Last week, the new Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan appointed Harvard economist Dr. Gita Gopinath as economic adviser to the CM, an honorary position that came as quite a surprise given the Communists' utter disdain for fact-based economics... and facts, in general. Predictably, the ruling CPM got into a tizzy, with Vijayan's perpetual frenemy and former CM VS Achuthanandan supposedly castigating the CM for inviting an economist with so-called neo-liberal views to advise the CM. This, at a time when Vijayan seems to have realized that the collapse of the Arab gulf oil economies will severely harm the state, which depends on remittances from the region to bankroll itself. Vijayan has been talking about the need to bring in more investment and jobs to the state and has supported the GST Bill at the state level.Great Malayali Intellectual Hypocrisy and Appointment of Gita Gopinath. https://t.co/fGBHStLDqX— Prasanna Viswanathan (@prasannavishy) July 29, 2016
If ever you wondered why the word 'liberal' has become an insult, look no further than how the CPM is treating Dr. Gopinath, and how the Prime Minister treated another US-based economist, RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan, and the difference in the level of outrage that the liberal brigade has generated for each. For Rajan, his exit was supposed to be some sort of intellectual intolerance, never mind that it is a fact that he did not get along with the government and was appointed by the last one. In the case of Dr. Gopinath, there is staunch silence, perhaps ever a level of agreement. After all, fancy degrees and academic positions in the US are the holy grail of Indian intellectuals, until of course it comes to Marx, in which case the US is Satan!
Let's call a spade a spade: the entire fracas with Raghuram Rajan was orchestrated as a political tool by the liberals, who could not have cared less for his actual job. In Dr. Gopinath's case, the aggressor (the CPM) is one of their own, and hence the utter lack of outrage at how an academic is being politicized. Why is 'liberal' and insult? Because it is synonymous with 'hypocrite' - clearly, the Communists of yesterday, scattered by the dissolution of the Soviet Union, have regrouped under the umbrella of liberals. Old wine in a new bottle.