Skip to main content

Top historian tells CPI-M: Ally with Congress, other "democratic, secular" parties to defeat "semi-fascist" BJP

By Our Representative
One of India's foremost historians, Prof Irfan Habib, has insisted India's most important left party, CPI-M, should work for forging an alliance with the Congress. In a letter to CPI-M's top body, politburo, Habib charges the CPI-M leadership of being soft to the "semi-fascist" BJP.
Underlining that “Lohia-like anti-Congressism will not serve us very much”, Habib says, the party must decide whether it wants to “stand aside” from “democratic elements and secular parties” only because of the “inclusion within it of the Congress party, which is still the principal opposition party at the national level”.
Citing a recent CPI-M Central Committee statement, Habib says, it fails to understand that the BJP government at the Centre, “is not just another parliamentary government of a bourgeois party”, but rather “represents a regime which openly acclaims the semi-fascist ideology of the RSS.”
He adds, the BJP government is “unconditionally committed to meeting all the demands of the top elements of the corporate sector, Indian and foreign, and is continuously undermining, in the most naked fashion (through saffronzing education, raising new communal issues, etc.) the secular basis of our nation.”
Referring to the examples of Arunachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, where the BJP tried to capture power through “unconstitutional intervention”, Habib says, in the case of Assam it invoked “extremes of chauvinism and communalism” to come to power.
A long-time member of the CPI-M, Habib says, “The primary object of our party should be to isolate the BJP as far as possible, and form a broad united front with all other democratic forces so as to foil the BJP's plan of gaining control over the states still outside its orbit, and finally, to secure its defeat at the parliamentary elections due in 2019.”
Suggesting that the CPI-M continues to follow the policy of maintaining distance from the non-BJP opposition, including Congress, is faulty, Habib says, “In Bihar in 2015 we only united with CPI(ML), besides CPI, and rejected any understanding with the JD(U)-RJD-Congress alliance. The result was that in the elections the party failed to get a single seat, while the BJP was defeated in a popular wave against it, from which we had simply opted out.”
“In West Bengal”, Habib says, had the CPI-M “failed to work out an accommodation with the Congress”, its defeat would have been “much severer under the Trinamool's onslaught.” He adds, “Our fault was surely that we did not work out in time a common programme with the Congress to present before the people of West Bengal a real alternative to the Trinamool regime.”
In Tamilnadu, Habib says, the CPI-M offered “a front only with Left and obscure parties” instead of “adjustments with the DMK-Congress alliance”.
In Assam, by rejecting the “Congress' open invitation for electoral adjustments”, the CPI-M “contributed” its “small bit to split the anti-BJP vote”, insists Habib, adding, “In fact, the party asked voters to oust the Congress from power”, terming it “rather disquieting, since it should have been foreseen that the result would be to bring BJP to power there, as the Left by itself was in no position to even win a single seat, let alone offer an alternative to the Congress.”
In Kerala, after the victory of the Left Democratic Front, Habib says, “We must be ready to build a movement against the RSS in Kerala, which could include other non-communal politicians and supporters as well. We must surely not allow legitimate electoral considerations in Kerala to bar cooperation with the UDF components.”

Comments

TRENDING

Noam Chomsky, top scholars ask NRIs to take stand on human rights violations in India

Counterview Desk
Renowned world scholars, including Noam Chomsky, James Petras, Angela Davis, Fredric Jameson, Bruno Latour, Ilan Pappe, Judith Butler, among others, have issued a statement castigating the Narendra Modi government for allegedly creating an environment of fear through arrests, intimidation and violence.

Actionable programme for 2019 polls amidst lynch mobs, caste violence, hate mongering

Counterview Desk
Reclaiming the Republic, a civil rights network, has released a document prepared under the chairmanship of Justice AP Shah (retired) -- and backed, among others, by Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan, bureaucrat-turned-human rights activist Harsh Mander, economist Prabhat Patnaik, Right to transparency activist Anjali Bhardwaj and social scientist Yogendra Yadav  (click HERE for full list) -- with the "aim" of putting forth policy and legislative reforms needed to “protect” and “strengthen” the Constitutional safeguards for India’s democratic polity.

Call to support IIM-Bangalore professor, censured for seeking action against Uniliver

Counterview Desk
Sections of the Indian Institute of Managements (IIMs) across India have strongly reacted to the decision to censure Dr Deepak Malghan, a faulty at IIM-Bangalore. Prabhir Vishnu Poruthiyil, who is faculty at IIM-Tiruchirapalli, has sought wider solidarity with Dr Malghan, saying, "The administration has censured Deepak for merely suggesting a meaningful action against Hindustan Unilever for their abysmal environmental record" by “disinviting” it for campus placement.

India under Modi "promoted" crony business, protected financial fraudsters, fueled bigotry

By Sandeep* and Rahul Pandey**
Narendra Modi's ascension to power was accompanied with jubilation and expectation. His supporters were expecting an end to era of corruption and initiation of good governance which was described as Achche Din. His party's adherence to idea of nationalism was believed to make India a vibrant country and guide India to be a world leader. He gave the slogan of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas' conveying that his government was for all.
Corruption The government system is infested with corruption. A minimum of 10% is siphoned off from government schemes and projects, some of which goes back to political party in power and remaining is pocketed by various administrative, executive and political functionaries. This corruption continues and has increased. Now an additional Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) person working as Official on Special Duty or some equivalent position in every government department also has a share in this booty.
The Narendra M…

Inviting Rajapaksa to India "insult" to 1,40,000 Tamils killed by Sri Lankan army

Counterview Desk
In the context of Sri Lankan opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa being invited in India, about 75 human rights activists*, claiming to be concerned about rights violations during the civil war in Sri Lanka, especially in 2009, have joined together to express their dissent through a statement.

Post-advisory, Govt of India appears reluctant to ban e-cigarettes, "harmful" to kids

By Rajiv Shah
Is the Government of India dilly-dallying over the issue of banning e-cigarettes, which have been declared by anti-tobacco activists across the world as providing “an entryway to nicotine addiction”, especially among the kids? It would seem so, if the latest developments are any guide.

A Godse legacy? BJP rulers have "refrained" from calling Gandhi Father of the Nation

By Dr Hari Desai*
What an agony! On one hand, the entire India is celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but on the other side, so-called Hindu Mahasabha members have been found mock-enacting the killing of the Mahatma and celebrating the murder by distributing sweets!

No aadhaar, no ration? Hard blow by Gujarat govt on poor and marginalized

By Pankti Jog*
Only those who have aadhaar registration and linked it with ration card will get ration from a Public Distribution System (PDS) shop. This decision of the Gujarat government has hit very badly thousands of poor and marginalized communities of Gujarat, especially during the drought year.

World Bank needs a new perspective on development, not just a new president

By Maju Varghese*
The resignation of the World Bank President Jim Yong Kim was an unexpected development given the fact that he had three more years to complete his tenure. Resignations at such a high level after bidding for a second term is unusual which prompts people to think what would have led to the act itself.

Not just Indian women engineers, men too face sexual harassment at workplace: US study

By Rajiv Shah
A recent research, carried out jointly by two US-based non-profit organizations, Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and Center for WorkLife Law (WLL), based at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, has found that 45% of women engineers as against 28% of men engineers complained that it was perceived as “inappropriate when women argued at work, even when it was work-related.”