People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 04

January 27, 2008

Halt The Growth Of Communal Forces In Karnataka




'Halt The Growth Of Communal

Forces In Karnataka'


Prasanna Kumar

& Jaya

MORE than 2,000 people thronged the palace city, Mysore, with thousands of Red flags from different parts of the state on the eve of 19th Karnataka state conference of CPI(M). They came from as distant a place as Gulbarga to coastal districts of the state. The procession, after a marathon five-kilometre march, finally culminated at Town Hall for pubic meeting addressed by CPI(M) Polit Bureau member and MP Sitaram Yechury, Polit Bureau member and AIKS general secretary K Varadharajan. Slogans against anti-people, anti-labour and anti-farmer policies of the government were raised.


Sitaram Yechury inaugurated the public meeting. In his address, he said that the Left would strive for the formation of an alternative to both Congress and BJP at the centre and this alternative would be based on a minimum set of policies and would not be a ‘cut and paste’ arrangement for the elections.


Yechury called for strengthening the Party in Karnataka to change the direction of anti-people economic policies and to prevent communal BJP from coming to power in Karnataka. CPI(M) has supported UPA government only to prevent communal forces from coming to power at centre based on a Common Minimum Programme. The NREGA, Tribal Rights Act were enacted because of Left parties’ continuous pressure to implement pro-people policies in CMP, he said. The prime minister Manmohan Singh who initiated neo-liberal polices during 1990s of which privatisation of PSUs was a major thing, the same Manmohan Singh had announced from red fort that no PSU will be privatised. This is a remarkable shift by the government in the last 60 years of our independence. This turn-around by prime minister is not because of soul-searching or change of understanding of Manmohan Singh but clearly because this UPA government cannot survive without the Left support.


On the issue of price rise this government has not done enough, he said. The Left parties have concretely proposed alternative measures to control price rise by prohibition of forward trading which is only favouring few big business houses resulting in impoverishing peasants and also consumers. Public distribution system has to be strengthened and petrol, diesel and LPG prices have to be controlled. Government is pleading that petroleum prices have increased because of rise in international prices. The fact is that there is a major portion that includes tax component and thus it wants to gain by increased taxes. As we are pressurising UPA government to implement CMP policies of enhanced credit facilities, increased allocations to health, education and welfare of people, there have been increases which are not enough.

Yechury further said the CPI(M) opposes any move to operationalise nuclear deal. Replying to the critics of Left who are trying to find contradiction on political line of CPI(M) in supporting UPA and the appeal to people to struggle against this government, Sitaram categorically said there is no contradiction because Left supported this government based on CMP, hence the need to pressurise through people’s struggle for the implementation of the same and at the same time is the need to prevent the communal forces from coming to power .


BJP is trying to enter south India through Karnataka and this has to be prevented. CPI(M) will strive for bringing together parties and forces into third alternative on a basis of stability in policies of opposing communalism and anti-people economic policies, said Sitaram. He appealed to the people to strengthen CPI(M) in Karnataka in the interest of the people and nation.


The public meeting was presided by the Karnataka state CPI(M) secretary G N Nagaraj who said that BJP is already claiming that it would make another Gujarat, if it is voted to power in Karnataka. In Gujarat, it killed more than 3000 Muslims and has committed brutal crimes on the working class. There has been an effort from the RSS and its right wing intellectuals voicing for a change of ‘Naada Geethe’ (State Anthem). The state’s renowned poet and Jnanpeeth award winner Kuvempu, who waged relentless struggle against Brahmanism and upheld the values of communal harmony, has penned the present ‘naada geethe’. He said that the Party would fight against the communal forces by joining hands with other secular parties.


Karnataka state secretariat member Srirama Reddy attacked BJP for communal division of the state and opportunist JD(S) for having given the chance to communal forces to rule the state. Instead of taking on the communal designs of RSS and BJP in the state, Congress is harping only on petty issues like corruption, etc. He said that Congress leaders do not have right to talk about corruption, since they stand first in looting the country in the last 60 years. While the Congress failed to perform its duties as principal opposition party, BJP and JD(S) brought the onus of mid term election on the people since the deal to have two important portfolios - Urban Development and Mine ministry – failed between them. It is the mine owners and land mafia who are controlling the government while the RSS and Sangh parivar are propagating hatred among the people.


State secretariat members VJK Nair and K Neela also spoke on the occasion. AIKS general secretary K Varadarajan and secretariat member Prasanna Kumar was also present on the occasion.