Ex-Comrade: Party Congress turns into Congress Party
The casteist-misogynistic CPM leadership slams the doors on Dalits and women, but keeps it open for the Congress Party, which they once despised as the ‘big bourgeoisie’
With Sitaram Yechury being re-elected as the general secretary, the curtain fell on the 22nd party congress at Hyderabad on April 22. As one of the earlier columns, Death Either Way, Ex-Comrade had observed that the CPM was left with two choices, either a natural death or suicide.
The political resolution proposed by Prakash Karat faction had urged the party to maintain a distance from the Congress, as it could spell trouble for the CPM in Kerala where the Congress is the party’s major enemy. In a major setback to the Kerala faction led by Prakash Karat, Sitaram Yechury has succeeded in bringing in a major amendment to the draft political tactical line, that will dictate the political tactical line of the CPM for the next three years. The Yechury faction managed to remove the words “without having an understanding with the Congress Party” and retained “without having a political alliance with the Congress Party” in its final resolution. The party has decided to extend full support to the Congress against the BJP in the elections. Overtly saying, without ideological camouflage, the party has chosen suicide over a natural death because in Kerala, CPM’s last fortress, the party subsists on the anti-Congress votes which are now at stake.
The political resolution adopted by the five-day-long party congress also added a new clause that defines the prospectus and mission of the CPM in the coming years. It says, “There can be an understanding with all secular opposition parties, including the Congress in Parliament on agreed issues. Outside parliament, we should cooperate with all secular opposition forces for a broad mobilisation of people against communalism. We should foster joint actions of class and mass organisations, in such a manner that can draw in the masses following the Congress and other bourgeois parties.” Interestingly, it is the first time since its formation in 1964, a draft resolution approved by the central committee has been amended.
This is called poetic justice. The party that took birth after a vertical split of the undivided CPI, is now all set to be wiped off from the face of the political map of India owing to the same reason for its birth. To ally with the Congress or not, is the perennial question that has been haunting Indian Communists since their very first tryst with Indian politics. It reminds us of the famous nunnery scene in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, where Prince Hamlet began his speech with the much-quoted phrase, “to be or not to be”. Ironically, in his speech Hamlet also contemplates death and suicide, from which the CPM seems to have taken a cue for debates on the political resolutions. It marks a departure from the ‘party line’ adopted in 1964, the real bone of contention with the CPI, that the former considered the Congress as a party of the ‘ the bourgeoisie and landlords led by the big bourgeoisie’ but the latter understood it as the progressive ‘national bourgeoisie’. Following this ideological difference, the CPM found the way out terming the CPI as ‘revisionist’.
In the newly elected 95-member central committee, 20 are from Kerala. The self-proclaimed champion of Dalit cause, CPM has inducted, two more upper caste leaders to the 17-member politburo to ensure the ‘welfare and progress of the Dalits’. The Dalit cadres of CPM were hoping that the party would surely induct at least a Dalit member to its elitist Brahmin-Nair-Kayasth politburo that remains as a forbidden fruit for Dalits and lower caste. Pakistan, which came to existence two decades after the formation of Indian Communist Party, has now elected a Dalit senator but the empowered Communist Dalit members’ long wait for making an entry into the Politburo does not seem to bear fruit in the near future. An ideology known for its aversion towards the downtrodden and inherent misogyny, Communism has never produced a woman hero or ruler, wherever it enjoyed a political sway. As usual, the CPM politburo did not open door to a woman even this time, but retained its token woman member Brinda Karat, a former air hostess and the better half of Prakash Karat, who represents the Big Bindi Brigade of Lutyens’ Delhi. The only outcome of this Party Congress is that with usual linguistic jugglery the Communists have managed to show the regressive colours of ‘ideology’ for ‘tactical’ reasons.