CPM wakes up to shrinking Left cultural space

“How certain sections of society like those of Dalits moving towards identity politics has also been pointed out,” said a source.

Published: 03rd March 2022 06:20 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd March 2022 06:20 AM   |  A+A-

CPI flag

Image of CPI flag used for representational purpose (Photo | Bechu S)

Express News Service

KOCHI: Sensing its weakening grip over the state’s cultural space with the increasing right-wing invasion, the CPM has called for a cultural resistance to win back what has been its lone turf for long. 

That cultural leaders and writers are not reluctant to share BJP platforms has been observed as a major concern by the party. The work report, which was discussed in the party state conference on Wednesday, is reportedly critical of right-wing cultural activism gaining strength in the state.

Right-wing forces are increasingly making their presence felt in the state, while the Left cultural space is shrinking and weakening. Stressing on the need to counter this, the report also sheds light on other new emerging trends. “How certain sections of society like those of Dalits moving towards identity politics has also been pointed out,” said a source.

Political commentator N M Pearson said the party should look into the real reasons behind its shrinking cultural space. When the party opts for a private capital move, it is natural that cultural values are lost, he opined.  “How can the party protect the cultural Left with such watered-down policies? Diluting the party’s economic fundamental policies will naturally lead to right-wing forces gaining strength in Kerala’s cultural realm. Marxism itself is based on a base-super structure model. While economic foundation is the base, cultural activism is the superstructure,” pointed out Pearson. 

A recent document approved by the politburo and central committee too has pointed at an ideological campaign by right-wing forces against progressive, democratic and secular platforms. The document says that Kerala’s cultural sector should be viewed not through a mere artistic perspective, but also as a means of livelihood and efforts should be taken accordingly. 

The party has also awakened to the on-ground reality of losing support from SC/ST sections in the society. The failure to attract Dalit communities and the reasons for the same have also come up for discussions. 
“Though the party took the lead in setting up PKS (Pattikajathi Kshema Samithi), it couldn’t make expected inroads into the community. That’s indeed a matter of grave concern,” said a source.  

Meanwhile, the party is unhappy with its progressive organisations like KSSP (Kerala Sasthra Sahithya Parishad) and Purogamana Kala Sahitya Sangham over the SilverLine issue. “Though the report doesn’t name these organisations, it’s evident that the leadership is not happy with their stance on SilverLine. That’s why special focus is being laid on the Left going in for a cultural coup,” said the source. With the CPM realising the grave danger of its rapidly shrinking cultural space, the party is also keen that its mass and class organisations take the right initiatives in this direction.


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