Monday, August 11, 2008

Left parties differ on ‘winning back’ Naxals

NEW DELHI, Aug. 9: Seeking to give themselves a role in the “changing political scenario”, at least two key Left parties today favoured “winning the misguided extremists” (Naxalites) into the ‘democratic mainstream’ though the CPI-M asked naxals to change their mindset.

Addressing the RSP national convention here, the party’s general secretary, Prof TJ Chandrachoodan, sought to forge a broader left unity in their struggle and said the “mainstream left parties should work to win the misguided extremists to the right path”.

“Even though the extremists are a politically misguided lot, we should try our level best to bring them back to the fold of Left democratic mainstream,” he said.
Agreeing with him, the CPI veteran, Mr AB Bardhan, said, the Naxalites are “misguided brothers”. “They (Naxalites) are also working for the people but their working approach is wrong. We must also recognise that the established Left’s goals and those of naxalites are the same but the latter adopt a different method to achieve it. We must lend them support,” he said.

Mr Bardhan said at the same time the Naxals ought to be made to realise that extremism has only helped the government authorities use highhandedness to curb the movement. The mainstream Left should fight against the government’s attempt to “club our Naxalite brothers” who work for the welfare of the poor with extremists, he said.

However, in his address, the CPI-M general secretary, Mr Prakash Karat, said it is “very difficult” to conduct any dialogue with Maoists who feel all those who are “sold out” to ruling class should be eliminated. “In Nepal, the Maoists learned from their experience that in the 21st century one cannot ignore democracy and then they decided to join the process. The decision came of their own experience. Similarly, in any appeal to Maoists in India, they should be told to learn from the Indian experience,” Mr Karat said.


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