I dug up Papa’s analysis on Khruschev’s abrupt removal from power from among his papers. Khruschev was utterly unlike the cartoon caricature the West liked to portray him as. He humanised the USSR, and after one of the most diabolical periods in Russia’s history, under Stalin, people were free to breathe and live normal lives again. This was partially reversed later but he was responsible for decisively breaking with the past. Sad that he was treated the way he was in his last years.
The last 4 paragraphs are prescient. Twice in its post-Stalinist history, the Soviet Union was on the brink of humanising its totalitarian system. Papa rightly said Khruschev was removed more for “slowly eroding away the authority of the Party and transplanting it into the people“, than for any other reason. Tikky Kaul later disagreed with Papa but in my heart I know Papa was right. The establishment has frequently refused to recognise what is staring them in their face.
Many years later, I too predicted Gorbachev’s reforms – Perestroika and Glasnost – would erode the Communist Party’s authority and snowball into democracy. I too was pooh-poohed!