CPM plays the Dalit card - The New Indian Express

CPM plays the Dalit card

Published: 11th December 2012 09:39 AM

Last Updated: 11th December 2012 12:13 PM

In a climbdown from its stand against identity politics, the CPM has formed a Dalit outfit named Pattikajathi Kshema Samithi (PKS). Ironically, the outfit was launched in Kollam by none other than Prakash Karat, who had on earlier occasions made tall claims of fighting identity politics.

As the politics of mainstream Leftist parties centred around white-collar and organised workforce, the Dalits had been a neglected lot over the past few decades. This, despite the fact that they had served as a major support base of the CPM. The CPM decision to float the PKS has not gone down well with its coalition partners elsewhere in the country.

Responding to the new development, All-India Forward Bloc national secretary G Devarajan told Express that a Leftist party should not become a confederation of various casteist organisations. “Before us, there are only two classes -- the Haves and the Have-nots. If a political party like the CPM tries to compartmentalise the poor and downtrodden on the basis of caste, it will not take them anywhere,” he said.

“It is not like forming a union of tree climbers,” he said.

However, CPI state secretary Pannian Ravindran took a cautious stand by not criticising the CPM. “I think the CPM has floated the outfit to take up the issues of Dalit colonies. We have to take up their problems politically,” he said. 

Asked whether the move would contradict the principled stand against identity politics, he said the CPM might be aiming at uplifting the downtrodden in  society.  He, however, said the

CPI has no plan to float a Dalit organisation under its banner.

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