Says Marxism should be analysed in tune with the times

Commercialisation of higher education has led to the rich getting richer and the poor ending up poorer, Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Sitaram Yechury has said.

Higher education had become another avenue, like water and electricity, for profit generation, he said while inaugurating a seminar on ‘Education and Commercialisation’ at the Chintha Pusthakotsavam at the City Town Hall on Thursday.

The economic situation was worse than that in the pre-globalisation era. Bills inviting foreign universities to set up base, setting up of autonomous colleges and private universities were being given importance now.

“These Bills are passed to attract the children of the rich. The poor are not able to access higher education,” he said. He cited the example of the Right to Education Bill languishing for years before being passed by Parliament. Higher education was not creating “organic intellectuals,” persons who can rise to positions of leadership and change government policy. “Universities impart mere technical know-how, so that the youth will do what they are told to do. That is profit maximisation,” he said.

His take on Marxism

Later, inaugurating a seminar on Marxism, organised by Chintha Publishers at Tagore Centenary Hall here, he said the only creative philosophy that constantly combined two important aspects — scientific and revolutionary — was Marxism, which depended on concrete analysis of concrete conditions in tune with the changing times and trends. It was because of this trait that people were attracted to it across the world.

Emphasising on Marxism’s pragmatism, Mr. Yechury said people who were not ready to analyse the ideology in tune with the times would not be Marxists. “That is why this ideology is described as highly scientific and revolutionary in nature,” he said.

The only unchanged factor was the continuing criticism of the ideology by capitalists. “It seems all the reactionary forces have come together to fight the ideology,” he said.

On fund row

Mr. Yechury said Marxism experienced a setback only when it was not implemented in accordance with the changing times. Coming down heavily on a vernacular daily that published a report on CPI (M)’s alleged receipt of corporate funding, Mr. Yechury said the newspaper had not verified facts. “More than 87 per cent of our income comes from the contribution of working class and through public donations,” he said.

Details of the party’s fund collection were available on the official website. “People who raise allegations should realise that Kerala is among those States which contribute most to party initiatives. Recently, the party mobilised Rs.9 crore from the State, purely through public fund collection drives, for a memorial for EMS.”

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