Dalits see hypocrisy behind CPM's support
Friday, 03 February 2012 22:16
VR Jayaraj | Kochi
Prominent Dalit organizations and intellectuals in Kerala are refusing
to accept as genuine the support offered to them by the CPI(M) in the
draft political resolution it has p repared for presentation at the 20
the party congress to be held in Kozhikode in April
Most of such organizations are viewing the "newfound love for Dalits"
(as an intellectual puts it) of the Marxists as a hypocritical posture
it has been forced to adopt in the context of unprecedented erosion in
its working class and middle class base.
The draft political resolution of the CPI(M) for the congress says
"The fight against untouchability and caste oppression of Dalits has
to be actively taken up by the party". But a prominent Dalit
intellectual asked, "What were the Marxists doing all these decades?
Is it that they came to know of the oppression of the Dalits only
He said the CPI(M) had "never ever even pretended" in the recent past
that they were worried about the Dalits' suffering. "When we were
agitating for land to live on and to cultivate, the CPI(M) masters
were more worried about the protection of the lands of their middle
class supporters," he said.
A leader of the Sadhujana Vimochana Samyuktha Vedi, a Dalit forum
which had spearheaded a four-year-long, arduous agitation for land to
live on when the CPI(M)-led LDF was in power in Kerala, said the
"Marxist masters" had even threatened to send police with teeth and
claw to quell the struggle. "They are now asking us to trust them," he
Pointing out that the draft resolution of the CPI(M) had identified
"landlessness and denial of access to water supply, public roads and
other services" as factors that affected Dalits' lives", the Dalit
leader said the party was perhaps for the first time understanding why
it had lost West Bengal to Mamata and Maoists".
"As far as we are concerned, there is no difference between the CPI(M)
and the Congress-led Government in the Centre. Their approach to us –
and also the Adivasis – is the same in Kerala as well as in the
national level. The Marxists are now worried because we are beginning
to identify our inner strength, which is detrimental to their
interests," he said.
Dalit leaders say that the CPI(M) has not yet been able to understand
the value of identity politics in India, a country of complex
religious, caste and cultural systems. Dalit intellectual Soman of
Alappuzha said the Marxists were still living in "a fool's paradise"
with their reductionist theory that everything in the human world was
determined by class war.
Even the draft political resolution itself is saying, "The growth of
identity politics based on caste, religion, tribe and ethnicity is
posing a major challenge for Left politics in the country. The ruling
classes and imperialist finance capital find such politics eminently
suitable for their interests."
Soman said that Marxists in India were still formulating their
political programmes on the basis of 19th century theorizations by
Karl Marx in that age's European reality. "They have not yet learned
that a society's politics is determined by its own inner dynamics and
dialectics. I think Marx himself would have advised them so if he were
alive today," he said.
Kerala Reds reiterate their 'respect' for Christ
Kerala's CPI(M) leadership on Friday officially justified the
featuring of Jesus Christ as a revolutionary along with Ernesto (Che)
Guevara in a party-organized exhibition in Thiruvananthapuram even as
protests were aired by Christians against the Marxist act and the
Congress party warned that it could hurt the religious sentiments of
"We respect Jesus Christ as one of the greatest liberation fighters of
world history," State CPI(M) secretary Pinarayi Vijayan said on Friday
while inaugurating a national seminar in Thiruvananthapuram in
connection with the State conference of the party to be held from
February 7 in preparation for its 20th national congress in April.
"The Holy Bible itself has described how Jesus had driven out loan
sharks and black-marketers from the temple of God by flogging them
mercilessly. You can't prevent the communists from respecting that
Christ," Pinarayi said.
Jesus Christ's picture is featuring at the CPI(M)'s history exhibition
titled "Martyrdom: From Christ to Che". Observers are of the opinion
that the incident could lead to reopening of the confrontation between
the CPI(M) and the Church after a long lull.
Meanwhile, State Congress president Ramesh Chennithala warned the
CPI(M) against using Christ's picture for political campaigns, saying
it could hurt the sentiments of the believers. "The Satan had tested
Jesus in the desert. Now the Marxists are testing Christ in their
exhibition," Chennithala said.
Activists of the Kerala Catholic Youth Movement (KCYM) held a protest
demonstration in Thalassery, Kannur on Friday "against misuse of
Christ' picture" by Marxists for parochial goals and demanding an
apology from them.
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