People's Democracy

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


No. 43

October 27, 2013






Country Needs Alternative Policies, Not Alternative Leaders


M Girija


HIGHLIGHTING the need to forge alternative policies in the forthcoming parliamentary elections, the CPI(M) organised a special convention at Coimbatore on October 20; this was at the level of the concerned Lok Sabha constituency. Sitaram Yechury, member of the Polit Bureau and MP, delivered the key address.  While accepting the election fund that was handed over to him, he said, “I was very hesitant to receive it because getting money in a public place is a very dangerous thing in our country today. In fact the people who make money, don't take it in public places; they take it only in secret places. Yet, we are a party that can without hesitation tell the whole world that nobody can accuse us of corruption.” Yechury recalled that more than 15 years ago, when the Tatas sent cheques to all parties including the CPI(M), we returned the cheque, saying "No, thank you very much.” We do not accept money from industrialists; small but enthusiastic donations coming from workers and peasants are sufficient for our campaign.




Yechury said the UPA government has institutionalised corruption; our country's valuable resources worth billions of rupees are being looted while this money should have been utilised for augmenting the welfare and livelihood of our people. He accused both the Congress and the BJP of indulging in a sort of match fixing because both have a common interest in concealing the truth from the people.


While there is no difference between the Congress and the BJP, be it on the issue of corruption or on economic policies, Yechury said the choice being highlighted appears very strange. But this choice is no panacea to our problems or for the creation of a better India. The new Namo Raga in Indian politics (Namo = Narendra Modi, Raga = Rahul Gandhi) does not mean a new melody; rather it creates noise and disharmony.


As for the prime minister’s bragging that India has survived the global economic crisis, the truth is that India survived the first two years of global economic crisis because the Left stopped the UPA-1 government from implementing many of the so-called reforms that they wanted to implement in financial sector. It was thus that our country was insulated from the global financial crisis. But after the Left withdrew support from the UPA, they went wholehog after these policies, thus widening the hiatus between the “two Indias.” Because of these ‘reforms,’ India has become vulnerable to the vagaries of finance capital, and the responsibility for it lies with the Congress led UPA and with the BJP which did not move a little finger to stop these measures. All the so-called reforms could be carried out because both the Congress and BJP acted in tandem. For the last three years the Manmohan Singh government has been doling out to the rich more than Rs five lakh crore every year by way of revenue forgone. And they say it is an incentive given to the corporate and the rich for growth. That is why the value of the rupee is falling. On the other hand, for the common people, the cost of living is increasingly escalating. There is no dearth of resources in our country. What is required is not alternative leaders like Namo and Raga, but alternative policies which can be provided neither by the BJP nor by the Congress. Pro-people alternative policies will come only when the red flag becomes stronger in our country.


During the course of his speech, Yechury also dwelt in detail on the duplicity of the BJP and its prime-ministerial aspirant as well as this party’s drive to foment communal polarisation for electoral benefits. The convenor of the BJP manifesto committee has already said that building a temple in Ayodhya, abolition of Article 370 and implementation of uniform civil code will continue to remain the main agenda of the BJP. This means they are going to foment communal tensions before 2014 elections even if thousands of innocent lives are lost in the process. For its game plan, the BJP is trying to misappropriate the name of Mahatma Gandhi while its prime-ministerial candidate is seeking to pose himself as the second Sardar Patel.




Yechury said secular democracy is the very foundation of modern Indian republic, and if it is not safe, then there is no future for anybody or for any political party. So the first priority is to save India from the communal fundamentalist threats today and that is why we are going to organise an all-India convention against communalism in New Delhi on October 30 in order to raise our voice against this danger to India. Yechury informed that many renowned political leaders, intellectuals, writers and artistes and others would come together on the day to urge upon the Indian people to rise in order to protect India.


This election is not going to be like buying a commodity, say a fridge or television set, from the market. You are not to buy the future prime minister of India from the market. The BJP is today using a marketing strategy to sell its prime ministerial candidate. The Congress too is working out its marketing strategy to sell its leader. The people have to give the answer by saying that they are not buying a prime minister from the market like. The prime minister of India will be decided by the Indian people. You have to say that the choice is between alternative policies and not between alternative leaders. 


In India today we have enough resources and we have enough youth power. We, Yechury said, have the largest population of youth anywhere in the world today. There is nothing lacking in India. What we lack is policies --- appropriate policies to use our resources and to achieve our potential. But no alternative policies in India can be conceived, leave alone implemented, without the Left parties playing a prominent role in politics. Therein lies the future direction for creation of a better India.


Yechury expressed confidence on the occasion that the people of Tamilnadu, particularly the people of Coimbatore, who have a very long history, legacy and tradition of fighting for a better life of people, would rise to the occasion and join the battle along with the red flag to create a better future for India.


Earlier, CPI(M) state secretary G Ramakrishnan, in his address, asserted that those who killed Mahatma Gandhi don’t have the moral right to speak about the dreams of Gandhi. CPI(M) Central Committee member P Sampath said that dalits were being deprived of their rights in the name of Manu Dharma. Fascist forces like the BJP are not only against the minorities but also against dalits, backward classes and women. He urged for a powerful campaign to smash to pulp the BJP’s dreams of coming to power. K Thangavel, MLA from Tiruppur constituency, and P R Natarajan MP from Coimbatore constituency, also addressed the gathering.


The convention was presided over by V Ramamurthi, secretary of the CPI(M)’s Coimbatore district committee. U K Sivagnanam delivered the welcome address and C Padhmanabhan inaugurated the convention. 


The first instalment of election fund --- Rs 16,21,000 --- was handed over to Yechury at the convention. The convention, in which several thousands of people participated, also adopted resolutions demanding improvements in the infrastructure of Coimbatore. It came to a close with the vote of thanks proposed by K Manoharan.