People's Democracy

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


No. 51

December 20, 2009



CPI(M) Appeals for Restraint

and Unity among People


The ruling classes of our country and the imperialists increasingly feel that break up of large states into smaller ones would facilitate their nationwide loot of resources and are therefore encouraging the process, felt B V Raghavulu, CPI(M) Polit Bureau member and secretary of Andhra Pradesh state committee. Holding the Congress party fully responsible for the present explosive situation in the state, he appealed to the people not to get provoked and maintain unity.


Below are the excerpts from the interview given by the CPI(M) leader to N S Arjun in Hyderabad  on December 11, 2009:


Que: How do you view the present developments in the state?

The issue of division of the state has been brought to the forefront once again. After the central government announced its intention to begin the process of formation of separate Telangana state following TRS chief's hunger strike, a counter-movement for united state has begun in other regions. The largescale resignations of MLAs belonging to Congress, TDP, Praja Rajyam and few MPs has pushed the state into a political crisis. The state assembly proceedings have come to grinding halt leaving no scope for discussing the pressing problems of the common people or the loot of mineral wealth by Bellary Reddy brothers. The entire atmosphere in the state has deteriorated today, leading to a critical situation. There is an atmosphere of growing divisions among people belonging to different regions.


Que: Who do you think is responsible for such a state of affairs?

The responsibility lies fully with the Congress. It has since the beginning been playing around with the unity of the state. The long standing opportunistic stance of Congress has resulted in a situation today where with each passing day the urge for the division of the state is growing firmly in Telangana. The Congress never took any steps to remove the backwardness of the region and all its promises made in this regard for electoral gains have been thrown into dustbin. The formation of Regional Boards to oversee development, the implementation of G.O. 610 to protect jobs in the region etc were all neglected by successive Congress governments. The present decision of the Congress is height of its opportunism. On the one hand it announced its intention and the very next day it is giving different signals. But in the process it has very much complicated the situation.


Que: What is the stand of the CPI(M) on this issue in light of recent developments?

The undivided Communist Party and later the CPI(M) have from the beginning stood for a united state not only here but at the all India level in favour of linguistic states. It remains committed to that stand even today and we have conveyed the same to the Pranab Mukherjee committee formed  by the earlier UPA government. In fact, CPI(M) is the only party in the state which has stood consistently on its principled position. All other parties, including some Left parties, have changed their stance opportunistically and today there is an absurd situation where these parties units are adopting opposing positions in different regions. The CPI(M) stand is also driven from the understanding that only when the toiling masses are united, they can protect their interests.


Que: The CPI(M) principle of linguistic states is being attacked citing the case of existence of numerous Hindi-speaking states in the country.

There is an important difference here. The linguistic states formed here emerged as part of the freedom movement against British imperialism. There were huge struggles led by both Congress and Communists for formation of linguistic states, which resulted first in Andhra Pradesh and later Kerala, Maharashtra, Karnataka etc. There were no such movements in the princely states in the North. These states were formed mainly on administrative basis. So it is wrong to equate both.


Que: Home Minister P Chidambaram has justified the centre's decision on Telangana citing the example of USA which has 50 states despite having only one-third of our population. The industry bodies CII and ASSOCHAM have also welcomed the move. Is there a design behind  this decision?

The ruling classes increasingly feel that having strong states is an hinderance to their ongoing loot of national wealth. The imperialists and the foreign MNCs also feel that smaller states would facilitate their entry and their loot of natural resources. In fact, they are encouraging this process worldwide. The BJP is also actively seeking splintering of states because it feels that it can effectively take its communal agenda forward in smaller states. This is one aspect. The other aspect is that during the time of crisis when the condition of people deteriorates by each passing day, the ruling classes always bring to fore various emotional issues to divert people's attention from the real problems. They keep stoking the flames without resolving those issues. The Congress party is doing the same now in the state. The Congress government's failure is glaring in the way the prices of food items and commodities have soared; the cuts made in the welfare schemes; the fall in revenues; halting of work on irrigation projects etc. To deflect the anger of people against the state government, it is using the emotive issue of separate statehood.


Que: But arguments are made about smaller states resulting in better development, better administration, improvement of job opportunities etc.

If one sees the experience historically or even if one takes the recent experience of smaller states, it is clear that this argument is not correct. There is no case that merited the division of the state. In the capitalist path of development, particularly post-neo liberal reforms, there has been intensification of uneven development in the country. Profit is the only criteria for the movement of capital. With the role of the State being constricted, the possibilities of development of neglected areas is receding further. All the political parties which opportunistically try to use this uneven development for political gains, actually support these neo-liberal policies. Only by fighting against these policies can there be development of such backward regions.


Que: What is your appeal to the people of the state?

When bitter divisive passions intensify, the people stand to lose even if the state is united or divided. The workers, employees, students of one region are not enemies of these sections in the other regions. It is the ruling classes and their policies that we should unitedly be fighting against. To fight against the pressing problems facing the people requires such unity. I appeal to the people not to submit to passions and maintain restraint.