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When Left Takes an Extreme Right Turn

Published: 10th May 2015 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th May 2015 10:41 AM   |  A+A-

When Left Takes

NEW DELHI: Left takes a right turn as the CPI(M) tries to keep its flag flying amid the adverse political scenario in India by resorting to every trick in the trade to attract youth towards its revolutionary track.

From the RSS’ model of paramilitary training and daily drills wielding the danda (stick) to football to cultural events, the CPI(M) will try everything to make the young flock to its ranks. It has also decided to have more youth spokespersons at national and state levels.

Aping the RSS, the CPI(M) is making plans to have Red Volunteers units in every district; its members will be given physical combat training by experts. They will also be taught to use the danda, which is closely identified with RSS volunteers. They will be exposed to martial arts such as Kalaripayattu, karate and judo and later to slower doses of ideological indoctrinations.

“Martial arts and physical activities are a good way to attract youth. Rather than ideology, there are many who understand the language of physical power. These sessions can attract them,’’ a CPI(M) Cabinet Committee member in West Bengal told The Sunday Standard. According to him, the party’s West Bengal wing needs physical strength badly as it has been at the receiving end of the Trinamool Congress and BJP for the past few years.

“Our cadres had been mercilessly attacked. They are joining Trinamool Congress and BJP out of fear for their lives. Our party needs to revive,’’ he said.

The party has also plans to organise sports events—football and local games like kabbadi at local level, district and state levels—to attract the young. The CPI(M)’s Kerala wing has been organising such events for some time.

The CPI(M) also plans to have younger people as spokespersons. “In this age of new media, nobody listens to pure ideological-ridden communications. If we have to reach out to youth, we have to speak their language,’’ said a young MP who is likely to become the new media face of the party. It will become more active on Facebook and Twitter.

When asked whether these makeover measures have been initiated by general secretary Sitaram Yechury, the MP said that the party is showing “signs of life’’ after the leadership change. “There is a new energy amongst the cadre,’’ he said.

A Cabinet Committee member from Kerala who had actively advocated for S Ramachandran Pillai instead of Yechury for the post of general secretary, said, “These are things that the Kerala wing has been doing for quite some time. There is nothing new in it. But for party units outside Kerala, this may be an innovation.”

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