NEW DELHI: There is a "tremendous assault on reason and rationality" taking place in India today through a "rightward shift", where the Indian philosophy of ages is being "truncated to Hindu theology", CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury has said.
He said Marxism - the 200th birth anniversary of Karl Marx was marked worldwide on May 5 - is the most potent weapon to "bring back rationality and reason to the normal discourse" in the country.
As part of the "rightward shift", Yechury said, "the entire control over the education system and research institutions has a purpose, which is to replace the study of Indian history with the study of Hindu mythology".
He mentioned new Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb, who set social media aflame with his comment that internet was present during the times of Mahabharata, and also Prime Minister Narendra Modi for referring to "in-vitro fertilisation" as the reason for Karna's birth.
"And the PM himself said this, in-vitro fertilisation, how was Karna born, artificial insemination, we had it then."The richness of Indian philosophy, which continues, we are the cradle of civilisational advances globally. This philosophy is being truncated into just Hindu theology."
Addressing a talk on 'The Relevance of Marxism in India and Asia' by the Society for Policy Studies (SPS) think tank on Thursday evening at the India Habitat Centre, Yechury said: "The assault on reason, and irrationality taking over rationality, unreason taking over reason has led to dehumanising of society".
He mentioned the rape in Kathua of an eight-year-old girl and the lawyers who came out in defence of the rapists.
In order to battle the "dehumanising taking place in our country" and "re-establish the supremacy of reason and rationality the relevance of Marx comes in", he added.
Yechury mentioned three factors that should cause concern -- economic exploitation through domination, hegemonism of the US, and the rise of fundamentalism and rise of unreason.
On the issue of the US' "hegemonistic drive", the Left leader said: "One thing India shares with rest of Asia is the question of such interventions (by the US) and being drawn into the geopolitical strategy of the US in order to establish its hegemony. Whether that is in the interest of each of the countries is the issue. And that is where, how to fight that as a political force, Marxism will come in."
According to Yechury, with "the way things are moving in foreign policy" in India, there could be a likelihood of a "US-Israel-India axis", which would have a tremendous impact on the Indians working in the Gulf countries and the millions they send back home in monetary repatriation.