Dear Mr. Karat,
I am writing this to you, fully aware of the fact that you may not find the time to browse through websites to read all that is written about you and your party. But then, I know that some of your partymen follow this site and that they will go through the bother of conveying the contents to you, for whatever it is worth. And let me also remind you that I was one of your fellow traveller at some point.
The provocation to this was your statement, before TV cameras, where you cited Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s mention, recently, that the Maoists pose the biggest threat to India’s internal security. You did that to justify the brutal ways that your party’s Chief Minister, Budhadeb Bhattacharjee adopted to put down the resistance to the idea of a chemical hub in Nandhigram.
Manmohan Singh’s contention (however unfounded it was) did not come as a surprise to me and many others who grew up in the tradition that you too did. The most prominent propagandist that he is of the Liberalisation-Privatisation-Globalisation agenda that he is, it was only natural that he saw the Maoists as a threat to the national security.
In many ways, he is not very different from the likes of Pravin Todagia, L.K.Advani and Narendra Modi who believe that the Muslims are the cause of the nation’s problems. It is not just a matter of coincidence that the BJP and its allies pull all the stops to wage a war against the organized resistance that the Maoists put up against the feudal lords and their cohorts in the hinterlands of Bihar, Jharkhand and Chattisgarh.
But it was certainly shocking to find you endorsing that world view and even leaning on someone like Manmohan Singh. You and your party have been describing his economic policies and the recent Indo-US nuclear deal as nothing but attempts to mortgage the sovereignty of our own nation to the US regime and monopoly capital that it serves. And if one were to use the Marxist categories in this context, I do not find another word than calling it as an act that confirms the comprador character of the Indian capitalist class.
And the parties that serve the interests of this class include the Congress(I), the BJP, the DMK, the ADMK, the Samajwadi Party, BJD, the RJD and all those others who are in power in one State or another and abuse the power to facilitate the loot of this country and its resources by the monopoly capitalists and the political regimes in the West.
And your party has been engaged in mobilizing the workers, peasants and other sections of our people in agitations against the policies initiated by Manmohan Singh (as Finance Minister between 1991 and 1996) and against the Atal Behari Vajpayee regime (between 1998 and 2004). You have underscored, in your party organ, that the defeat of the NDA regime in May 2004 was caused, above all, by the resistance to the LPG agenda it pursued in the same way as the Narasimha Rao-Manmohan Singh regime before.
You and some others in your party have, in the same way, described the SEZs as nothing but a land grab attempt and sent several notes to the Union Commerce Minister Kamal Nath and also raised the reasons behind your opposition to this land grab in your meetings with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his boss, Sonia Gandhi. And your colleague in the Politburo, Brinda Karat, even joined the campaign against the terror unleashed by the Naveen Patnaik regime against those who protested against a land grab in Kalinga Nagar.
You were associated in the campaign against a SEZ in Dadri along with V.P.Singh and in a way knew what it meant to your cadre when those who protested against their land being taken over booked on cooked up charges and thrown into jail by Mulayam Singh’s Government then. You have yourself been ``taken care’’ of by the police, at various points of time when you were a student leader and later on involved in organizing the workers in and around Delhi in your role as the Secretary of the CPI(M) in Delhi.
I need not remind you of the murderous assault on Safdar Hashmi and the fact that it was carried out by men who belonged to the Congress(I). And it is shocking that you are now willing to agree with what he had to say about the Maoists. You are aware that the goons who killed Safdar Hashmi and many others like him do not see any difference between your partymen and the members and associates of the various CPI(ML) groups active in many parts of the country. Like Mao Tse Tung said, the primary contradiction between the oppressed and the oppressor will remain as long as one of the two sides is annihilated.
I know that you have read Mao’s writings many times as well as Karl Marx, Frederick Engels and Vladimir Lenin. And it is shocking that despite this, you are now letting Budhadeb Bhattacharjee do all that he is doing in Nandhigram as well as in other parts of Kolkotta.
I am sure you would have read one of Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai’s ``Rendu Indangazhi’’ where the inseperable bond between the peasant and his land is brought out with such felicity. And that, indeed, is what led to the hundreds of men and women in Nandhigram to resist the idea of setting up a Chemical Hub on their lands. You may dismiss all this as the views of a Narodnik, who according to one of your columns in your party organ were known to romanticize the farm and the farmers.
But then, don’t forget that even Lenin had acknowledged the contribution of the Narodniks to the cause of the revolution in 1917. I hope you will agree with me that the 1905 revolution was one of the important stages in the revolutionary movement’s history and it is un-Marxist to dismiss that as a mere expression of romanticism. And Eisenstein’s Battleship Potemkin, the greatest film for all times to come was based on this understanding of history.
Well. I hope, even now, that you have the courage to lead your party to indulge in self criticism and ensure that Nandigram is not repeated.