CPI(M) in Kerala says Congress’s ambivalence about attending Ayodhya Ram temple consecration will subvert secular ideal of INDIA bloc

CPI(M) Kerala secretary M.V. Govindan says Congress’s backsliding on secularism, the party’s apologetic defence of Hindutva agenda and failure to yoke regional and democratic forces to INDIA bloc opened the door for BJP to win in Assembly elections in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh

December 29, 2023 05:40 pm | Updated December 30, 2023 07:53 am IST - Thiruvananthapuram

CPI(M) Kerala secretary M.V. Govindan (file)

CPI(M) Kerala secretary M.V. Govindan (file) | Photo Credit: THULASI KAKKAT

A meeting of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)] State secretariat on December 29 (Friday) reportedly drew a bleak political inference that the Congress’s alleged ambivalence about attending the consecration of the Ram temple at Ayodhya would subvert the anti-Hindutva politics that lay at the secular heart of the broad anti-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) INDIA bloc.

Speaking to journalists, CPI(M) State secretary M.V. Govindan said the Congress’s backsliding on secularism, the party’s apologetic defence of the Hindutva agenda and failure to yoke regional and democratic forces to the INDIA bloc opened the door for the BJP to win in the Assembly elections in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.

He also said that the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), the Congress’s key ally in Kerala, risked losing its credibility among influential Muslim social organisations by appearing to condone the Congress’s indecisiveness and “political pauperism”, citing the technicalities of alliance politics.

(The Samastha Kerala Jem-iyyathul Ulamahas already slammed the Congress for not shunning the event and touted the CPI(M)‘s boycott of the occasion as a resounding reaffirmation of the Left’s secular ideals.)

Mr. Govindan claimed that senior Congress leader V.M. Sudheeran’s strong opposition to the Congress’s soft-Hindutva drift and neo-liberal economic line signalled the impending ideological unravelling of the party’s Kerala unit.

Also read: Ayodhya Ram temple | Congress national leadership should take decisive stand on participation, says KPCC president K. Sudhakaran

He said the Congress’s secularism was “confined to Kerala and ceased to exist beyond Karnataka”. It wore a pale saffron garb in north India. The Congress erroneously believed it could carve out a space in the crowded Sangh Parivar electoral bandwagon by towing a muted and forgiving soft-Hindutva line in the Hindi heartlands.

Mr. Govindan said the Congress could never wash off the stigma of pandering to the Hindutva cause by allowing Sangh Parivar elements to lay the foundation of the Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya in 1989 and later raze the Babri Masjid to the ground in 1992.

He said former Congress Prime Ministers Rajiv Gandhi and P.V. Narasimha Rao were the architects of the catastrophic events.

Mr. Govindan said that Congress leader Kamal Nath openly empathised with and contributed to the temple’s construction.

Mr. Govindan accused the Centre of crossing the haloed Constitutional line that separated the State from religion by sponsoring the temple construction.

He said the BJP sought to establish the hegemony of a militant and nationalistic version of Hinduism in a country enriched by myriad beliefs and faiths. “Fascists and communalists lack spiritual conviction and cynically use faith as a political tool,” said Mr. Govindan.

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