Thursday, July 16, 2009

So Is It the End of the Road for Comrade V S Achuthanandan?

SO FINALLY, has comrade V S Achuthanandan been shown his place? Can we say the four-day efforts of the special politburo followed by an urgent session of the central committee of the CPM, which announced his expulsion from the PB, and then a three-day session of the party state committee, found an effective antidote to the inimitable comrade’s antics; a way to defang this valiant fighter?

On last Sunday, when the CPM central leadership announced this decision from the PB, I had to spend many hours in the various news channel studios discussing the pros and cons of the disciplinary action against Achuthanandan. In fact I was at Asianet News at about 12.30 noon and then I had to attend sessions at other channels like India Vision and Manorama News and again around 8.30 pm I returned to Asianet from where I finally emerged at 10.30 at night. During this ten hour period, Comrade Achuthanandan had been expelled from the PB, he had left Delhi and landed at Thiruvananthapuram Airport, making just one comment in the meanwhile: I do accept this decision of the party and there is no change in my position on SNC lavalin case. There was nothing more, nothing less.

And from the next day started the three-day session of the state party meetings, which concluded yesterday. CPM general secretary Prakash Karat has been present in the state meetings and he is scheduled to address the lower level party workers meetings in all three regions starting from Kochi today. All these elaborate arrangements are being made to convince the party rank and file that the action against the veteran leader, the only surviving Kerala leader from the 32-member group who walked out the CPI’s national council session in 1964, thus launching the CPM in a historic split in the Indian Communist movement.

We have very little information on what transpired at all these secret meetings in Delhi and the state capital, but news media says that there were severe differences of opinion in the top leadership including PB and CC, and also there were a few voices of dissent even in the state unit which generally supports the official leadership in Kerala.

I am not going to speculate on what would be the end result of all these expulsions and disciplinary actions in the Communist Party (Marxist.) But I had to react to it while discussing it in the news channels. One of the points I raised was that the situation in the party and the issues thrown up were not going to be solved through disciplinary action against one individual; they needed a thorough examination and soul-searching in the public space. The effort to stifle any dissent, through an expulsion form PB, was bound to be counter-productive and I felt since this was a most anti-democratic and one-sided step on the party of the leadership, it was a black day in the history of the left movement in this country.

People like comrade M M Lawrence, a veteran now humbled through factional activity in the party, opposed and even ridiculed me but I still feel that the issues raised by VS in the past and the differences which resulted in his expulsion from PB, would not go away. They are substantive issues of public accountability on the part of public individuals and the only way the party could tackle it is through the normal, democratic ways like fighting in a court of law. The party now says they would fight it; but I am doubtful how far the party would be able to convince the masses that they have nothing to hide in this most unhappy affair.

1 comment:

princemyshkin said...

If the party action believes that VS is being eased out - it is counter-productive at this juncture as this decision will be responsible for creates a legend out of VS, regardless of his own personal "achievements" or lack of it. I think the Party lost an historic moment to re-assert its importance and relevance as a cohesive political position in Kerala specifically and across India generally