THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Communal forces have been let loose to entrench the neoliberal policies that affect the livelihood of people, said former CPM general secretary Prakash Karat.
He was speaking at the valedictory function of the two-day International Congress on Kerala Studies here at the AKG Centre Hall.
According to Karat, development plans for the state ought to be decided keeping in mind these divisive forces. He criticised the Narendra Modi Government for not doing anything to put the economy back on growth track.
“We have seen the government bungling with measures to reverse the economic slump. Agrarian crisis and unemployment have been on the rise while the government has been pushing ahead with privatisation.” he said while addressing a packed auditorium.
The politburo member commented that the socio-economic inequalities had increased manifold and there the rights of the state have been undermined. Incidentally, these neoliberal policies taper democracy and we have seen that in many states where the introduction of educational qualification for contesting local polls have been force-fed, he said.
Enhancing Social Gains
Karat reminded that Kerala needs to protect the social gain it made in the past decades.“Social gains or rights of the state need a qualitative improvement. It can go forward only if there is a jump in the material production, which requires investment in social and physical infrastructure,” he said.
He suggested massive improvement in education and health sector and called for immediate attention to agrarian and traditional industries.
“There is a need to address the issues of small farmers. Also, a comprehensive plan needs to be chalked out to protect the coir, cashew, handloom and other traditional industries of the state,” he said.
‘Won’t Allow Communal Outfits to Gain Power’
CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, in his presidential speech, said that no opportunity would be given to the communal and caste organisations to gain power in the state. He said these organisations were looking to create fissures in the political fabric of the state as they realised that they could not make inroads otherwise. He reminded that development would be possible if the secular nature of the state is kept intact. “The UDF government has been a failure. It has failed to deliver on its poll manifesto,” he said. According to Balakrishnan the proposals that were pitched in the international congress and report on the discussions held across at Assembly constituencies will form part of the LDF manifesto for the upcoming Assembly elections. Politburo members Pinarayi Vijayan, M A Baby MLA, NCP leader Uzhavoor Vijayan, Congress (S) leader Kadannapally Ramachandran, among others, were present.