Communalism, like beauty, is in eyes of beholder

The opposition to the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal has seen a strange confluence of ideology. The communist parties are opposed to it, as indeed is the Bharatiya Janata Party. And there seems to be a growing clamour against the “secular” Left being seen to be voting with the “communal” Right.

M.J. Akbar punctures the argument in the Khaleej Times:

“The Congress has a very convenient memory. The last time that a government was defeated on the floor of the House, the Congress and the BJP voted together — to bring down the V.P. Singh government. Did that make Congress, and Rajiv Gandhi, who was leader of the party then, communal?

“During the term of the V.P. Singh government the Marxists and the BJP were allies, supporting Singh. They had weekly dinners, from which Harkishen Surjeet and L.K. Advani would emerge, smiling and laughing for the cameras. Did that make Surjeet communal?”

Read the full column: How public is public opinion?