Thursday, August 02, 2007

CPI(M): Transformation to Social Democracy and Ruling Class decay

I honestly believe that the CPI(Marxist) is suffering from case of multiple
personality disorder... A case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

Its West Bengal unit murders farmers to acquire their lands for
industries while its Andhra Pradesh unit has its cadre murdered
by state terror forces in its land struggles.

CPI(Marxist): Transformation to Social Democracy and Ruling Class decay


when a prominent daily of Kerala, Mathrubhumi, published full details of a 2 crore deal between the management of Deshabhimani, CPI(M)’s daily, and Santiago Martin, one of the dons of lottery mafia in South India, now absconding from Tamilnadu police, CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat had to air dash to Thiruvananthapuram and order a probe by leading members of state secretariat. It was only a week before that a prominent manager of Deshabimani had to be dismissed for receiving Rs. one crore from the chief of a financial company indulging in large-scale cheating of the public - a blade company as it is called in the state.

It was to save its face from such numerous Kozha (bribe) cases, on which High Court ordered a vigilance enquiry, the LDF home minister had ordered another vigilance enquiry about a two year old allegation that the state Congress chief had received Rs. 10 crores from Himalaya Company, another blade company, the owners of which are involved in a multiple murder case. But this initiative by the CPI(M) minister has boomeranged with the announcement of Himalaya owners, who are on bail, on 19th July that they have handed over a big amount to one of the resident editors of Deshabhimani too in one CPI(M) Member of Parliament’s flat in Delhi.

Along with these multi-crore allegations, already the image of CPI(M) leadership, especially that of the state secretary who is the main accused in the Rs. 374 crores Lavalin case, was much tarnished with the building of a luxurious house for him and owning amusement parks and hundreds of crores worth property by the party. The climax was that the CPI(M) office built in an illegally transferred plot at Munnar was constructed by a real estate firm which is allowed to run it as a fabulous resort for ten years on BOT basis, similar to the CPI office nearby. That is why both CPI(M) and CPI leaderships were enraged when their own chief minister ordered the re-capture of nearby 60,000 acres of government land illegally occupied by Tatas for last three decades, in which these resorts cum party offices also stand.

The CPI state secretary, the revenue and forest ministers belonging to it and its other top leaders were the first to come out opposing the appointment of a special team to take back the land and the deployment of JCBs to bring down the resorts including CPI and CPI(M) offices built on land illegally transferred by Tatas. They acted like naked dalals of Tatas true to their three decade long history of shameless servitude to them. Tatas helped them by recognising AITUC as the only recognised union for a long time and providing generous benefits of all kinds to AITUC and CPI leaders. CPI tried and is still trying to undermine the chief minister’s initiative to take back the government land from Tatas. So when CPI called for a fund to revive Janayugam, its daily which was closed down a decade back, it could collect Rs. 10 crores much beyond its own expectations as Tatas like corporate houses and land mafias generously contributed. In spite of all its protestations CPI is exposed more than ever as a reactionary agent of Tatas like forces. Its ministers have cut down their tours fearing protest demonstrations against them.

Munnar Kannan Devan Hills, about 1,37,000 acres in area, was given on 99 years lease to a British man for tea plantation by a local king which lapsed in 1971. In 1974 under a Land Board order 57,000 acres were given to Tatas on a new lease for tea plantation and accessories. 20,000 acres were kept for Eravikulam wild life sanctuary. Though the whole land had to be surveyed and rest of the land was to be taken over by the government, for 33 years neither the UDF nor the LDF governments did not do so as they were generously contributed by Tatas. Meanwhile violating conditions of lease, Tatas sold large plots to many private agencies, individuals, CPI, CPI(M) like parties and many relatives of UDF leaders. The chief minister, who was being increasingly side lined by the group led by CPI(M) state secretary within the organisation, took initiative to recapture the land under Tatas’ illegal occupation not because he was against the social democratic line of the party, but with the intention of increasing his influence among the cadres by the time of the party state conference in February 2008.

But once the Munnar operation began all UDF and LDF parties including CPI(M) state leadership, the bureaucracy and the monopoly media joined hands to sabotage it directly or indirectly. Tatas spent lavishly to please these dalals and is engaged in utilising the High Court to delay the operation. And the CPI(M) district secretary who had grown from rags to riches with Tatas’ help openly challenged the chief minister by announcing that he will cut the hands of those who dare to continue the operation. It shows the extent of degeneration of CPI(M) and the gravity of the feud between chief minister Achuthanandan and CPI(M)’s state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan factions which is intensifying even after suspension of both of them from politbureau.

Even if one forgets about Singur, Nandigram and other happenings in West Bengal and Tripura where CPI(M) led Left Front governments are in power for a long time, what is happening in Kerala during last 15 months after CPI(M)-led LDF government coming to power alone is sufficient to expose the degeneration of CPI(M) to the level of any other ruling class party in the country. It will be interesting to add here that even the article written by Prakash Karat in People’s Democracy criticising the 2 crores deal with the lottery don was diluted while it was published in Deshabhimani. In 1985, in The Marxist, the theoretical quarterly of CPI(M), Prakash Karat has written an article: Naxalbari Today: At an Ideological Dead end. It will be interesting to hear what he has to say about what is happening to CPI(M), its politics, ideology and organisation today, when what the Naxalites had analysed about CPI(M) as a party fast degenerating from neo-revisionism to social democracy is proved correct and when the ‘Naxalites’ overcoming their sectarian past are regrouping and providing a serious challenge agianst imperialist globalisation, SEZs and other ruling class policies.

The West Bengal chief minister Budhadeb Bhattacharyee has justified this transformation in his latest interview to The Hindustan Times (19th July) as follows: “The world is changing. Communists are also changing. We can’t stick to our old dogmas. Deng Xiaoping used to say: Learn truth from the facts, not from dogmas.” This faithful disciple of Deng of ‘Black cat, White cat theory’ adds: “Without industry how do you progress? This is the general trend of all civilization - from village to city, from agriculture to industry. You cannot stop it, you should not stop it. And for that you need private industry, private capital, you need big business. We need multinationals.” The same words are echoed by EP Jayarajan, managing director of Deshabhimani in Kerala: “Once we worked taking black tea and dal vada, using simple dress. Can we work in same manner today. World has changed.”

These leaders forget that Deshabhimani survived by getting the contributions of ordinary people once, ordinary people like Palora Matha, a poor peasant woman, who gave the only property she had, a calf, for its fund, and thousands of others like her. By forgetting it and going for crores worth contributions from lottery dons like criminals, CPI(M) has abandoned its very class line itself. It has reached a dead end as far as Marxist approaches are concerned.

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