Leftist Parties – Stop demonizing others?


(Brig (retd) GB Reddi)

Sitaram Yechury and D. Raja have recently made heroic efforts both inside the Parliament and outside to vilify the ruling Modi-led NDA government. Quite ironic it is that even Prakash and Brinda Karat have been making vitriolic statements against others over the JNU and Rohit Vemula’s incidents.

However, a brief review of the atrocities committed by CPI-M in particular in West Bengal and Kerala glaringly reflects that both Sitaram Yechury and D. Raja have blatantly attempted to blame others despite the gory atrocities committed by their parties while in power and out of it.

All leftist parties and leaders may claim to be fighting for the poor, but the fact is that they maintain stoic silence when the Maoists kill, rape and extort from the poor and innocent people, and making their lives even more difficult.

And, they justify that ‘police informers’ are killed by Maoist-Naxal cadres.  Even the Congress Party remains muted on such atrocities?

The record of violence during the Naxalites–Maoist insurgency a rebel group composed of the PWG (People’s War Group), and the MCC (Maoist Communist Centre), starting in 2004 is staggering.

As per data available, 7,618 civilians have been killed besides 2,594 security forces personnel and 2,994 Naxals, making it a total of 13,206. According to the BBC, more than 6,000 people have died during the rebels’ 20-year fight between 1990 and 2010. Al Jazeera put the death toll at more than 10,000 between 1980 and 2011.

Of course, there are many spine chilling revelations of the Naxal atrocities. A female cadre identified as Sunita Kumari alias Shanti, who was an active member of Akshay Kherwar group in the Koel-Shankh zone committee alleged that the senior CPI (Maoist) leaders sexually exploit women in their squad.

Why are they shedding “Crocodile Tears” now over the JNU and Patiala Courts assault by lawyers which has been assured by the government to initiate action against the “Lawyer Goons?”

Let me attempt to provide a balanced perspective. None of the political parties can claim “holier than thou” status. All are equally culpable of political vendetta – some more; others less.

The latest is the violence unleashed by the Trinamul Congress led by Mamata Banerjee against not only CPM cadres but also the BJP cadres. Recently in Bidhannagar and Asansol, all political parties are blaming each other for the violence. Several journalists of various media houses were assaulted while covering the elections in the Bidhannagar.

As per media reports that over 800 Left Front party workers, mostly belonging to the CPI (M) had been killed in clashes with the supporters of the Trinamul-BJP combine.

Of course, CPI-M had stated that it was a “cold blooded murder of democracy.”  Sitaram Yechury said when asked to comment about violence in municipal polls and assaults on journalists only made passing reference; but not taken it up with the same vigor in the Parliament.

What is worrisome is the ideology of leftist parties. Although they may claim to honor the democratic structure of Indian polity and swear and affirm on oath.

However, ideologically they are wedded to the theme that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions. Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communist revolution. And, the student organizations are the breeding grounds based on the right to freedom of speech.

Communist Party’s may abandon  Marxism-socialism and embrace open market economic policies like China has done four decades ago and join the mainstream democracy to capture power through the battle of ‘ballot box’; but they continue to practice the cult of violence as a means to achieve their end.

Viewed in such a background context, it is an irrefutable fact that those leftist parties who claim to have joined the mainstream democratic processes are in the garb of “Wolf in Lions Mask”.  When the appropriate time and circumstances permit, the leftist parties will come out with their true colors – resort to the cult of violence to achieve its political objective.

Let me highlight the data on Census of Political Murders in West Bengal during CPI-M Rule (1977 to 2009) which clearly reveals that Communist party leaders have no moral right to sensationalize incidents that pale into insignificance to the human slaughter committed by their cadres to retain power.

In 1997, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, in a reply to an Assembly question, stated that between 1977 (when they came to power) and 1996, 28,000 political murders were committed. Between 1977 and 1996, the rate of annual political murder on an average was 1473. It meant on an average 125.7 murders were affected in a month; four murders per day; and one murder every six hours.

Most gruesome but true it is that no murderer has been arrested and convicted for the dreadful figure of so called political murders.

Research data is available in public domain concerning monstrous barbarities to include: Marichjhapi island of the Sunderbans on the refugees; mass murder of the 17 monks and nuns of the Anandmargi group; Bantala rape and murder of a senior lady officer of the UNICEF and another senior officer of the Government of India who detected a case of huge embezzlement of UN funds by some CPI-M organisation within the South 24-Parganas district; Suchapur murder where 11 Muslim agricultural workers were killed in a gruesome manner because they demanded minimum wage rates; and so on.

Thereafter they (the CPI-M) resorted to political cleansing of territories by murder, rape, arson and loot. Large areas like Garbeta, Keshpur, Pingla Sabong, Chhoto Angaria, Kotalpur, Khanakul, Goghat etc. were cleansed of Opposition elements by continuous raids. All these affairs in a sense culminated in Singur and Nandigram where the murderous strife went on for over two years.

In Kerala, even the rate of political murders in India’s most literate state is shocking.  A 2012 RTI inquiry revealed that 56 people fell victim to internecine violence in Kannur (the cradle of the Communist movement) from January 1997 to March 2008.

Police officials and political activists say the main players in this ugly game of finishing off political foes are the leftwing Marxists and rightwing Hindu groups. Many victims are killed in the most gruesome manner, using swords or homemade bombs.

Kerala’s political killings came into national focus only following the murder of former CPI-M firebrand T.P. Chandrasekharan, who had left the party.

M.M. Mani, another CPI-M leader who belongs to the anti-Achuthanandan faction, blurted out that the Marxists believed in tit for tat killings. He related three such killings from the 1980s. According to Mani, the victims were Congress workers. One was stabbed to death, another shot dead, and the third was beaten to death. Their crime? They had allegedly killed a CPI-M member.

Since 1980s roughly 150 BJP and RSS activists have been murdered in the state, mostly in north Kerala. Around an equal number have also died on the other side.

Retired superintendent of police Subash Babu said the reason why politics of murder had reached such levels in Kerawla was due to the politician-goons-police nexus.

Today, political murders are common place to make political gain or achieve a political objective or to terrorize a group of persons who hold views contrary to the political party which commits it.

Summing up, the ultimate aim of the leftist parties in collusion with the Congress Party ‘Dynasty’ are hell bent upon ‘paralyzing’ the functioning of the current regime to create conditions for anarchy and chaos so essential for their revival and resurgence.  What they fail to appreciate is the Indian middle class will be their main stumbling block to achieve their political ends.

Moreover, majority are up against “dynasty” culture and the communist rule. So, they need to introspect whether to continue with their destructive politics or engage in constructive cooperation with the ruling regime to ensure forward momentum of economic reforms so vital for improving the living conditions and life style of the poor.