V I Lenin successfully captured power in Oc’ 1917 to steer the destiny of the Russians out of abject poverty. His thoughts were revolutionary. He had a communist theoretical design to overcome the geographical infirmities to turn the tide against poverty. But most of all he lacked Capital to run the show. He missed! Nobody had told him that a farm was not a factory. That there are many variables which affect the farm output. And unless a farmer is settled in an ambience of peace, no production will happen. For farmers are the main source supplying sons to fighting wars.

Nobody had told him that the source of all Capital is Sun. But he was oblivious of the spirit of the Gayatri Mantra. He was ignorant to the fact that if you have a frugal shivering Sun you will always be febrile!

He corrupted Marxism. When Noor Mohd Taraki took over from where Lenin had left it, an era of unprecedented violence was unleashed in Afghanistan. Since 1979 the damage suffered by the civilised world can’t be quantified. One pinprick in Afghanistan has extracted a price from Iraq, Syria & Yemen to say the least. And our own Kashmir is bleeding because there is a CIA-ISI conglomerate working to keep the pot burning in Afghanistan.

Breeding poverty is the easiest enterprise one can pursue. Kill the wage earner and kick his family in a pit! During the reign of Louis XVI eleven lac beggars were officially living in France. When Napoleon took over one solution he prosecuted was that he organised a rag-tag half-clad half fed army to export poverty to Russia. This solution wasn’t his invention. European countries had always been doing it- stealing each other’s hens and eggs. Historians won’t tell you these stories. You have to visit the treasures of European literature for answers. The writers have recorded honestly the stories of European culture of poverty driven base economy.

Louis XVI was the King of France in 1777. Right at the beginning of his reign, there were hunger riots. During one of these riots at Dijon, the Governor told the starving population: The grass has sprouted, go to the fields and browse on it! The anger of the people erupted on 14th July 1789. The fall of Bastille was a great event in the history of Europe. But the mob driven revolution couldn’t find solution to hunger problem.

The counter revolution catapulted Napoleon Bonaparte on the European scene. Law of Suspects had taken a toll of population. The era of terror was in full swing. Camille Desmoulins, the man who led attack on Bastille in 1789 fell a victim to the guillotine. His wife was likewise treated after a few days. The revolution started eating her own children. The counter revolution was around the corner. And in Nov 1799 revolution breathed its last.

H G Wells says Napoleon was a mere adventurer and a wrecker who did great injury to Europe and Civilisation. Now this is an exaggeration because Europe was never a sustainable civilisation. The Roman Empire was sustained by wars and slave trade. That was perhaps the last crucible for breeding art and culture.

Karl Marx wrote extensively about Napoleonic Code. I can’t recall anything now as about fifty years have gone by. But I can’t understand why Napoleon moved all across Europe after 1804 and conducted wars instead of reorganising economic activities to bring succour to his own people. But power was ‘his mistress’. Therefore, entire political poultry Farm that Europe represented at that point of time fell at his feet temporarily. But was he wise?

If he had to rationalise the production and distribution of food to the French people, why did he go after making wars, taking the responsibility of the welfare of the conquered people? Why did he cull his own human resource in the battlefields?

Since he could not find any solution to the problems of France, he kept hopes alive by conducting wars. Army meant that some were fed because they could steal as well, while national sentiments kept French hoping. In 1812, he moved his army against Russia.

I need not to repeat the disaster which visited both Russians and Europeans especially the French in six months of war. What I want to say that Mongols were better war mongers because they would put a semblance of administration in the conquered territories. Napoleon went about his campaigns like a mad man. Asked farmers to surrender shoes and clothes for the rag-tag army. In this way he impoverished an entire people.

Europe had to go through a great war to repay for the sins she committed in Africa and Asia to overcome her poverty. It was one more purgation. The deaths and ruin caused by this war enabled the Bolsheviks to capture power in Oct 1917 in Russia.

2nd WW culled more productive human resource of Europe. It brought in more misery. When I compare the role played by the East India Company in India viz a viz role played by French in Europe, East India Co is a clear winner. Its aim was to overcome the penury of England through commerce and trading. But destiny had tailored a role for them. They interfered politically and brought an end to the Mughal Empire. Zafar the last Mughal was buried in Rangoon. The curtain was drawn and Mughals became History.

The Turko- Afghan political intervention in India was 700-year-old in 1857. It was humanly not possible for the Hindus to overthrow the Islamic rulers after the 3rd battle of Panipat. EIC/ Brits cleaned the Indian stables and placed before the Hindus a political assignment but not before bringing the Hindu gentry nearer to western education.

The Hindus should show gratitude and rewrite their immediate history if they have to sustain their new- found freedom. If they continue to lie, the divine intervention in the shape of Pakistan is ready to strike!

II

There are no shortcuts to solving social and economic problems. Life is like a snow fed river. It moves on, inspite of the competence/incompetence of the rulers. Prosperity is the gift of statesmanship. But it is peace which fortifies social progress. War disrupts normal life. Disruptions need surpluses to tide over difficult periods. But disruptions do take place in normal peaceful lives as well. If a provider of a family dies suddenly disruption sets in. The family becomes a potential candidate for sinking in the pit of poverty. And the natural disasters also chip in to destroy the prosperity of a sizable number of people who sink below poverty line for no fault of theirs.

In peaceful times a fair number of people sink below poverty line as some move up above poverty line. I think, and it is my guess that 23 million families sink below poverty line in India every year while 25 million move up the line. You can say, India has 8% growth. That is the dynamics of poverty and affordability, which happens in all societies of the world. It is very clear if some person tells you: Trust me, I shall remove the poverty of the people, he is simply lying to you!

Understanding about the origin of family, private property and state is the one gift which the originators of communist thought provided to the civilised world. After going through this essay, I suddenly discovered my failings about understanding of human society. I was lucky to realise at age twenty how to differentiate between real and unreal social narratives.

A family is the basic economic unit. It is efficient and takes care of a set of people- members of the family. Now suppose a panchayat tells people that we will organise ourselves as a commune and decrees that one village shall have one kitchen, the idea militates against the very evolution of the institution of family.

Family is the basic administrative unit. It is a microcosm of governance. Production, distribution, budgeting, security and creating surpluses are as much the concern of a government as it is that of a family. So, strengthening the institution of family should be the chief concern of a sensible government. A strong society means families are strong. Then only can a country boast about the quality of its prosperity.

Conversely speaking, if families do not possess or have access to a surplus fund, they are vulnerable, so is society and the country. Solutions can’t come from above. It never works that way.

III

We shall return our narrative of Russia. The Bolshevik revolution continued because solutions to the socio-economic problems didn’t go away. Therefore, terrorising people into silence became the chief occupation of the Socialistic State. And when Stalin took over after making some deft but decisive moves he set into motion events which brought more misery for the communist state.

The Russian civil war that followed the revolution, Stalin forged connections with the Red-Army Generals and acquired the necessary writ to put down counter-revolution brutally.

Trotsky wanted Trade Unions to be incorporated more and more into worker State and control the Industrial sector. Lenin’s position was that trade unions were subordinate to the Worker State. Fearing a backlash from trade unions, Lenin asked Stalin to build a support base among the workers and Peasant

Stalin played a decisive role in engineering the invasion of Georgia in May ’21 at a time when Georgia was biggest Menshevik stronghold. Following the invasion, he adopted a hard-line centralist policy towards Georgia. Lenin however disliked Stalin’s policy towards Georgia. But he was helpless.

The entire altruistic political narrative of the Bolsheviks converged to one- point programme; kill and terrorise the proletariat in constant fear. It is estimated that Stalin despatched twenty million to labour camps. One half that population didn’t survive those camps.

When Islamic adventurers started scouting North India, sudden termination of life was the only means to keep the local population in check. All instant dictators walk this path once the weight of the burden they willingly choose to carry, starts pinning them down.

Collectivisation and famine of 1932-33 created an unprecedented migration of millions of peasants into cities. The communist juvenile experiment failed like the model Paris commune failed. This situation created an existential challenge to the worker State. But human mind always works out solutions which prove short cuts to disaster at a later stage.

The solution offered to tide over the problem was simple. Identify the villains and divert the attention. In this way the era of great purges started. It was a campaign of political repression of peasants and the Red Army leadership. The alleged villains were labelled as counter-revolutionaries. Wide spread police surveillance was put in place to nab the saboteurs. Minorities were labelled as 5th column. Hundreds of thousands of victims were accused of various political crimes and were either executed or sent to Gulag labour camps. Stalin gassed people much before Hitler did it some years later.

Between 1936-38, three very large Moscow trails of former senior party leaders were held.

The first trial was of 16 members of the so called “Trotskyite-Kamenivite” counter-revolutionary bloc. All were executed.

In January 1937, 17 lesser members were charged. 13 were handed over to firing squad. 4 were sent to labour camp.

3rd and final trial in 1938, known as trial of 21 is the most famous trial. 21 defendants alleged to being “Block of the Rightists and Trotskyites” included men like Nikloi Bukharin, the former chairman of the Communist International and former Premier Alexi Rykov. The confessions were extracted from Krestinsky after he repudiated his written confession. Next day observers saw his dislocated shoulder. He recanted his previous day’s statement.

The result of this trial was:

Red Army purge removed 3 of the 5 marshals (equal to 5-star General). 13 of the 15 army commanders (3 to 4 Star generals), 9 Admirals, 50 0f the 57 corps commanders and 154 of 156 divisional commanders were removed.

Eventually almost all the Bolsheviks who had played prominent roles in Oct 1917 revolution or those who had served in the Lenin’s government were executed. Of the six Polit bureau members only Stalin survived! Trotsky was forced into exile. He was assassinated in 1940.

It is estimated that five million died in a period of few years. In his famous de-Stalinisation speech of 1956, Khrushchev admitted that purges were “abuse of power” committed by Stalin.

So, problems for the people mounted while deaths continued to take the toll of the population. The final act of European tragedy was started by Hitler. Stalin killed and killed. Hitler did the same. So much for European culture which H G Wells mourned as mentioned above.

IV

Cheka was an organisation created by worker State to identify and liquidate what they called counter-revolutionaries. During those times farmers apart from paying usual taxes were forced to perform Samooblozhenie or self-taxation. Jokes became the only escape from mundane life. “How do you deal with mice in Kremlin?” “Just put up a sign board-Collective Farm. Half of the mice will starve to death. The other half will run away!”

So, poverty alleviation is not an ideological enterprise. Earlier the communists understand it, better will it be for the poor people of the world! But the ideology having come a cropper refuses to go away. It is now riding piggy-back the radical Islam. More potent more dangerous! The young students who get infected in universities should think twice before embarking on the Titanic of despair.