Monday, February 18, 2008
Usha Uthup & Kerala Marxists
You might wonder what the connection is. Well, it’s like this. A top Communist leader was trying to control his party workers who were creating a ruckus at the concluding session of the Kerala CPI (M) State convention at Kottayam last week. In the process he said words to the effect that it was not an Usha Uthup gamamela (musical performance) for the participants to behave in that manner.
From the 1960s I have attended several performances by Usha, the ‘Queen of Indian Pop’. At none of them the crowd behaved like the comrades did at Kottayam. Usha can move her listeners and they love her, respond to her. That has been going on for decades. Once, at a Bangalore performance which I attended, she asked the Governor who was present to clap along with the audience and he did. It was all very dignified. This famous singer has rendered songs in 14 Indian languages and several foreign languages.
Usha took exception to the Red leader’s statement. She said that for forty years she has been singing all over the world and her listeners have been always decent and well behaved. As one could expect, the politician came out with a rather stretched explanation.
The State meet of the CPI (M) was well organized and quite interesting. There was strong criticism of the performance of the Chief Minister and ministers. The Party found a solution to the problem too - entrust the same people with the same jobs. To be done in the same manner? Well, one has to wait and see. The Party is to issue guidelines on how to run the Government. At least the Budget presentation and governance, which were put on hold for the Party’s convention, would be reactivated now.
In spite of being active in India from the 1920s, the Communists rule only West Bengal and Tripura, and Kerala at alternate elections. Prakash Karat, General Secretary of CPI (M) said in an interview given to the Malayala Manorama (see issue dated February 7) that he would not be satisfied till his party becomes an All India Party.
Photos from Usha Uthup’s website http://www.ushauthup.com/
Also see: Un-ploughed lies my land