People's Democracy

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


No. 26

July 01, 2012



Media-Aided Gameplan To Target CPI(M) -- III



Pinarayi Vijayan


PROTECTION of the democratic rights of all sections of the people is a prerequisite for the survival of any democratic state. Protecting the people from the state’s repression is a vital component of ensuring their democratic rights. It was with this perspective in view that the previous government, that of the Left Democratic Front (LDF), had formulated the Police Act. This act aimed to avert any possibility of torture against anyone in police custody. However, since the United Democratic Front (UDF) came to power about a year ago, the Kerala police has been giving short shrift to the provisions in the Police Act and resorting to terrific torture of those in its custody. On its part, the CPI(M), as a movement that aims to defend among other things the civil rights of the people, endeavours to focus attention on the issue of slaughter of people’s liberties and rights on one pretext or another.




The judiciary in a democratic system always underlines the view that the statements related to a case inquiry cannot be made public and the judiciary has, in its numerous verdicts, forbidden to do so. The Supreme Court and the Kerala High Court, on many occasions, cautioned against the possible tribulations that may occur if any information contained in a case diary is published during the course of investigation. In the Murukesan vs State of Kerala case, the Kerala High Court opined that after registering a criminal case and sending the FIR to a magistrate’s court, any police officer must not provide any information related to the the investigation or its progress to the public. If any investigating officer acts against this principle, the court felt, his or her act would amount to misconduct and would be liable for disciplinary action. A court need not accept a piece of evidence gathered by the investigating officers during the course of an investigation; the court may well reject it during the trial if it finds that such statements and evidence were collected through coercive measures. The court further held that publication of such matters during the progress of an investigation is not in the interest of society, and therefore clarified that the investigating officers and media people who are found guilty of breach of this directive would be liable to legal proceedings.


In the Jesicca Lal murder case, the Supreme Court also warned against the media trials that obliterate the right of the accused to prove their innocence. The court felt that such media trials are an intrusion into the fundamental right to life of the accused. The court pointed out the urgent need of stopping the media trials until the conclusion of an investigation. In the Kannan vs State of Kerala case, also the Kerala High Court too delivered a similar verdict.




However, nowadays, the media propaganda going on regarding the purported statements of the accused in connection with the wretched murder of Chandrasekharan is in contravention of precisely these very court directives. The propaganda is so blatant that anyone can understand this fact. Today, such fictitious tales and propaganda are coming out incessantly, transgressing the limits of decency and propriety, and are being used to damage the CPI(M).


It was in such a situation that the Kozhikkode district committee of the party felt constrained to file a writ petition so as to bring the question of violation of fundamental rights to the notice of the court and ask it to ensure a fair and unobstructed investigation. Unfortunately, some quarters termed even this effort for legal remedy as an assault on the freedom of the press and media. If that is the case, isn’t it that the abovementioned court verdicts themselves infringe upon the freedom of the press and media? Insofar as we remember never did the media or the present advocates of press freedom raise any objection against such verdicts. In fact they are concerned neither with the freedom of the press nor with the court verdicts; all their rhetoric about media freedom etc are motivated by their blatant opposition to the CPI(M) as they seek to pounce upon every opportunity to damage the party. It has to be understood that such a malevolent humbug is a part of their ploy to disrupt the CPI(M) at any cost.


There is no doubt that the media have every right to investigate and publish the news and have their own views about those news. But it is certainly undesirable if they spread news on the basis of a tampered case diary and fabricated statements which were taken by the police through sheer torture and coercion. Indeed, as an affected party being targeted with such fictitious tales, the CPI(M) has every right to seek some legal remedy.                                  


In fact, if the police has registered criminal cases against Elamaram Kareem, it was precisely because he had drawn attention to the views expressed by the higher judiciary in similar cases. How can it be argued, then, as illegal when one has the undeniable legal footing while asking the judiciary to ensure protection to citizens from the unprecedented police terror? The democratic sections will indubitably recognise the fact that while intervening and bringing this question to the public domain so as to protect the people’s interest, Elamaram Kareem was dutifully discharging his responsibility as a legislator and as a social activist.


Immediately after the heinous murder of Chandrasekharan at Onchiyam, the leadership of the RMP, aided by the police, unleashed an abhorrent terror campaign against the CPI(M). Seventy five houses were destroyed in this locality. These untainted ‘revolutionaries’ did not even hesitate to destroy the paintings of Marxist philosophers including Marx and Engels. An Onchiyam martyr, Mandodi Kannan, who had never capitulated before the police torture, had once depicted the symbol of sickle and hammer with his own blood while bleeding in the jail because of the police torture. But the miscreants did not spare Mandodi Kannan’s memorial either. Moreover, massive destruction of the libraries and reading rooms in the whole area under the leadership of the RMP, aided by the police, reminded us of how in 1948, when the Communist Party was banned, many libraries and reading rooms were destroyed by the then police and the ‘Cherupayar army’ formed by the Congress to attack the communists. Many people could not even dare to sleep in their own houses just because of they were related to the CPI(M).




On its part, the CPI(M) took the position that its intervention should not cause any frenzied situation. Those who deliberately lay the responsibility of the murder on the CPI(M)’s shoulders should be reminded of the fact that it was the party’s patience and tolerance that helped avert an extensive hostility in this area. The police did not register any case against the criminals, who had destroyed houses and led the attack and plunder, under the relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code. There is no gainsaying the police did register some cases against the assailants, but these were only on insignificant charges and that too only after the people started resisting the police collusion and attitude with massive protest programmes.


These days it is being argued that the RMP was formed at Onchiyam on the basis of certain ideological questions. Such an argument or justification is absolutely erroneous and misleading, based on a tampering of the facts. The reality is that these sections left the CPI(M) just because of their opposition to giving the Eramala panchayat presidentship to the Janata Dal, after a two years tenure. This was on the basis of a decision of the Left Democratic Front (LDF) and did not indeed involve any ideological dispute. Thus most of these sections left the CPI(M) because of a misunderstanding of the situation.


On its part, the CPI(M) endeavoured its best to bring them back to the party fold and persuade them to rectify their mistakes. So as to accomplish this objective, the CPI(M) vigorously explained its political position that the stand adopted by these disgruntled elements would only help weaken the communist movement and its drive to assist the rightwing forces. While doing so, the party asked its cadres at various levels to hold discussions with these elements, individually and collectively, in order to bring them back to the CPI(M). Moreover, such discussions were also giving result and soon reached at a stage where one could hope that this task would register total success. However, at this point these elements withdrew themselves for unknown reasons. It is another thing that the CPI(M) effectively brought back many of these comrades to the party fold and provided them an opportunity to rectify their mistakes. The CPI(M) will continue its effort in future as well.   


One should also keep in mind as to who were the real beneficiaries of such political organisations. The Vadakara parliamentary constituency is considered as a stronghold of the LDF. But the UDF was able to win it in the 2009 parliament elections. It is a fact that, along with some other factors, the formation of the RMP contributed to the UDF’s victory. The people of the area, and especially the RMP’s activists, are well aware of how the RMP intervened in many ways to ensure the victory of the UDF in the parliamentary elections. Those sections, who appeared on the scene while claiming that they are the real left alternative, in effect paved the way, by their activities, for the rightwing politics to gain and aid the reactionaries to enter a Left bastion.




Today, these sections are arguing that the revolutionary perspective of the CPI(M) has got seriously eroded and that the Congress party and the rightwing forces need to be opposed more vigorously. Then the question is: Even after such ‘revolutionary’ rhetoric, why do the rightwing forces do not consider them as their opponents but are, in its stead, encouraging them? Analysing this fact may help one to easily understand the reality behind such revolutionary pretensions. No one would seriously care about it if the rightwing forces label any such allegation or mount their hostility against the CPI(M) in a state like Kerala where the Left sensibility is developed; in fact such an attack cannot hope to have any significant influence upon the people. However, when such an attack comes from certain quarters which claim to be the true ‘left,’ it may well create confusion among the people and mislead some of the sections. That is the very reason the rightist forces provide all help and encouragement to such elements. The people of Kerala are well aware of the facts regarding the nexus of the Trinamul Congress and the Congress with the so-called Maoists that was aimed at obliterating the Left in West Bengal. In Kerala too, aided by the bourgeois controlled media, such forces are making similar endeavours, and hence it is the responsibility of those stand by the Left to recognise this reality.


The CPI(M) does not believe that any idea whatsoever can be obliterated by eliminating the individuals who advocate that idea. The CPI(M)’s fight against left sectarianism is permeated with this very understanding. The CPI(M) has grown up by firmly fighting, among other things, against the ‘extermination theory’ propagated by the naxalites. This is the reason for the CPI(M)’s open position that such acts are wrong. It has also moved into action to rectify whenever any such deviation or erroneous tendency appear among the comrades at any point of time.


This understanding is in sharp contrast to the Congress leader K Sudhakaran’s open declaration in a public meeting that Nalpadi Vasu must be eliminated. Moreover, it was he, and also M V Raghavan along with him, who had sent a team to kill E P Jayarajan of the CPI(M). However, while the Congress party has never condemned such heinous acts, it is now in full gear to blame the CPI(M) for precisely such acts. Can one forget that it was the Congress party which got killed Moyarath Shankaran who had written a history of the Indian National Congress and had later left the Congress and joined the communist movement? It is the same Congress party that got many other comrades killed. But it is precisely the same party that is now ridiculously trying to teach to the CPI(M) the virtues of democratic politics!


Let’s point out in unequivocal terms: while many comrades, like the SFI’s leader K V Sudheesh, were brutally killed by our political opponents including the RSS and the Congress, the CPI(M) has advanced by resisting and overcoming all such impediments.


T P Chandrasekharan was not the first individual who left the CPI(M) and formed a political party; in the past many have resorted to such moves against the party. They also launched attacks against the party in many ways and took the help of the rightwing media for the purpose. Yet the CPI(M) has defended itself from all such attacks ideologically and politically; indeed this has been the categorical stand of the party. That's why the CPI(M) declared that if any party member was found involved in T P Chandrasekharan’s pathetic murder, the party would take firm disciplinary action against him or her. But it certainly does not mean that we should initiate disciplinary action against the party comrades who have been arrested on the basis of a script prepared by certain interested quarters. The CPI(M) has decided to conduct an inquiry into the matter on its own, and will not be found reluctant to take firm action if at all anyone of the party members is found involved.


Dubbing the CPI(M) as a party of assailants has also been a smokescreen for the UDF government that continues with its plot to foist forged cases against CPI(M) leaders and cadres. The case of M M Mani is a case in point. Highlighting the political mistake committed by Mani in his speech, the UDF government attempted to foist criminal cases against him, irrespective of the real gravity of his mistake. While trying to expose and resist such politically motivated moves, the CPI(M) is of the firm opinion that the killers of T P Chandrasekharan must be brought to book, which aim requires an independent and transparent investigation.