In a major shift in its ideology, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) is planning to take active part in temple festivals “to counter the dominance of Sangh parivar in temples and festivals”, said the party State secretary, K. Balakrishnan in Madurai on Wednesday.
CPI(M) had to take this decision in the changing environment and the party would discuss the issue in its 23 rd State conference to be held in Madurai on March 30, 31 and April 1, he said.
“We will take up various cultural aspects related to temple festivals,” he told reporters.
Mr. Balakrishnan said the RSS and Bharatiya Janata Party were putting up their saffron flags in all temple festivals and taking a lead in the conduct of festival. “We understand that merely fighting out the RSS and BJP on ideological lines will not help us. Hence, we need to fight them out in the cultural aspect too,” Mr. Balakrishnan contended.
Charging that the Sangh parivar was trying to convert common man’s spiritual sentiments into religious fanaticism, he said the Left party had to counter it.
However, Mr. Balakrishnan was quick to clarify that CPI(M) was not doing this for votes.
“We never seek votes based on religion and caste. The issue has come to such a situation that temples and festivals in Tamil Nadu which reflected secularism and religious harmony, were now in danger and to protect them, we have changed our stand,” he added.
Party national leaders, Sitaram Yechury, Prakash Karat and other leaders would attend the conference in which 500 representatives of the party across the State would participate.
The conference would also discuss economic situation, saffronisation of education, adverse impact of price escalation of raw materials on small scale industries and consequent job loss and rising fuel prices.
Madurai MP Su. Venkatesan and party district secretaries M Ganesan and Rajendran were present at the press meet.