(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
March 16, 2008
Parliament Condemns RSS Attack On CPI(M) Headquarters
PARLIAMENT witnessed near total isolation of BJP during the discussion on the shameless attack by RSS-BJP forces on CPI(M) central committee office in New Delhi. Both houses of parliament condemned this attack unequivocally. Except for Shiv Sena no ally of the BJP came out in support of its dastardly action.
Speaking in Rajya Sabha, CPI(M) leader in the house and Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury said that politics of violence is anti-thetical to democracy. Speaking in anger and anguish, he felt that this attack was not just an attack on CPI(M)'s office but an assault on democracy itself. Present on the scene during the attack, he narrated an eyewitness account of the attack. He also raised the issue of RSS hooligans attacking CPI(M) state secretary's residence in Bangalore on the night of March 9 and said this is part of the widespread terror being spread by these forces in our country. He said such attacks are being planned across the country and this is something that cannot be tolerated. He reminded the house that this was the kind of atmosphere that was created by the same forces which consumed the life of Mahatma Gandhi and urged the parliament to strongly condemn this kind of political violence.
Firmly debunking the excuse of Kannur violence being cited as justification for the attack by the BJP and RSS leaders , Yechury informed the house that in the last six months, the CPI(M) lost ten of its activists in brutal attacks by RSS. He said that one can understand the frustration of RSS-BJP because of being unable to win even a single assembly seat in the states where the Left is strong. Also the fact that the number of RSS shakas is declining in Kerala adding further to their frustration. But venting of such frustration in the form of vadalism of the headquarters of a national political party cannot be permitted in our parliamentary democracy, he said. He also questioned as to why the police could not act promptly and hoped the home minister would throw light on this aspect. Yechury reasserted that the secular democratic values on the basis of which modern Indian Republic is founded, would be defended from such forces of reaction. He concluded by calling upon all political parties to strongly condemn this attack.
Participating in the debate on behalf of Congress, V Narayana Swamy demanded banning of RSS. He said the modus operandi of the atack showed that it was pre-planned and this has to be taken seriously by all parties. He asked the BJP to feel ashamed for this attack. CPI member D Raja asserted that the Left in India will not be cowed down by such physical intimidation. Such attacks only showed the illiberal, fascistic mentality of RSS-BJP, he said. RJD member Ram Deo Bhandari debunked BJP's propaganda of CPI(M) activists using stones stored in their office for attacking the peaceful protestors. He urged upon the home minister to treat the perpetrators of this attack on par with criminals. Kanimozhi from DMK, Abani Roy from RSP and Tariq Anwar from NCP also condemned the attack on CPI(M) central office.
On the same day initiating the discussion in Lok Sabha CPI(M) deputy leader Md Salim said that BJP and RSS were so ashamed of themselves that they did not carry any flag or placard of their organisations. He informed the house that they came in the name of Hindu Mahasabha. He objected to their attaching the word Hindu to all the nonsense they were doing. He felt that there can be difference of ideologies but politics of violence is not the way out to prove their point right.
Deputy leader of BJP in Lok Sabha V K Malhotra tried to defend the attackers by linking the incident to Kerala. On several occasions speaker Somnath Chatterjee asked the secretary general not to record anything that refers to states and asked members to confine themselves to the subject matter of discussion i.e. the attack on CPI(M) head quarters in Delhi. Amidst continuous slogan shouting from BJP, the house was adjourned for half an hour. Lending his support to CPI(M), Congress member Madhusudhan Mistry who spoke on behalf of Congress demanded a ban on RSS. With this attack, Mistry told the house, the RSS hass once again proved its character. Several other parties members condemned the attack in the strongest possible terms.
CPI(M) members raised the issue of continuing attacks on Party offices in various parts of the country in both houses of parliament the next day also i.e. on March 11. Brinda Karat attacked the RSS-BJP for instigating and organising these attacks on CPI(M) offices. “This is the kind of politics of violence and intolerance these forces are practising”, she said referring to attacks in Bangalore, Hyderabad, Nagercoil and Dehradun. She demanded a statement from the home minister on the damaging of a memorial of P Sundarayya -- one of the greatest freedom fighters and former general secretary of CPI(M) - in Hyderabad. “These cowards sitting in Delhi are instigating violence across the country”, she thundered. The same day in Lok Sabha also this issue was raised by CPI(M) members. Basudev Acharia moved a notice seeking a discussion on various attacks on CPI(M) offices in the country. He sought suspension of question hour. With the BJP members protesting the house had to be adjourned twice.
HOME MINISTER'S INTERVENTION
While replying to issues raised by Yechury in Rajya Sabha, union home minister Shivraj Patil informed the house that the country is facing serious problem of religious fundamentalist violence. He told that as the governments are engaged with so many problems, they don't want to pile up another one. He refused to send a team to Kerala for studying the violence in that state. He informed the house that in the attack on CPI(M) headquarters 10 CPI(M) leaders and activists were injured in the stone pelting. Eight police personnel on duty and 3 BJP workers were also injured. He said the administration took steps immediately after knowing about the attack and dispatched 2 platoons and one company of Rapid Action Force which had to fire tear gas shells to disperse the mob. He told the house that after having the FIR registered by affected parties the police took 14 BJP workers, including 6 of its corporators into custody and kept behind bars. He also informed the house that some of BJP leaders went to concerned police station around 4.30 in the evening and forced the SHO to register FIR to which the authorities refused. Responding to a query from Venkaiah Naidu seeking home minister's intervention to see that their FIR be registered, Patil firmly told them that if he concedes that demand it would amount to intervention in due process of law. At that point of time he threatened BJP member S S Ahluwalia of filing a breach of privilege notice for his remarks that the home ministry had pressurised the Delhi Police not to register FIR from BJP workers. Patil reminded him that the FIR registration will be done according to the Cr P C and not under directions from the political leaders. He assured the house that the law will take its own course on this issue.
While speaking on behalf of government in Loksabha, leader of the house Pranab Mukherjee said any attack on any offices of political outfits is deplorable and should be condemned. He assured the house that stern action would be taken against the perpetrators of the attack.