Who are the Indian Leftists?
Why are communist leaders like Harkishan Singh Surjeet and Sitaram Yechury
considered so important though the Indian Left parties are numerically not very
strong in Parliament? Why is it that the most extravagant claims of the Leftists
pass off as gospel truth and their kinky theories as well-known facts? Where do
the Leftists derive their authority from?
Than Others seeks to answer such
questions and analyzes why the influence of the Indian Left is
disproportionately greater than its electoral strength. Ravi Shanker Kapoor
asserts that a purely political study will not help understand the tremendous
intellectual hegemony of the Left; one has to look beyond politics. The author
thus delves into art, culture, cinema, literature, academics, and the media to
map the pervasive influence the Indian Left wields. He probes into the antics
and pranks of aristocratic socialists, elitist Left-libbers, and pinkish
teenybopper intellectuals: how they revel in controversies like the ones caused
by Hussain’s nude Saraswati and the movie Fire; how they manufacture
consent and ostracize dissent; and how they collaborate with the Establishment,
their professed radicalism notwithstanding.
More Equal Than Others is the
first critical study of the Indian Left. And while the author’s criticism of the
Left is scathing, he is equally unsparing of the Indian Right which, he holds,
suffers from "downright cerebral poverty".
Both the general reader and the academic will find the book equally
stimulating and useful for the insights it contains. Kapoor combines erudition
with readability and discernment with wit. The result is a book which is
engaging and thought-provoking without being abstruse.