By P. Sreekumaran
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: An unfortunate war of words and articles has erupted between the CPI and the CPI(M), which can only cause immense damage to the communist movement in the country.
What makes it all the more saddening is that the angry exchange has come at a time when both the parties should be bending their energies towards strengthening the left, secular and democratic forces to counter the fast-growing communal forces in the wake of the assumption of power at the Centre by the Narendra Modi government both in the state as well as in other parts of the country.
It goes without saying that, unless the national leadership of the CPI and the CPI(M) intervene and order an immediate end to the acrimonious debate, the damage to left unity could be irreparable. The central intervention must come without any further loss of time.
Expectedly, the well-wishers of both the CPI and the CPI(M) and advocates of greater left unity have been dismayed by the polemics between the two parties. They are of the united opinion that this was not the time to indulge in a slanging match over what happened in 1964. The effort, they said, should be to introspect over why the two parties have reached such a sorry pass in 2014, and take urgent corrective measures. The kind of energy-sapping and fruitless exchanges going on between the two parties is a luxury neither can afford, they pointed out.
It all began with the criticism voiced by Kerala CPI secretary Pannyan Ravindran on the 50th anniversary celebrations of the CPI(M). In his letter to CPI branch secretaries, Ravindran had opined that the split in 1964 had been a debilitating blow to the growth of the communist movement in the country. “If the party had not split, the CPI would have grown into a big political movement. This year is the 50th anniversary of that tragedy,” Pannyan wrote.
Irked by the CPI secretary’s criticism, CPI(M) state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan said the CPI(M) is too strong a party to be affected by such unwarranted campaigns. “If the communist movement is still alive, it is because of the right decision taken in 1964 to form the CPI(M),” Vijayan asserted.
Vijayan’s criticism was preceded by a strongly-worded articles which appeared in the CPI(M) mouthpiece, Deshabhimani. Chief Editor of Deshabhimani, V. V. Dakshhinamurthy, who took strong exception to the views of Pannyan Ravindran, said the split in 1964 was unavoidable.
That the decision to break away and form the CPI(M) was right has been proved by the huge mandate the party received in the assembly elections that took place following the split, he said, adding that the CPI(M) had won 40 seats while the CPI managed to bag only three seats.
Needless to say, the unfortunate development would weaken the Left Democratic Front (LDF) I the state, which must be focusing fully on the local bodies elections due early next year. The CPI-CPI(M) tensions would also let the thoroughly discredited Oommen Chandy Government in the state, which has been lurching from controversy to controversy, taking a slew of anti-people steps, off the hook.
The allies of both the CPI and the CPI(M) in the LDF are also worried about the hot exchange between the two communist parties. Though they have not officially reacted to the sad turn of events, in private, the leaders of Janata Dal(S), Congress(S) and NCP admit that the inter-party tensions bode ill for the consolidation of the gains made by the LDF. The earlier the two parties cried a halt to the internecine campaign, the better, they said. (IPA Service)