RSS ideology is divisive, fascist, says D. Raja

The new CPI general secretary sees a threat to Constitution and democratic polity.

Updated - July 29, 2019 10:32 am IST

Published - July 28, 2019 10:48 pm IST - Chennai

CPI national secretary D. Raja. File

CPI national secretary D. Raja. File

Born in a Scheduled Caste family at Chipachoor village in Vellore district, D. Raja, the new general secretary of the Communist Party of India, had to battle poverty and hunger. He attended college in Gudiyatham, a small town in the grip of political movements — Communist, Dravidian and Ambedkarite. His anger against poverty and injustice attracted him to the communist movement. He rose from the ranks, first as a student leader working with the All India Students Federation and later becoming general secretary of the All India Youth Federation and full-time worker of the party in 1975.“My parents were landless farmers. I studied in a Harijan welfare school and ate mid-day meal introduced by [Chief Minister] Kamaraj. I still remember the day when I had the opportunity to see him. I had no shirt to wear. I just touched him,” recalled Mr. Raja.Excerpts:

You have become the general secretary of the CPI at a time when the BJP is at the helm of affairs. What are your challenges?

It is a challenging time not only for the Left, but for the people and the country as a whole because the right-wing forces have captured political power. The BJP is the political arm of the RSS whose ideology is divisive, communal, sectarian and fascist.

They try to impose their agenda aggressively. It poses a threat to the Constitution and the democratic polity of the country.

The government is completely committed to protecting the interests of the corporate and business houses. Its agenda is leading to mob lynching and attacks on Dalits, Adivasis and minorities.

If somebody questions the government or criticises its policies they are being dubbed as anti-nationals and urban Naxalites.

Another important challenge is the unity of secular and democratic forces. It could not happen in the 2019 general election except in Tamil Nadu. It became a setback not only to the Congress, but other parties like the BSP, RJP, SP and to the Left.

How to unite the secular democratic forces is another big challenge. Left parties are considered to be the voice of the voiceless and the moral component of the Indian polity.

People know that if the Left gets weakened it creates a moral vacuum in Indian politics. The Left continues to be the hope of the people.

There is a view that the BJP capitalised on the “minority appeasement” by the Left and other parties…

The BJP has succeeded in creating a false narrative and spreading fake arguments. The party, in a way, succeeded in what can be called as hacking the thinking and the minds of the people [away] from genuine issues.

The BJP used the mass media and social media, money power. Corporate funding and electoral bonds were utilised fully by the BJP. On the one hand, the BJP accuses other parties of appeasing minorities and on the other, it projects the victimhood of the majority in a hyperbolic level.

Even they used national security in a narrow, sectarian and partisan manner and created a fear psychosis at one level and intimidation at the other level.

People are now realising the way the RTI Act Amendment Bill was passed and the way they are bulldozing everything to getting all Bills passed without any proper scrutiny.

It shows how Parliament and other institutions are being undermined.

What led to the fall of the Left even in its traditional turfs?

Despite all its efforts in Kerala, the BJP was not able to win a seat. West Bengal has become a matter of concern.

The Trinamool Congress wrested power from the Left but in the fight against the Left, it provided conditions for the BJP to emerge. Now the Trinamool is also facing trouble since the BJP is trying to emerge as a contender for power. This is a serious situation and the Left is also thinking over its strategy and taking up people’s causes and will be in the streets.

In the land of Tagore, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Vivekananda, the slogan Jai Sri Ram is being used to divide people, and a Nobel laureate like Amartya Sen has come out openly against this.

While Communists always place thrust on class war, caste remains a factor to reckon with...

I have made it clear many times that the class war of the communists could not be confined only to economic issues. In the Indian context, class struggle is for social justice and against caste discrimination.

Even Dr. Ambedkar identified the bourgeois and Brahminism as the two enemies.

One has to address the social reality, one has to understand the dialectical relationship between the superstructure and the base. Unless we fight for social justice and fight against caste discrimination, we cannot accomplish the revolution. We cannot carry forward the revolutionary process only by addressing economic demands.

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