We have to save values of our Republic from votaries of Hindu Rashtra: Yechury
The Opposition political parties need to join hands with peoples’ movements and civil society organisations to counter the onslaught of communalism and the politics of hate being spread by the current government and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
Arguing that this was the need of the hour, Sitaram Yechury, General Secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) – CPI (M), said that his party was taking the initiative to organise an anti-communal convention of all secular political parties as well as non-political civil society movements.
The convention is likely to be held before the Monsoon Session of Parliament which normally commences in mid- July.
Yechury admitted that for the Opposition parties, overcoming regional contradictions and competitiveness to forge unity at the national level was not an easy task. However, he said, that forging such a unity was necessary to combat the communal offensive being faced by the country.
“This government and the RSS want to transform the secular democratic Republic of India into the RSS vision of India as a Hindu Rashtra which they had (first) articulated in the mid-1920s. This requires an ideological opposition … of upholding and saving the foundations of our Constitutional Republic,” he argued.
Yechury felt that it was only on the basis of such ideological opposition that the principled politics of building an alternative narrative can be developed. Such an alternative narrative, he felt, would come “only through peoples’ movements, from the actual problems and hardships they (the people) are facing.”
The CPI (M) General Secretary said that the Left was committed to forge links with all those who were committed to protect the three fundamental principles of the Indian Constitution – liberty, equality and fraternity – and built an alternative political narrative in the country.
Asked whether his party would be willing to work along with avowedly anti-Communist forces such as the Socialist parties of various hues, Yechury argued for a common platform with them. He explained that there was a need for combining the struggle against economic exploitation with that against social exploitation. “Class struggle in India stands on two feet – one of economic exploitation and the other one of social exploitation. Now, both of these need to be taken up together,” he argued.
“If a Left vision and a Left alternative have to emerge in this country as part of an alternative political narrative, the Communists and the Socialists will have to work together,” he asserted.
Yechury also argued for the need to forge strong links between the Left and the ‘social Left’ or non-party Left, something that the traditional Communist parties failed to do in the past. “This is an initiative we think is absolutely necessary. We are committed to enlarging this (initiative) beyond the traditional Left organisations,” he argued.
Asked why he had described the upcoming Presidential election as the “acid test” of Opposition unity, the CPI (M) General Secretary replied that this was because the coming Presidential Election symbolised “the battle between those who want to retain the secular, democratic foundations of our Republic … and those who want to destroy that basis (of the Republic).”
The battle-lines were drawn, he said, and the Opposition parties had to choose on which side they stood. Irrespective of the outcome of the Presidential election, such an Opposition unity, he argued, would be an important political signal of the determination to resist the government’s agenda.
Dismissing the Bharatiya Janata Party’s development platform as merely a “cosmetic cover” for its real agenda of promoting hate and division among the people to sustain itself, he said that already the expectations aroused amongst the people were being shattered. “Unemployment is growing, agrarian distress is growing and the number of farmers committing suicides is growing,” he pointed out.
He said that while the conditions in India today were not comparable with that of inter-War Europe and the developments in India could not be described as Fascism “but the methods that are being used are chillingly reminiscent of the Fascists.” What we were witnessing India was not yet Fascism, but he warned that the situation could move towards that.