable to that ideology will be endorsed.

Today it is Lenin, tomorrow it will be Gandhi.

Dhruv Rathee is an activist and YouTuber.

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22 COMMENTS

  1. It’s simply tit for tat. Dhruv Rathi is Liberal and soft-spoken Kanahiya Kumar. I followed her some of videos and come to realize his agenda. He gives his opinion in support of Ravish Kumar on the basis being less noisy and his fake intellect but hate other somewhat neutral anchors. This guy clearly have a agenda.

  2. Dhruv Rathee, the informed progressive intellectual, returns to gain some social media cookies in an attempt to increase his youtube revenue.

  3. All right with Lenin, Hitler and other doing in past the same so called ??? dose to with their own people in the past??? When it end???

  4. Often it’s said that India has unity in diversity but I should say India has diversity but not the unity . People gets united only when there own community’s purpose or ideology gets served or harmed and not of the nation as a whole and this community bias is getting stronger and violent with each passing day as the government itself supports these kind of acts by taking no action against them or by throwing some other irrelevant issue on there paid news channels ( almost 90% news channels show irrelevant issues for days like Sri devi’s Death or Priya varriers wink like India has got no other issue to talk about ) so as to divert the mind of public ! I would give 100 out of 100 to this government for playing such tactful mindgames ?

  5. Out of hundreds of statues scattered all over India including in Tripura , uprooting of a single one in a small town is a minor law and order problem and must be ignored. It is definietely not going to change any thing. This is not the first statue in India which was vandalized. We are used to such vandalism for at least a thousand years and still we are a tolerant nation.Our left and liberal intellectuals should stop crying for this minor incident.

  6. Good observations. Agree except that ‘it is abject failure of a central government’. It’s not just abject but it’s a deliberate one. it’s not that Modi was not good at law and order during Gujrat riots 2002. He deliberately chose not to be good at it. Same things being repeated in other BJP governed States now.

  7. Imagine how powerful Lenin is. Hundred years have lapsed since the Russian Revolution, and jobless youth in Tripura feel threatened by a lifeless statue. Only those who are chickens about free market and capitalism, indulge in such cowardly and utterly useless acts like pulling down a statue and get paranoid about Communism. I highly doubt any of those vandals have even cleared Class 8 in school to actually learn about Communism. So let’s not even tell them how foolish they look. It’s not about followers of Gandhi and Godse living like a reunited Karan Johar family. Godse’s followers are murder apologists, and the weakest form of Indians – who pee in their pants at thought of Pakistan. They are a Kyu Klux clan, clueless about what they wanted in life. But easily ignored when they start blathering like idiots. Let’s be clear – this is not abt some space that’s diminishing. This is abject failure of a central government in enforcing law and order. Modi was never good at it. Gujarat 2002 proved it. Weakest PM ever. Noone listens to him, even after screeching so much.

  8. The only problem here I see is the blatant lie that Netaji’s contributions are not removed from history. His followers created a communist party in India in the name of Forward Block and Netaji’s history was classified to give Gandhi and Nehru the relevance that they needed to stay in power in independent India. Till date documents related to his death are held as classified and his contributions are rather obscured in the rest of India except WB.

    I am not justifying what has happened, just note that no party in no age was any different, but the Right Wingers are a bit to extreme these days.

    • To talk openly about a simple observation of this nature needs a lot of courage these days. The trolls armed with the arguments that invariably has to start with ” Where were you when…..?” kind of stuff are ready to pounce on you. These half-literate, stupid bigots are there with the only motive to distract a good discussion.

  9. Where were your opinions when these very communist vandals destroyed ex-
    PM Rajiv Gandhi’s statue when they came to power in Tripura? Where were your opinions when CPM MP Jharna Das openly threatened BJP supporters in pre-election rally that CPM will settle scores with BJP supporters after election result is over and before government is formed? This party has been terrorising people in Tripura since long, looting public funds, agitating the indigenous people of Tripura even for the extremely shameful naked march! Every time I land at agartala, the whole city is in a mess with drain mud and water all over the roads, almost every road dug up, hospitals in terrible mess: admitting any patients to any of the hospitals mean playing with their life! Patients have to be referred to kolkata regularly for treatment. Me, as a resident of Tripura, is extremely happy to see these goons gone. Please do not try to shed crocodile tears and show sympathy for this party.

  10. Dont worry Mr Activist.. you are not the only activist.. we are also activists.. where were you when Muslims rampaged in Mumbai and molested Police women and your congress government did not lift a finger to control the mob.. and your leftist b*****d friends justified the Mob violence( it seems its okay for muslims to destroy everyone/everything in the way to vent their anger ) .. we dont need Lenins /stalins who are basically mass murderers and communists who are basically anti Hindu and does not have balls to take on the Islam & Christian fundamentalists and mob

  11. “Today it is lenin tommorow it will be gandhi” this is a filmy cum populist remark.You should read the history of lenin and the mass murders under soviet communist regime ,how much losses the neighboring countries sufferd due to the expansionist mindset of the soviet nation communist regime and also the oppression faced by russian people who opposed communism, so this is a bizzare observation of yours and be 100% assured that in your lifetime gandhi’s statue will never be removed .Dont be mistaken that i support vanadalism , it would have been better if this had’nt happened and removing the statue was done with a democratic process like in the case when ‘aurangzeb road’ name was changed to ‘apj abdul kalam road’.

    • No question of removing Gandhi’s statue. Gandhi was murdered by these very people. For last sixty years, these venom-spewing hate-mongers are relentlessly working on killing Gandhi’s ideas or for that matter any ideas that support the peaceful coexistence, equality and brotherhood.

  12. Vandalism is bad, need to be condemned, no doubt. But it may not be a good idea to compare communist political leaders and dictators like Lenin or Stalin with Gandhi or Buddha. Stalin had killed millions, fellow Russians as well. Good to remember that communist do not believe in democracy at all as a matter of principle and philosophy. Their sole aim is to establish dictatorship in the name of the working class. The funny part is you will never find a working class person within the communist leadership. All middle class elitist with a know all attitude. I always used to wonder how come this Communists are allowed to take part in the Indian electoral democracy. Imagine they some how manage to achieve absolute majority, end of Democracy in India.

    • Exactly.. basically they are anti Hindu .. and dont have guts to taken on Christian and Islamic institutional support for violence and conversion

  13. Bunkum. The same communists are intolerant to any other ideology except theirs. They have brutally killed their opponents in Kerala and Bengal. All this fanciful talk of peaceful coexistence is misleading. Communists never tolerated anyone on their turf.

    • Exactly. They routinely employ murder , violence and torture as a way to eliminate rivals … and on the news media they all talk of peace & love.. ” Communists never tolerated anyone on their turf. ” .. could not agree more

    • Who are u to comment on the communists in kerala…??? U might be an Rss supporter i guess…if you can support BJP govt who has helped the bloody vampires rape a 6 year old little girl in jammu …pls do support but dont do that by criticising the communist govt in kerala…bitch we are the best state in india because of them…pls do fuck off!!
      Thank you!!

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