Weakened Congress unable to rally secular forces against BJP: CPI(M)

The Left party said the Congress is unable to effectively mount an ideological challenge to Hindutva forces and often adopts a compromising approach

A weakened Congress is unable to rally all the secular opposition parties, the CPI (M) said in its draft political resolution released ahead of the 23rd party congress scheduled to be held in Kannur, Kerala. in April this year.

The 80-page resolution, which will be open to amendments sent by every party member, is deeply critical of the Congress. It states that the Congress’ “political influence and organisational strength have been declining and currently it is plunged in a series of crises with defections of several leaders to the BJP in various States.”

The document reiterates the 2018 political line of the 22nd Congress held in Hyderabad on the Congress’ relationship with secularism. It says that while proclaiming secularism, the Congress “is unable to effectively mount an ideological challenge to the Hindutva forces and often adopts a compromising approach.”

Sharper position

It also reflects the political changes of a post-2019 India, with the BJP’s return a second time around. The CPI(M) has also taken a sharper position on the BJP in comparison to the view it took in 2018. In its previous congress, held in 2018 in Hyderabad, the party had called the Narendra Modi regime an “authoritarian-communal”. The present draft political resolution brands the BJP as a “political arm of the fascistic RSS” and says the “BJP is aggressively seeking to implement its Hindutva agenda”.

Releasing the document at a press conference, party General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said, “Mixing the religion with politics or with the government that is anti-secular and that is what characterise Hindutva.” The CPI(M), he said, respected the right and choice of religion. “We guarantee protection to an individual and the choice of religion. At the same time, we also seek to ensure that no religion should interfere with the other.”

This is the first time in recent years that the resolution is elaborating on steps to “combat Hindutva” which, it says, has to be conducted in a sustained manner in political, ideological, cultural, and social spheres. These steps include “promoting the organisation of social, cultural activities, popular science movements to combat the growing obscurantism, superstition, irrationality and blind faith by promoting a secular scientific thinking based on rationality”

The party specifically wants its cadres to be aware of the spread of Hindutva among Dalits and Adivasis. To counter this, the resolution directs the party to organise “cultural events” highlighting the composite culture of Indian society. It also warns about the growing influence of the Hindutva forces in the education sector.

The CPI(M) takes a cautious approach towards the regional parties which have often shifted positions displaying political opportunism. The political line clearly states that the CPI(M) will cooperate with the regional parties only after taking into account their political positions in the State.

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