Dalits scorn CPM's newfound love
February 3, 2012
By K.P. Sethunath
The CPI-M's new support to the dalit cause has failed to impress
prominent the intellectuals in the community in Kerala.
A cross-section of them feels the party has taken up the issue in an
opportunistic manner with a view to stemming the dwindling mass base
of the party among the oppressed castes in the country.
They were responding to the draft political resolution adopted by the
CPI(M) central committee to be introduced in the 20th congress of the
party to be held in April. It stated that "the fight against
untouchability and caste-based oppression of dalits has to be actively
taken up by the party". The resolution also mentioned in detail about
the oppression of the tribal people in the country.
A communist party like the CPI(M) latching on to the caste issue has
to be examined historically because the social oppression of the
dalits is not something new, said Sunny Kapikkad, prominent writer and
"The issue is how the party approaches the issue. It has failed to
historically analyse the reason behind the caste oppression and the
social engineering that could change the situation. In these crucial
areas, the party has no fresh insights or solutions," Sunny said.
The vehement criticism of the identity politics by the party shows it
is unable to get out of the class-war mould, he said. "We are now
raising the issue of the political empowerment of the dalits
proportionate to the strength of their population," said K.K. Kochu,
another prominent dalit intellectual.
The social empowerment of the dalits is intimately linked with
political empowerment and Dr. B.R. Ambedkar has made this position
clear way back in 1934. Yet, the communists have failed to understand
the significance or relevance of realization of Dr Ambedkar," he said.
The CPI(M) has started talking about the dalits because of the changes
in the overall political context in the country, with the emergence of
a new phase of dalit politics led by the likes of the BSP.
The dailit politics has matured enough to represent the community, and
we don't need any patronization, he said.
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