INDIA: Volunteering into the Vacuum

For a decade after the British Raj left India, the rich, bustling city of Bombay was one of the bastions of Prime Minister Nehru's Congress Party. Last week its 131-man Municipal Corporation elected a new mayor, and chose a Communist: a colorless hack named S. S. Mirajkar.

Mirajkar's election was a sample of the way Communism is gaining in India—not by dynamic thrust, but merely by being around to pick up the pieces from the disintegrating Congress Party. Once the lean, eager arm of the independence movement, the Congress Party has become rich,...

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