Old red wine in new bottles turns sour
By N V Ravindranathan Nair - BANGALORE
Published: 20th Jan 2013 07:32:04 AM
The red flag no longer seems to be able to raise passions on old ideological issues. The CPI(M)’s anti-UDF agitations and strikes evoked little popular response. The latest to definitely flop was the party’s indefinite land struggle to force the government to distribute the surplus land among Dalits, tribals and landless people.
The party, that survived on revolutionary fervor and violence from the 1950s to the Noughties is disconnected with a public, weary of strikes and disruptions. On January 8 the pro-Left unions and teachers launched another state-wide indefinite strike demanding withdrawal of the move to implement participatory pension for those appointed in government service from April 1, 2013.
But neither the party cadres or supporters were enthusiastic. The failure of the strike was humiliating. But the government refused to offer any face-saving device such as inviting the CPI(M) for talks and give them a chance to call off the strike. Without achieving any assurance on withdrawing the participatory pension scheme the reds called off the strike at 1.30 am on January 13 apparently to avoid further embarrassment.
After the humiliating defeat of its service organisations, it was the turn for the next insult. Tribal and Dalit leaders had openly rejected the CPI(M)’s land stir as a mere political stunt from the very beginning. Speaking to The Sunday Standard, the Sadhujana Vimochana Samyuktha Vedi (SVSV) leader Laha Gopalan said that the agitation had failed to trigger the emotive element in the struggle though the issue involved was the basic need for a piece of land for hapless people to set up their habitat or for burial.
“They (CPI(M)) are worried about the exodus of Dalits and downtrodden classes from the Communist party following the success of the Chengara struggle. CPI(M) wants to check the outflow and keep the Dalits and Adivasis as their obedient cadres,” he said. Meanwhile, Adivasi Gothra Mahasabha State coordinator M Geethanandan accused the CPI(M)’s land stir of being a “political stunt”. He said that by erecting the shacks at so called surplus land CPI(M) wanted to create law and order issue and sabotage the very cause, he said.
The CPM has also been exposed as it was under the V S Government that all required sanctions were granted to Aranmula Airport project. It was the same LDF Government that approved the Kochi Medicity project at Kadamakkudy, Ernakulam, in the environmentally sensitive land. If it wishes to remain as a political force, the party will have to rethink its revolution politics.