It’s mythology over ideology for the Communist party of India as a survival strategy. Left staring at a rapidly shrinking support base, and unable to attract the new generation of voters, the CPI is turning to the power of Hinduism to stay relevant.
Today, a three-day seminar begins in one of the last red bastions in the country which will focus on the “power of the past”. The Kannur meet – aptly called Bharateeyam – will have stalwarts studying the past to seek answers for the future.
For the first time in the history of any Left party, sessions will be held on traditional Indian knowledge systems, Indian philosophy and culture. Also on the agenda are detailed discussions on Vedic and pre-Vedic periods and the Upanishads.
The seminar, which will be attended by academics and Vedic experts from across the country, will have separate sessions on Vedanta, Indian Philosophy and Thoughts, Relevance and Significance of Upanishadic Literature and Indian Knowledge Systems. While one may, out of habit, associate these topics with right-wing politics and ideology, one need not anymore if one goes by the CPI argument.
“Vedas and Upanishads are part of our collective past. Why should we let the RSS hijack it? We all have lessons to learn from these ancient texts,” said a CPI leader when asked about the apparent incongruity in the topic of the seminar and the tenets of Leftist ideology.
Organised on behalf of a trust named after the late CPI leader N E Balram, the seminar is being attended by politicians and academics from across the country. “Other Communist parties may agree or disagree, but it is a fact that no Left party can survive in India without acknowledging India’s collective past and traditions,” the CPI leader added for good measure.
Interestingly, the seminar is being held at a time political parties are still recovering from the after effects of the AAP phenomenon in Delhi and elsewhere.
However, CPI leaders insisted the seminar had nothing to do with the AAP.