CPI(M) says public opinion to guide Sabarimala policy


CPI(M) Politbureau member S. Ramachandran Pillai said public opinion would guide the Left Democratic Front (LDF) policy on Sabarimala issue.

On Monday, he sought to set the record straight on matters of faith and Marxian world view. Mr. Pillai said the party had examined the Sabarimala issue from the prism of past experience. The government would strive for a consensus among stakeholders.

Mr. Pillai repudiated the Opposition’s criticism that the party had forsaken Communism.

Congress charge

KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran had seized on CPI(M) central secretariat member M.N. Govindan’s statement to accuse the party of disavowing working-class principles.

Mr. Govindan had said a purely theoretical Marxian approach to matters related to faith might not gain traction in the largely traditionalist Sabarimala temple setting.

So, while remaining staunchly secular, the CPI(M) should take a pragmatic approach to religion. Such a middle ground was essential, especially when the BJP sought to brazenly exploit Hindu faith to improve its electoral prospects in Kerala. The Congress had also made Sabarimala the central election plank.

Mr. Ramachandran had interpreted Mr. Govindan’s words as an indication that the CPI(M) had shed its secular philosophy moored to dialectical materialism and veered hard to the right to harness the power of Hindu majoritarian politics.

Mr. Pillai said the media had cherry-picked Mr. Govindan’s speech and quoted him out of context.

CPI stand

CPI State secretary Kanam Rajendran said dialectical materialism lay at the heart of Marxian world view. No Communist party could hope to keep its political identity by denying Hegel’s theory further modified by Karl Marx.

BJP State president K. Surendran said the CPI(M) had developed cold feet. It had realised that the ire of Ayyappa devotees could turn the tide of the electoral battle against the LDF. Hence, the CPI(M) had thrown off the mantle of Communism and showed its true colours: a party with no ideological moorings except power and profiteering.

He urged CPI(M) cadres to dump their party and join the BJP. He said CPI(M) leaders should go to Kashi for pilgrimage since they have washed their hands of any communist ideological pretences.

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