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India: Story of a Crime in the Left / Ideology? Leaders Know All?

by Kamal Mitra Chenoy, 30 April

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In the CPI Party Congress in Kollam (Quilon), Kerala last week a vendetta was publicly unleashed by a senior CPI leader against a leading intellectual activist of the CPI. The aim was to sideline the intellectual comrade through a vilification campaign in the presence of a large number of comrades. First the name of the comrade was mysteriously dropped from the list of delegates to the Party Congress. Then when the intellectual was being given a delegate card by the Kerala comrades, a lowly CPI worker insisted that he should not be given even an alternate delegate card but only an “Observer”badge.

In a couple of meetings at Kollam, the intellectual was not present when the senior CPI leader sharply attacked the party intellectual on several false grounds and claimed that he had not written a theoretical document that he was asked to write. The proposed document was to be on the “Theory of Value” which is a highly theoretical concept developed by Marx which has 4 different Marxist interpretations. Obviously, this was not suitable for almost all party cadre who were not educated in difficult Marxist concepts. This was earlier brought to the notice of the General Secretary of the CPI. A senior Manipur comrade protested against the attack on the senior CPI intellectual in a meeting, and informed the intellectual in public of the vilification campaign against him. Others including a senior UP CPI leader tried to reason with the senior CPI leader, but the old veteran was adamant. Do you think that the major CPI intellectual should remain silent?

The intellectual writes regularly on this facebook. He has been a National Council (central committee) member several times. Should he continue in the party? If there had been a flagrant injustice, should he continue in the CPI, where the leaders have as yet taken no action against the vilification campaign of a CPI intellectual activist who joined the CPI in 1973? To be fair, it is possible that many leaders may not even know, even now. Many may not have arrived back to their homes yet. But how can such public vilification take place in a Party Congress where there are hundreds of comrades? What do you think?

o o o

Ideology? Leaders Know All?
 
Why respect an intellectual?
Why listen to comrades whose knowledge is ineffectual?
What the leaders say is best,
Intellectuals should rest.
 
There have been great ones,
Like EMS and C. Achutha Menon, great sons,
But now the knowledge base is shrinking,
And factional squabbles are stinking.
 
What price Marxist theory?
Which many leaders find dreary,
Politics is easy, but difficult,
When there is a leadership cult.
 
The days of Chandrappan and PKV,
Were glorious days all could see.
But now pen pushers do not read,
Modernising is no need.
 
The Red Flag can only grow,
When many come to know.
Marxism is a lifetime quest,
Which many fail the test.
 
When ideology is ignored,
Critical theories abhorred.
How can we keep the Red in the flag,
When disillusioned comrades lag?