TAMIL NADU

Nayanar contradicts VS' views IUML

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, JAN. 31. The CPI(M) politburo member, V. S. Achuthanandan, might see no saving grace in the Muslim League, but his politburo colleague, E. K. Nayanar, does not think so. In direct contrast to Mr. Achuthanandan's position that anybody who tries to see secular credentials in the Muslim League would become the laughing stock of the people, Mr. Nayanar thinks that parties that work in the name of castes and religions like Muslim League and their leaders can also play a part in strengthening the movement against Hindu communal fascism and minority communal extremism.

Mr. Nayanar also does not think that communal extremist organisations and democratic parties working in the name of religions could not be equated. He does, however, concede that parties including the Muslim League had erred in not realising that communal extremism can wreak havoc with minority interests. The recent incidents of communal violence were the result of the ties that the Muslim League and UDF established with communal extremist organisations such as the PDP, NDF and RSS in their bid to wrest power. A section of the League cadres also turned into activists of communal extremist organisations. The League, the Congress and the UDF should learn from their mistake, Mr. Nayanar says in his weekly column `Munnottu' in the Deshabhimani daily today.

Mr. Achuthanandan, it may be recalled, had only the other day blasted the Muslim League in a two-part article and warned the Chief Minister, A.K. Antony, and his own partymen against trying to give them a secular colour or have ties with them. He had gone to the extent of saying that almost the entire Muslim League had converted itself into the NDF and called for a renewed struggle against majority and minority communalism in the State.

With Mr. Nayanar contradicting him, the stage has been set for a debate within the party on the subject. Mr. Achuthanandan's piece was immediately seen as being targeted against his own partymen who had adopted the policy of `tactical alliance' with the Muslim League in the 1999 local body elections and the fulfledged tie-up with the Indian National League (INL) in the 2001 Assembly polls. Memories of the Palakkad State conference got revived with the publication of Mr. Achuthanandan's article because there the `Guruvayur line' (tie-up with the INL) was used as a topic of debate to give an ideological orientation to the discussion. From available indications, the Muslim League could be the main talking point at Kannur when party delegates converge for the 16th party State conference on February 15.

Mr. Nayanar's article is deceptively titled as `Communist Unity and Merger' and the segment on the Muslim League has been cleverly welded into it in a seemingly innocent fashion. The burden of the former Chief Minister's arguments is why the CPI and the CPI(M) could not reunite in the current context. The League question is identified by him as one of the points of concurrence, but he sees no scope for reunification of the two communist parties given the different routes they have chosen to the ultimate goal of revolution and the way power won by Communist parties in an Indian State should be used for the benefit of the people and to nurture the revolutionary forces.

Interestingly, however, Mr. Nayanar has divulged that there is no difference between the CPI and the CPI(M) on the question of using the strength of the Congress to isolate the BJP, `the political arm of the Hindu fascist forces,' in States where the Communists and the People's Front do not have enough clout. He asserts that this does not mean that there would be political alliance between the Communist parties and the Congress and says that both the CPI and the CPI(M) are agreed in principle on this policy. The significance of Mr. Nayanar's statement is that CPI(M) leaders in Kerala have not been in the habit of admitting the links between their party and the Congress.

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