People's Democracy

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


Vol. XXXIII

No. 25

June 21, 2009

 

KERALA

CPI(M) Commemorates EMS Birth Centenary

 

THE two day national seminar on the ‘World of EMS’ was held to commemorate the birth centenary of Comrade EMS Namboodiripad at his birth place, Perinthalmanna in Malappuram district. Inaugurating the seminar CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat recalled his experience with EMS Namboodiripad, who was the first chief minister of a democratically elected communist government in Kerala and the general secretary of the Party for nearly one and a half decade. Prakash reiterated that the Party would continue its struggle against neo-liberal economic policies and the pro- imperialist stand of the UPA government. He also emphasised the importance of a self-critical analysis on the recent electoral setbacks and assured that the Party would examine whether it had distanced away from certain sections of the society. He also added that the electoral defeat is only temporary and the Party will continue to be the leading force in resisting the pro-rich, anti-people policies. The consolidated attacks of the right wing political parties, and other sectarian forces backed by imperialism can never hamper our struggle to resist neo-liberal economic policies and UPA government’s servile attitude towards imperialism, he said.

 

It is none but EMS Namboodiripad who identified the threat of majority communalism against democratic ethos and designed our strategy against the fascist forces. Even in the early eighties, he warned about the strengthening of the right wing Hindutva forces and their penetration into our secular society. Talking about the contributions of Comrade EMS Namboodiripad, Prakash described him as the most original and outstanding Marxist produced by the developing world in the 20th century. No other Marxist thinker theorised about the class and caste associations of our society as EMS did. He evaluated Indian national movement from a working class perspective and played a pioneering role in developing communist perspective for parliamentary forums.

 

The minister for local administration, Paloli Muhammedkutty presided over the seminar. Presenting a paper on democratic perspective of development, Prabhat Patnaik, vice chairman of the State Planning Board said that Kerala could never duplicate other states in development. If we imitate other states, much of our freedom would be negated and indiscriminate encouragement of capitalist investment would be dangerous to Kerala, he said.

 

The Finance minister T M Thomas Issac recalled the role played by EMS Namboodiripad in the successful implementation of decentralisation of power in Kerala.

 

The evening session kindled nostalgic revolutionary memories of Comrade EMS when Prakash Karat laid the foundation stone for EMS Memorial Complex on the banks of river Nila in a ceremony charged with emotions in which thousands of comrades and sympathisers participated. A Vijayaraghavan, MP presided over the function and the daughters of EMS, Dr Malathi, EM Radha and son in law Dr A D Damodaran attended. Dr Sumangala, the grand daughter of EMS sang melodious revolutionary songs belonging to the resistance music genre.

 

On the second day, the session started with CPI(M) Polit Bureau member S Ramachandran Pillai’s paper on ‘EMS and Coalition Politics in Kerala’. He urged the activists to follow the model of EMS in waging restless and sustained struggles against bourgeois social system and reactionary ideas. He also cautioned the Party activists not to confuse between the third front and the third alternative, which the Party seeks to build. He  warned the Party activists to be vigilant against the influence the existing bourgeoisie society is trying to exert on them. Instead of being influenced by the unequal society, the communists should try to change the society, he said and called upon the activists to be prepared to face any challenges.

 

Many other learned scholars and practicing politicians presented their views on various facets of Comrade EMS’s life and related these to the contemporary task of the communist movement. Madhavankutty, famous journalist criticised the media for targeting CPI(M) adversely. Speaking on ‘Coalition Experiments and Media,’ he accused the media of giving shape to a ‘mega media rainbow coalition’ against the CPI(M). KKN Kuruppu, historian presented a paper on coalition politics in pre independent days. T N Seema, AIDWA state president spoke on Left perspective on women’s interventions.

 

The last session which dealt with EMS’s relationship with the cultural front was inaugurated by M A Baby, minister for Culture and Education. The session was presided over by Prabha Varma, the poet and was enriched by the presence of luminaries from the cultural front. Veteran poet Akkitham and Dr K G Poulose, vice chancellor of Kerala Kalamandalam participated.  Baby described EMS as a leader who recognised the importance of cultural activities for the movements which work for social change.

 

The two days of discussion on EMS’s life, politics and contributions recharged the comrades with inspiration and confidence with the light radiating from the brilliance of the ‘Genius of the epoch’.