118 years of Trust M A I L B A G THE TRIBUNE
Tuesday, January 26, 1999
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The CPM & its ideology

  THIS refers to the article, "CPM then and now: coping with new realities" (The Tribune, January 11), by Mr K. Gopalakrishanan. The main charge of the writer against the CPM is that it has switched over to the lines of a bourgeoisie democratic socialist party from that of a revolutionary one.

As a humble student of Marxism, I submit that the writer has failed to substantiate his charge. The CPM leadership has never considered the CPI as its main enemy. This is only a fantasy. Yes, there have been ideological differences for a long time between the two parties. From 1947 to 1964, the Communist Party of India held five congresses. These party gatherings were marked by sharp ideological differences between the Marxists and those who wanted to go in for class collaboration with the Congress. The seventh congress of the CPM held at Calcutta was the culmination of this fierce internal party struggle within the united Communist Party of the country.

Mr Gopalakrishanan deprecates the CPM for changing allies so frequently and hugging its arch enemies also—"It looks as though the main enemy of the CPM becomes its political partner." The CPM has not so far changed its basic strategy of bringing in fundamental socio-economic transformation in India. As far as the current tactics are concerned, no revolutionary party can keep the same for decades by ignoring the correlation of slowly but definitely changing class forces.

There was a time when the main fight was against the monopoly of the Congress party. When Indira Gandhi declared the Emergency in 1975, the CPM cadres opposed it tooth and nail. Many top leaders remained in jail for 19 months.

Now, in the changed circumstances, the mass base of the Congress party has considerably shrunk, and the right-wing BJP has been steadily growing for the last one decade. Its communal policies pose a serious danger to the unity and integrity of the country.

In the case of economic policies, the CPM is "willing to accept the ground realities", the writer argues. What is objectionable in it? The communists assess the socio-economic situation keeping in view the latest technological developments, but they can never allow national and foreign bourgeoisie to exploit the working class of this great nation. Even V.I. Lenin had asked the Russians go in for "joint ventures" for giving a fillip to agriculture and industrial production.

Has the CPM really acquired a look beyond recognition? Perhaps not. I do not grumble at the criticism, but I want to ask: how? Has this party changed its political programme? Has it gone in for any formal alliance with the Congress party? Has it stopped criticising the economic policy of the Congress? How have they gone against their grain? Please elaborate. In a democratic country, healthy debates on political and social issues are of paramount importance. But they need not be only one-sided.

I have been a close observer of the CPM in some districts of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, and I do not mince words in accepting the fact that CPM leaders and cadres are voicing the concern of the poorest of the poor despite their serious constraints. Particularly the young party members from the middle class are finding it quite hard to work in the rural areas. In the party leadership, the backwards, the Dalits and the tribals are only marginally represented. In UP, for instance, the Dalits and the backwards are not allowed to climb the ladder of the party hierarchy beyond a certain point. The upper castes hailing from middle rung peasant families seem to be indifferent to the cause of the poor and the weak.

There are some people who want "quick results", and they are not much bothered about the sanctity of an ideology or philosophy. They are growing desperate to share power with bourgeois political parties after the collapse of the communist giant, the USSR. But such people are in a minority in the party.


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Attacks and conversions

With reference to the news-item in The Tribune dated January 15, "Saffron brigade poses threat to security", the speakers at the forum provided by the Peoples Action Front only showed their political inclination while expressing adherence to their secular intentions.

While all patriotic citizens should join hands in condemning the attacks on Christians and their churches, there is no need to politicise the issue. The speakers at the forum should have also condemned the conversion of the weaker and poorer sections of the tribal communities and others to the Christian faith with any kind of inducement. There is every likelihood of more danger to our national security if such activities are allowed to go on in our country.

Moreover, there is need to have some control over the flow of funds from abroad for the propagation of religion.


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January 26

The 26th of January, we do say, is remarkable in every way/ As it had encouraged the exit of the British/ Ensured our own stay/ Today, we may not respect the freedom/ For which elders had to pay/ But tomorrow will accept that the nation is not meant to be thrown away!



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