This may need a constructive discussion among the left circles.

K.P. Sasi
................................................................................................


http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/09/21/inquiring-into-the-role-of-cpim-in-the-annihilation-of-caste/

Inquiring Into The Role Of CPI(M) In The Annihilation Of Caste
<http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/09/21/inquiring-into-the-role-of-cpim-in-the-annihilation-of-caste/>
in
Annihilate Caste <http://www.countercurrents.org/category/annihilate-caste/>
— by Dalit Camera <http://www.countercurrents.org/author/dalit-camera/> —
September 21, 2016

[image: dc-cpim1]

*Vijoo Krishnan recently led a team of CPI(M) and its mass organizations to
the historic Dalit Asmita Yatra (culminating in Una on 15-Aug 2016). In the
light of this, and participation of the party in various anti-caste
uprisings in the country, Dalit Camera poses a few questions to Vijoo about
the party’s role in Annihilation of Caste and their effort to bring about a
Left-Ambedkarite unity.*

*Open Letter to Vijoo Krishnan, AIKS Joint Secretary & Permanent Invitee to
CC, CPI(M)*
15-Sep, 2016.

Dear Vijoo,

This letter is being written with an intention to create a meaningful
discussion on the role of your Party in the struggle towards Annihilation
of Caste, especially after seeing recent efforts of your Party in taking
part in the various anti-Caste struggles that had arisen throughout the
country in the past year with more vigour. Recently you have also
personally led a team of CPI(M) and its mass organizations to the historic
Una Asmita Yatra. We would also like to understand how much well intended
are your efforts in bringing together the Left-Ambedkarite unity and the
slogan of Neel Salaam-Lal Salaam. We would like to know your response to
some of our questions and viewpoints regarding CPI(M) role in the
anti-caste struggles.

*1. Land Distribution*

Distribution of 5 acres of Land to all Dalit families is one of the key
demands of the Una Movement just like the demand of Land distribution
raised by Dalits throughout these years in different parts of the country.
Nothing is more ironical when your Party is supporting this in Gujarat,
when in the 2 states of Kerala & West Bengal that your Party was in power,
where your propaganda had been that Land reforms have been beneficial to
Dalits, the per head Land distributed as per a recent RTI information
(source: thewire.in – Progress Report on implementation of Land ceiling
laws as on 31 December 2015) is the least in Kerala & West Bengal compared
to any other states. In Kerala its .41 acres per head, in West Bengal its
.33 acres per head both being at the very bottom whereas the National
average being .88 acres per head.

In Kerala where your Party and Congress have been in power alternatively,
there have been a plethora of land struggles by Adivasis & Dalits since 90s
and continuing till date. The famous Chengara Land struggle in 2007 when
Left Government was in power and which was the result of the broken
promises of land distribution to Dalits & Adivasis by both the LDF and UDF
Governments, was seen as an illegal struggle and land encroachment by your
Party and Left Government. Your Party and Government were determined to
crush the struggle and forcefully evict the families occupying the land.
They were even called as Imperialist agents by your Party leaders a usual
cliché dialogue used by your Party on movements or criticisms against your
Party. Even the still ongoing Arippa land struggle in Kerala since more
than 3 years by Adivasis & Dalits where more than 300 families have
occupied the land whose lease period was over, was attacked locally by an
alliance of Congress, BJP, CPI, CPI(M) and the local people on reasons
notwithstanding. The local people was told not even to give water to those
protestors by the then CPI MLA and which was completely justified by your
local Party leaders. Their demand for 10 acres of land was abruptly
rejected by your local Party leadership as unrealistic demand. Even the
1957 Land Reforms bill by the First Communist Government in newly formed
Kerala despite its effort in breaking the landlord system had given the
least priority to agricultural labourers (who were mostly Dalits) than the
landlords who were the upper caste Nair community.

This can be understood from the section 70 of 1957 bill which states:

*70. Assignment of rights over land vested in Government.-*

*(1) The land board may assign rights over lands surrendered to the
Government under section 64 or section 65 (section 64 is surrender of
excess lands above land ceiling and section 65 is surrender of excess land
received as gifts)    or the rights over land vested in Government under
section 49 (section 49 is purchase to be ineffective in certain cases
including the failing of lump sum or clearing the arrears for buying the
land by the tenant from the landlord) to persons who have no lands or have
lands in extent than the ceiling area and in doing so the **board shall
have regard to the following considerations in determining the order of
priority for such assignment:-*

   - *a tenant whose land has been resumed under section 6 (section 6 deals
   wth taking the land from tenant in case of utilizing it for temple or
   mosque etc, or for building purpose by landlord or for self cultivation by
   landlord)*
   - *a landlord who has lost the rights over lands on account of the
   provisions of section 40** (section 40 – Permanent tenants deemed to
   have purchased land on Peasants’ day ) and who does not have lands in his
   actual possession more than 3 acres of double crop nilam or its equalent.*
   - *co-operative farming societies whose members are agricultural
   labourers who have no land*
   - *agricultural labourers who have no land except kudikidappu*
   - *adjoining cultivators*

“*Land to tiller*” was the main slogan throughout the peasant struggles
prior to 1957, in which Dalits took part in large numbers and sacrificed
their lives also in those struggles. But post those struggles land
distribution to Dalits were the least priority and had to be dependent on
surplus Land distribution in which huge portion of the land declared as
surplus in the first Govt time today are mostly in Court cases. All efforts
were to maintain them as agricultural labourers itself by only talking
about their wages and rights through unions (In West Bengal even this union
was absent as the Government tried to portray that there was no
agricultural labourers, just like WB Government told there were no OBCs in
the state during Mandal period), whereas huge plantations held land even
after lease period.

The subsequent land reforms done by both LDF and UDF in Kerala only helped
accumulate land through the land ceiling act and other evasive provisions
in the act by the dominant caste communities (by converting their land to
plantation, religious trusts, family trusts etc.) and betraying Dalits &
Adivasis of land, instead ghettoizing them to colonies and slums in Kerala.
One best example is how the family of V.R Krishna Iyer, the law and home
minister in 1957 Communist Govt consolidated its land through family trust.
Even your party’s propaganda of distribution of 10 cents of land to Dalits
were bluff, when actually Dalits had to pay for those lands.

A study conducted by Kerala Institute of Local Administration (an
autonomous training, research and consultancy organization constituted
under the Ministry of Local Self Government, Government of Kerala) reveals
that 55% from the scheduled caste are living in an appalling condition in
26,198 colonies (This doesn’t include Christian dalits). The census 2011
shows that among 15 lakh Dalit households, around 12% stay in dilapidated
state of houses, whereas 43% stay in just livable state of houses.

Beyond the rhetoric of “Agrarian Revolution” which will supposedly break
the Caste system, CPI(M) has not yet provided a comprehensive view on even
what this “Agrarian Revolution” will be or how it will be implemented
rather lamenting/hiding their failures under the limitations of the
bourgeois-landlord system in India.

Even West Bengal, were Left had ruled for 34 years and your Party upheld
Land distribution as its biggest achievement especially to Dalits and
Adivasis, actually your intellectuals and Government created a myth just
like the Gujarat development myth by twisting the numbers and partial
facts. The distribution of land resulted in around only .33 acres of land
per head, because of which many of them later quit agriculture and had to
migrate to other states as daily wage labourers due to the inability to
sustain livelihood on agriculture with those insufficient land holdings or
had to sell it back to the previous landowning upper castes. According to
the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) report, 2004-05, there were
more than 12 lakh families in West Bengal who do not get adequate food
during various months in a year. Among the rural population particularly
the toiler peasants’ including agricultural labourers are in deep crisis.
106 families out of 1000 families remain starved or semi starved in rural
Bengal. (The figure for AP was 6 out of 1000, Assam 17 out of 1000, Bihar
20 out of 1000, Orissa 48 out of 1000). Most of these sections consist of
Dalits, backward castes, muslims. According to the National Sample Survey
in 2001, While 58.3% rural poor families, comprising mainly the families of
agricultural workers or sharecroppers, owned only 6% of the land in India,
in West Bengal the poor peasants’ families comprising 55.4% owned only 3.9%
land. In 2001, 39.2% agricultural families had no land. The same survey
states that the all India figure of the landless peasants was 35.1% in that
year (Source: Ajit Narayan Bose, Paschim Banglar Arthaniti o Rajniti). As
per census 2011, out of 1 crore Dalit households in WB, 15% households stay
in dilapidated houses, while 55% household stay in just livable houses.

Beyond the rhetoric of “Agrarian Revolution” which will supposedly break
the Caste system, CPI(M) has not yet provided a comprehensive view on even
what this “Agrarian Revolution” will be or how it will be implemented
rather lamenting/hiding their failures under the limitations of the
bourgeois-landlord system in India.

*2. Manual Scavenging*

One of the revolutionary outcomes of the Una Asmita Yatra was the
abandoning of the traditional work of skinning the cows entitled upon
Dalits by the Brahmanical system through pledges during the Yatra itself.
Similarly Manual scavenging has been a cruel reality were Dalits have been
engaged throughout the country, which like many other parties and groups
your party also have been campaigning to abolish. But the reality is that
the states where your Party had been in rule, itself are not free from
Manual scavenging.

As per the the latest Socio-Economic Caste Census data released on July 3,
2015, 17,332 households among 6.9 Lakhs household involved in manual
scavenging in Tripura. The percentage of Tripura in terms of the number of
families involved in manual scavenging was the highest for any states in
2011 census as well as the latest 2015 census, beating other states like
Bihar, UP, Karnataka, Maharashtra, MP by long distance. As per Socio
Economic and Caste Census (SECC) 2011, there were 13,687 families who
depend on manual scavenging in Kerala. As per the survey by National
Scheduled Castes Finance and Development Corporation in 2011, Manual
scavenging was very much reality in West Bengal. The findings from the work
undertaken by Safai Karmachari Andolan also confirms the existence of
manual scavenging in Kerala & West Bengal.

*3. Atrocities on Dalits*

   - The major trigger for the Gujarat uprising was the brutal violence
   unleashed publicly on Dalits which have been carried out since centuries.
   Especially as a result of assertion by Dalits, the atrocities by dominant
   castes have only increased. Your Party also have a long history of such
   violence through the state machinery as well as through your party
   machinery. In 1979, the West Bengal Left Government had unleashed state
   violence in Marichjhapi, when refugees from Bangladesh who were majorly
   Dalits and people from other marginalized communities were brutally
   murdered by the state when before coming to power rehabilitating them was
   one of your key campaign as part of elections, whereas at the same time the
   rehabilitation of Bhadralok Refugees were taken full care by the State and
   today settled well in different parts of the State and country.

The AIDWA office secretary even told that they can’t involve since BSP was
involved. So the double standards your Party has been showing and always
appearing as saviours of Dalits, how much commitment is there beyond
developing your own Organizational/Electoral base and only when there is a
media sensationalism in scope?


   - Chitralekha, a dalit woman auto driver is a living example of
   victimhood of your Party’s caste violence and harassment even today as this
   letter is being written, her courageous fight to stand against your mighty
   Party and its machinery in Kerala for more than 10 years is turned a blind
   eye even today by your Leadership. During a recent interaction at the
   University of Hyderabad, your PB member Brinda Karat told she was unaware
   of this issue and usual evasive answer that if some wrong doing is done,
   the culprits will be punished when asked about Chitralekha. But even after
   that local Party members are trying to make sure she doesn’t build the
   house allotted to her by previous Government by creating all sorts of
   troubles. It was hard to believe that Brinda Karat is not aware of this
   issue, because when Brinda Karat was giving a speech in January on women
   violence in Trivandrum, hardly 3kms from there, Chitralekha was on a day
   night protest in front of secretariat. Also a complaint regarding the
   ongoing violence even after so many years was submitted to your Party’s
   Control Commission headed by another PB Member S. Ramachandran Pillai in
   2013 itself, for which after 1 year a reply came saying the issue was
   enquired with local party members and this is just another made up story to
   tarnish Party with no detailed investigation conducted. In her recent
   struggles the CPI(M) propagandists in FB was doing character assassination
   of her and spreading all sorts of lies against her. They have also adopted
   a new mode of attack that initially mistake was done against her (though
   Party and Party paper screamed in 2005 that this was a media make up and no
   apology was ever done to her or actions taken against the culprits), but
   now these are all drama.


   - In Karnataka, when the brutal Kambalapalli massacre of Dalits by upper
   castes occurred in the year 2000, your Party member and an influential
   advocate of Karnataka, Shankarappa fought the case for the accused upper
   castes in sessions court and got the accused acquitted there. Even today
   the accused are scot free and dalit organizations and those families are
   fighting for justice. Shankarappa later served as your Party’s Lawyers
   Organizations State President for several years have taken up cases of your
   mass organizations.


   - In 2009, during the rule of your Left Government, brutal police
   atrocities was unleashed in the Dalit colonies in Varkala where even women
   were also not spared for the mistake of attending the activities of DHRM
   which was then accused of a murder that took place in Varkala a few days
   after Shiv Sena activists attacked DHRM. Many innocent DHRM activists were
   arrested without any proof on being involved in the murder and even women
   were attacked and abused. The relatives when met with the then Home
   Minister and your PB member Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, they were portrayed as
   terrorists. This situation was no different from the conditions of Dalits
   who along with muslims being the most powerless sections languish in Indian
   jails on false charges and ignored by all pillars of so called democracy in
   this country.


   - The dalit women laborers of Kannan Devan Hills Plantation who formed a
   union called “Pomplai orumai” to fight for the right to bonuses, fair wages
   and against exploitative working conditions also challenged the patriarchal
   established trade unions which they felt were not representing their
   position at the negotiating table. Despite CITU and AITUC settling the
   issue of a bonus without consulting workers, the women workers went on
   strike in huge numbers and this exposed CITU’s lack of commitment to
   workers. It showed their complete lack of touch let alone serious
   engagement with the democratic aspirations of these dalit women as the
   rank-and-file of the union who ought to be the primary decision makers
   around issues affecting their working conditions. CITU’s actual operation
   was further revealed to be in connivance with management, as the women had
   to face different sorts of harassment, including  threats, directly from
   the CITU and AITUC trade union members on behalf of management. This
   clearly shows that the primary interest of these unions are not in raising
   relevant labor issues but in maintaining their hegemony as a union at the
   cost of oppressing the workers. After the initial victory of Pomplai Orumai
   in getting a bonus hike with no support from the traditional unions, the
   group planned to strike for just wages. At this stage a concerted effort
   was made to get everyone to leave Pomplai Orumai and to join a parallel
   token protest organized by CITU and AITUC for the same issue of salary
   hike, to distract public and media attention from the pomplai orumai
   movement. The women were also manipulated, intimidated and pressured by
   CITU through three major ways.


   - Most workers received loans at exorbitant rates of interest from the
   CITU affiliated union, and their indebtedness to the union was used as a
   tool by which CITU controlled these women and their families. The workers
   needed to divert most of their monthly wages towards paying interest on
   loans to the union. With a union like this, who needs management and
   moneylenders


   - CPI(M) and Congress also pressurized women leaders by filing false
   criminal cases against them, which includes a case of abetting sexual
   violence filed on a woman leader of Pomplai Orumai. These cases persist
   till date.

Before the death of Rohith your party did not come up with any such
statements or articles on the plight of the scholars who were targetted and
expelled,  nor did your party participate in any of their struggles. But
now, when the movements have mobilized national attention, you are all over
the place.


   - They have also exploited the personal situations of women leaders, and
   pressured them through their own family members and husbands in order to
   try break the unity of Pomplai orumai. The women were threatened and
   individually isolated until they felt they would not able to fight alone
   against these big political parties. With these above kinds of pressure and
   intimidation, the established unions were largely successful at breaking
   the unity of Pomplai Orumai. Rather than ensuring justice to the workers
   from the most marginalized community and who are working under the most
   exploiting of conditions, CITU and CPI(M) is trying to break such genuine
   efforts, and persuade them to join their own organization and appropriate
   their movement, to consolidate their own organization and to show to the
   public that CITU or CPI(M) is the savior of them


   - In your very current Left Government itself, 2 Dalit sisters on the
   mistake that their father was a Congress member were harassed and when they
   questioned this going to a Party office in a very strong Party area, they
   were arrested along with their one and half year daughter on very dubious
   grounds, and your CM Pinarayi Vijayan who is another PB member brushed
   aside this saying that this is something for police to answer and later
   even justified this on legal basis as nothing unnatural. One of the sisters
   even attempted suicide on account of insults by CPI(M) Leaders An Shamseer
   and P P Divya in media channel discussion on same issue and later her
   suicide attempt was even mocked publicly by your Party State leader
   P.Jayarajan.


   - When your Party suddenly woke up to the suicide of Rohit Vemula,
   seeing a political opportunity against BJP, like other Parties have been
   doing, the truth was that your students movement SFI hardly did any
   mobilization across the country beyond token statements when dalit suicides
   occurred previously in HCU or EFLU. Before the death of Rohith your party
   did not come up with any such statements or articles on the plight of the
   scholars who were targetted and expelled,  nor did your party participate
   in any of their struggles. But now, when the movements have mobilized
   national attention, you are all over the place.


   - Even when your Party was very active with no qualms to share dias with
   Sushma Swaraj for Anna Hazare protest in Jantar Mantar or later active for
   the protests for justice for Delhi gang rape in Jantar Mantar, at the same
   Jantar Mantar when a month long protest by the families of girls of Bhagana
   in the year 2014 happened who were gangraped by the dominant Jats at the
   same Jantar Mantar, your party and women organization could only take a
   token step of submitting memorandum. Even when supporters of your own Party
   reached out to some of your All India level leaders and even went to AIDWA
   office to request support when police lathi charge was happening on
   protestors, your Party leaders just evaded showing the token memorandum.
   The AIDWA office secretary even told that they can’t involve since BSP was
   involved. So the double standards your Party has been showing and always
   appearing as saviours of Dalits, how much commitment is there beyond
   developing your own Organizational/Electoral base and only when there is a
   media sensationalism in scope?

*4. CPI(M) view on the role of Caste System*

CPI(M) view of Caste system is based on just the practical outcomes in the
most obvious forms of discrimination and oppressions such as
untouchability, social exclusion etc. Almost no mainstream Parties would
justify these openly except some rare cases and would have to condemn these
openly even though they don’t want to. Also there are parties including
yours which would have done struggles against untouchability and other
social exclusion in various states. But beyond all these, the ideological
and historic view on the role of Caste system is seldom seen anywhere in
your Party documents. On the contrary, the historic role of Caste System in
Indian society is rather viewed as progressive in developing the society in
all spheres from an uncivilized state. This can be seen in one of CPI(M)
founders and former General Secretary of Party EMS Namboothiripad’s book
“Keralam, Malayalee Motherland” where he mentions the role of Caste system
in developing Kerala society especially but also Indian society:

“*Not only for Kerala but for entire India, Caste was a big contribution
from the Arya Brahmins. The Caste system in India had the same basis of
Slavery system in Europe. Today we object and hate Caste system. Just like
Slavery system, Caste system also exploited and oppressed lakhs and lakhs
of common people. But just like Slavery system, Caste system have also
helped the human society progress from the uncivilized state in which they
were in.*

*The implementation of Caste system is a very significant event in the
social progress in India. It was when the people were divided into
different castes based on their occupation, that agriculture, handicraft,
trade, arts, literature, war skills etc. started developing. The essence of
Caste system were – son learning the occupation of father, developing the
desire in each child of getting trained and gaining expertise in family
occupation, to gain expertise in the family occupation and live comfortably
etc. As a result the men and women of each caste got the opportunity to
develop their occupation; each generation have added to their practices and
knowledge gained from the previous generation, new knowledge and their
practical implementation. Like that each occupation started developing.
Just like ancient Greece, Roman and Egypt civilizations were built on the
foundation of slavery system, Hindu civilization was built on the
foundation of Caste system. It was on the exploitation of Shudra and
Chandala that Vaishya did agriculture, trade and hence increased the wealth
of himself and the people. Kshatriyas were able to develop warfare, learnt
making new weapons and able to build empires by attacking other land on the
foundation of the exploited condition of the lower castes. It was caste
system which enabled the rishis and brahmins to create and teach vedas,
upanishads, myths, science, performing arts etc. In short, the superior
Arsha Bharatha culture, the ancient hindu empires, the handicraft goods
which attracted foreigners and their centre, the self-sufficient villages
all grew from the foundation of the Caste system.*”

The ideological and historic view on the role of Caste system is seldom
seen anywhere in your Party documents. on the contrary, the historic role
of Caste System in Indian society is rather viewed as progressive in
developing the society in all spheres from an uncivilized state.

But Ambedkar had lucidly stated how rather Caste System with its division
of labourers is detrimental to any society and has actually stagnated the
Indian society in his seminal book – Annihilation of Caste:

“*This division of labour is not spontaneous, it is not based on natural
aptitudes. Social and individual efficiency requires us to develop the
capacity of an individual to the point of competency to choose and to make
his own career. This principle is violated in the Caste System, in so far
as it involves an attempt to appoint tasks to individuals in
advance—selected not on the basis of trained original capacities, but on
that of the social status of the parents.*

*Looked at from another point of view, this stratification of occupations
which is the result of the Caste System is positively pernicious. Industry
is never static. It undergoes rapid and abrupt changes. With such changes,
an individual must be free to change his occupation. Without such freedom
to adjust himself to changing circumstances, it would be impossible for him
to gain his livelihood. Now the Caste System will not allow Hindus to take
to occupations where they are wanted, if they do not belong to them by
heredity. If a Hindu is seen to starve rather than take to new occupations
not assigned to his Caste, the reason is to be found in the Caste System.
By not permitting readjustment of occupations, Caste becomes a direct cause
of much of the unemployment we see in the country.*

*As a form of division of labour, the Caste system suffers from another
serious defect. The division of labour brought about by the Caste System is
not a division based on choice. Individual sentiment, individual
preference, has no place in it. It is based on the dogma of predestination.
Considerations of social efficiency would compel us to recognize that the
greatest evil in the industrial system is not so much poverty and the
suffering that it involves, as the fact that so many persons have callings
[=occupations]which make no appeal to those who are engaged in them. Such
callings constantly provoke one to aversion, ill will, and the desire to
evade.*”

*5. Brahmanism*

Ambedkar had considered Hinduism/Brahmanism as roots of Fascism in India.
Ambedkar had stated unequivocally through his in depth study of Hinduism
that this religion was the basis for one of the most evil socio-economic
system – Caste system. The Sangh Parivar is only a branch which had grown
from this roots of Hinduism and not a deviation. Whereas your Party till
now doesn’t have any analysis on Brahmanism either in your Party documents
related to Caste or your Party program. Rather the general view in your
Party is that Hinduism is a liberal religion with Caste system along with
superstitions as a “social evil” problems which every religion would have.
This can be seen well in the article by your Party General Secretary
Sitaram Yechury in your Party organ People’s Democracy “PSEUDO HINDUISM
EXPOSED – THE REALITY OF SAFFRON BRIGADE’S MYTHS” where he elaborates this
point about Sangh Parivar being a deviation from Hinduism and Hinduism as
liberal. He quotes Adi Sankara (who was the ideological leader in defeating
the egalitarian Buddhism and reviving or strengthening Brahmanism),
Vivekananda (who firmly supported Caste system and who just wanted to
reform the Caste system, also warned against conversion to other
religions), and Bhagavad Gita for this. He says :-

“*This is the meaning of the BJP’s invocation of the “Hindu sentiment”
(commenting on Golwalkar’s book).  This runs contrary to the vast diversity
and majority of Hindu opinion which has been guided more by Vivekananda and
Adi Sankara than by Golwalkar or the present day self-incarnations of the
S.S. put together.  While Adi Sankara was to constantly preach that as
different rivers flow through different courses to merge in the same ocean,
so do different individuals through different faiths merge with the same
almighty.  Vivekananda had said ,  “If anybody dreams of the exclusive
survival of his own religion and the destruction of others, I pity him from
the bottom of my heart and point out to him that upon the banner of every
religion will soon be written, in spite of resistance; help, and not fight
harmony and peace and not dissension*“.

*Above all, take the Bhagavad Gita which says, “Whatever celestial form a
devotee seeks to worship with faith, I stabilise the faith of that
particular devotee in that particular form.” (Chapter VII (21). Whatever be
the colour of the cow, the milk is always white.*

*The R.S.S’s Hindu Rashtra is in total contradiction with such wisdom.”*

How can Annihilation of caste be possible without even understanding
Brahmanism and as part of that with serious critique of Brahmanism at all
spheres?

Maintaining Brahmanical hegemony in the cultural spaces and daily life has
been another way by which Brahmanical hegemony had been stamped in this
society. Your Party also was never seen in opposing the public display of
Brahmanical symbols and images in so called “secular” public institutions
or as part of the regular practice. The festival of Onam which was declared
a State Festival in Kerala, which was supposed to be celebration of the
Bahujan king Mahabali is today a depiction of extreme Brahmanical image and
vegetarianism. The celebration of all Brahmanical festivals even in
university spaces is left unchallenged or undebated by your Organizations.
SFI never supported such cultural struggles by Organizations such as ASA in
these campuses especially on festivals like Deepavali. Your party cadres
were involved in celebrating Sri Krishna Jayanti last year in Kerala and
even other interventions among the Hindu community in a view to counter RSS
efforts, though your party is now attempting to refute this. In a recent
Onam celebrations program conducted in Rashtrapati Bhavan in this month by
Kairali in co-operation with the current Left Government, the programs
started with the recitation of verses from Rigveda. CPI(M)’s one of the
tallest leaders and previous CM E.K Nayanar even gave Bhagavad Gita to Pope
when he was given bible by Pope which is nothing but an hegemonic notion
that Bhagavad Gita is representative of the culture/religion of India. The
muslim league minister in the previous government was witch hunted and
termed communal by the public including your party for exercising his
democratic right to not light the traditional candle in a public function.
These all seem to be in synch with the above understanding of Hinduism as
liberal and Sangh Parivar only as the one which needs to be fought against.
How can Annihilation of caste be possible without even understanding
Brahmanism and as part of that with serious critique of Brahmanism at all
spheres?

What is the reason for such lack of Dalit leadership and intellectuals in
your Party, whereas numerous Dalit leaders and intellectuals who have made
significant contributions to the political process in this country have
come from Ambedkarite movements?

*6. Representation of Dalits in CPI(M) Leadership*

One of the significant aspects of the political processes happening
currently has been the stress on Dalit movements and struggles under the
Dalit Leadership. These struggles have posed serious challenge to Hindutva
Fascism as well as is foundation the Brahmanical hegemony. But the question
of Dalit leadership whether in your Party or your People’s Representatives
and among your Party intellectuals, has always been ignored by your Party.
Almost 1/3rd of your Polit Bureau members till now have been Brahmins, and
in the remaining most of them have been from Landowning dominant castes.
There has not been a single Dalit till now in your Polit Bureau and even a
Muslim came to your PB after 44 years. Even your intellectuals are also
mostly from the Brahmin and other Savarna communities. Even in West Bengal
where Dalits are numerically the 2nd after UP, the representation of Dalits
in the Central Leadership and State leadership has been abysmally low
compared to its population whereas the minority Bhadralok community heavily
dominates your Party leadership like it dominated every sphere of West
Bengal State and Civil society. Even a People’s representative from Kerala
or West Bengal from Dalit community how tall a leader he/she is, also could
get elected from reserved constituencies, the other instances being very
rare.

What is the reason for such lack of Dalit leadership and intellectuals in
your Party, whereas numerous Dalit leaders and intellectuals who have made
significant contributions to the political process in this country have
come from Ambedkarite movements?


*Regards, Dalit Camera*
15-Sep, 2016.

First published in Dalit Camera
<http://www.dalitcamera.com/inquiring-role-cpim-annihilation-caste-open-letter-vijoo-krishnan/>

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