‘It’s a battle for the soul of India’

‘Minorities, women, weaker sections came under attack in the past 5 years’

Updated - April 13, 2019 11:33 pm IST

Published - April 13, 2019 11:32 pm IST - Kochi

Communist Party of India (Marxist) Polit Bureau member and former member of the Rajya Sabha Brinda Karat has always advocated the cause of the poor and the working class and stood firmly for protecting India’s pluralism. Starting her political career as a student, she has fought fiercely for the rights and dignity of women as general secretary of the All India Democratic Women’s Association. On an election campaign tour of Kerala, she explains why the 2019 Lok Sabha elections are crucial to the future of India.

What are the key issues in the 2019 elections and how is it different from the previous ones?

The 2019 general election is a battle for the soul of India. It is a battle to save the country from the toxic, communal and anti-people rule of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the government led by Narendra Modi. The combination at the helm now does not believe in the Constitution, which guarantees equal rights for all. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the BJP’s predecessors had opposed the Constitution and wanted Manusmriti to be the foundation of a modern India. They did not respect the rights of minorities and promoted the caste system and inequality. Over the past five years, minorities, women and the weakest sections of society have come under attack. While secularism is at the heart of India, the BJP government wants to remove it from the Constitution. Secularism means respect for all religions and also separation of religion from politics. But the Prime Minister and Amit Shah are speaking a crude mixture of religion and politics now.

What do you think of the opinion polls that have predicted a dismal result for the Left coalition in Kerala?

It is a big question. It must be remembered that the surveys in the past have never accepted the victory of the Left even when the Left has swept elections.

What do you feel about the candidature of Rahul Gandhi in Wayanad?

He is just another United Democratic Front candidate in the State and there is nothing more to it. However, he and his party are helping the forces allied with the BJP. The Congress party has been ineffective in fighting the BJP in the past. The party cannot be relied on to fight the BJP and only the Left offers a genuine and reliable force against the BJP.

While the CPI(M) has openly advocated non-violence, does the candidature of P. Jayarajan raise questions about its sincerity?

Mr. Jayarajan has been a victim of RSS violence. He was left for dead by the RSS, which fears that when he raises his disabled arm in Parliament, the violent face of the RSS would be exposed.

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