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

Why do I lend my support to voices protesting world class renovation of Gandhi Ashram?

By Martin Macwan* One would not expect an activist working on Dalit rights to join such a protest. Dalits carry unhealed trauma that Gandhi caused to Dr BR Ambedkar and the Dalit cause of effective political representation by using violent means of his own definition in the event of the Poona Pact. This apart, Gandhi’s ideas in general, which changed often, on caste were orthodox. I have nothing to add to the subject after the sharpest critique offered by Dr Ambedkar.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Inaccurate gender-relevant data 'spoiling' government policy on Covid social impact

By Simi Mehta*  The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has been different across vulnerable groups. They were hit by the pandemic at various stages, whether it was accessibility to medical treatment or financial support. The second wave witnessed human suffering at a level where one can never forget the traumatized faces of people due to the inaccessibility and unavailability of essential medical services such as hospitals beds and oxygen. The probability of the third wave has also been one of the major upcoming challenges.

Flamboyant 'demagogues' adjust politics, personality in shadow of democracy

Modi, Erdogan, Bolsonaro By Ajit Singh The terms dictators and demagogues are used interchangeably in various contexts, but there is a difference. The former rule over a totalitarian states where governments are able to exercise complete influence over every aspect of citizens’ life, whereas the latter are a "wannabe dictators" but due to the system of checks and balances they are are not fully capable to create police states.

Vindictive raids? Centre 'retaliates' after Delhi govt child rights body's clean chit to ex-babu

By Our Representative  Over 700 academics, advocates, activists, civil servants, writers, film makers, journalists, musicians and artists have condemned the raids by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on the offices and private home of top IAS bureaucrat-turned-human rights and peace activist Harsh Mander, stating, the aim is nothing but to “harass and intimidate” him.

Protests break out as school going children 'branded Naxalites, taken prisoners'

By Sheshu Babu* Conditions in all spheres of life is going from bad to worse. On September 13, Political Prisoners' Day was observed. On that day, Jatin Das, friend of Bhagat Singh and member of the Hindustan Republican Socialist Association, passed away after 63 days of hunger strike. He demanded 'political prisoners' status to those who have been jailed by the state.

Celebrating birthday amidst image of 'coerced, submissive' India ruled by a strong leader

Pushkar Raj*  As the weeks long birthday festivity of the leadership was being rejoiced India wide, the Covid was still raging in several parts of India. The carnival was in line with the post-Covid decisions and actions of the leadership demonstrating a pursuit of personal power and glory instead of national interest in times of disease and death.

Catholic women warn: Kerala Bishop turning Church into puppet in political games

Counterview Desk A group of Catholic women under the banner Concerned Catholic Women of India has said that they are deeply concerned over "a bishop’s controversial statement" which may threaten communal harmony in India. As many as 89 Catholic women from across India have urged the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India and its Kerala unit to take special steps to "foster peace and avoid strife."

Politically-motivated: Global NGO network on ED 'harassment' of Harsh Mander

Counterview Desk  CIVICUS , a top global alliance of civil society organisations seeking to strengthen citizen action and civil society around the world with a claimed membership of more than 10,000, objecting to the alleged harassment of IAS bureaucrat-turned-human rights activist Harsh Mander by the Government in India, has said that the the the Enforcement Directorate (ED) raid on his house and office highlights “an ongoing pattern of baseless and politically-motivated criminal charges brought by the authorities against activists across India”.