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'The CPI-M will have a very feeble presence post elections'

March 06, 2014 11:36 IST

'Why can't Communist leaders get rid of their ego?'

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Indrani Roy

'Communist leaders have become babus, they wear branded clothes and costly shoes, wear perfume to mask their body odour.'

'... Why can't they get rid of their ego and arrogance for the party's benefit?'

'Politburo members have no links with the soil, they have no understanding of the people and the grassroots.'

'After the Lok Sabha election this year, the Left will cease to have any political identity.'

A Marxist bares his anguish over the state of affairs of the CPI-M in this lively interview with Rediff.com's Indrani Roy.

Abdur Rezzak Mollah is anguished.

Mollah was expelled from the Communist Party of India-Marxist soon after he launched the Social Justice Manch for Muslims, Dalits and Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes, who he says have been deprived by the CPI-M's upper-caste and 'high brow' leadership.

Mollah has been consistently expressing his dissatisfaction over the functioning of the CPI-M's faces -- General Secretary Prakash Karat, former West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and former Bengal industry minister Nirupam Sen -- for the last three years.

An MLA since 1972, Mollah wants to play the 'Dalit chief minister-Muslim deputy chief minister' card for the 2016 assembly polls with his newly-formed Manch.

The former Bengal minister for land and land reforms lashes out at the CPI-M leadership in this lively exchange with Rediff.com's Indrani Roy.

Please click NEXT to read the interview...


Image: A CPI-M rally in Agartala.
Photographs: Jayanta Dey/Reuters

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'A few rudderless leaders failed to keep the movement alive'

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Indrani Roy

What went wrong between you and the CPI-M?

I have always been a defiant spirit. I have never hesitated in criticising the party leadership.

I tried to bring up the issues that bothered me at various party meetings. But each time I was accused of indulging in a caste struggle rather than a class struggle.

It was extremely frustrating.

The party censured me so many times, but I never listened.

How can a party as regimented as the CPI-M accept such a person?

Ashok Mitra -- in a recent interview to Rediff.com -- said perhaps, an organised movement by the Left leaders alone could have rescued India from its dismal economic state. But he also said that Left leaders have lost their focus. Do you agree?

Absolutely! Ashokda is a learned man. Whatever he said about the Left leaders is true.

The Left Front had so much potential. But a few rudderless leaders failed to keep the movement alive.

Is it only rudderless leaders that led to the Left Front's downfall?

The Left faced a debacle in the elections mainly because of a weak leadership.

Apart from that, corruption, deviation from Marxist ideology and alienation from the masses are the other factors that led to the Front's downfall.

Also, the Left leaders kept making gross technical and tactical errors which made them politically irrelevant.

Please click NEXT to read the interview...


Image: A CPI-M rally in Kolkata.
Photographs: Courtesy, the CPI-M

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'The head of the party has decayed, so much so that it stinks'

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Indrani Roy

What do you mean by deviation from Marxist theory?

The head of the party has decayed, so much so that it stinks.

I know a number of Marxist leaders who have earned huge amounts of money (both black and white), invested a lot for their wives and children.

In fact, there are some 'hardcore' Communist leaders who send their children to expensive boarding schools in Kalimpong or Kurseong.

Isn't this an ideological exit?

The Communist leaders have become babus, they wear branded clothes and costly shoes, wear perfume to mask their body odour.

It's a shame they don't remember that a Communist leader who doesn't stink of the sweat earned from his daily toil among the masses is no leader at all.

What about CPI-M state chief Biman Bose, former West Bengal chief minister Buddhadev Bhattacharjee and former industry minister Nirupam Sen? You are also very critical of Prakash Karat.

I have nothing personal against them.

What irks me is why can't they get rid of their ego and arrogance for the party's benefit?

The party needs a thorough reshuffle from the top.

Please click NEXT to read the interview...


Image: West Bengal's CPI-M boss Biman Bose, CPI-M General Secretary Prakash Karat, former Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya and Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar.
Photographs: Snaps India

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'Politburo members spearheaded the party's downfall'

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Indrani Roy

In a recent interview, you referred to Politburo members as dalals (brokers)...

Yes, and I stand by my statement.

These Politburo members have no links with the soil, they have no understanding of the people and the grassroots.

It is they who spearheaded the party's downfall.

Do you see any chance of revival for the Left?

(Laughs) You must be joking.

After the Lok Sabha election this year, the Left will cease to have any political identity.

You are talking about the top Left leaders not sticking to Marxist theories. But then you went for the Haj. Isn't it against Communism?

(Pauses) No, you are wrong.

Communism does not bar you from practising your religion. It categorically states that religion is a personal affair.

I opting for Haj, therefore, is not against the party ideology.

Please click NEXT to read further...


Image: CPI-M General Secretary Prakash Karat addresses a meeting in Vijayawada.
Photographs: Snaps India
Tags: Lok Sabha

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'The upper castes have exploited Dalits and the Muslims for years. Now, it is payback time'

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Indrani Roy

You have been criticising CPI-M leaders, especially a few prominent ones, for the last three years. Why did the party expel you now?

(Laughs) My ex-colleagues got scared the moment they came to know that my Social Justice Manch would announce the name of a Dalit candidate as chief minister and a Muslim as deputy chief minister.

I had also said that the deputy chief minister will hold the home portfolio.

Power will be shared on the basis of proportional representation.

The shock was a bit too much!

Such steps are sure to cast a big blow to the upper caste hegemony of the CPI-M. How can the party tolerate it?

It had no other option but to expel me.

Does this Manch plan to carry out the Mulayam Singh-Mayawati model in Bengal? Will it succeed?

Of course! The Social Justice Manch has been launched to bring justice to Muslims, Dalits and SC/STs who form 94 per cent of the population.

The upper castes have exploited Dalits and the Muslims for years. Now, it is payback time.

Marxists always talk about a classless society. Why then did they keep crowding the leadership with elites?

I have complete faith in the Mulayam-Mayawati model that you are talking about. It will work successfully in Bengal.

I believe it can be a game changer in as many as 185 of 294 assembly segments when the state goes to the polls in 2016.

Please click NEXT to read further...


Image: 'Marxists always talk about a classless society. Why then did they keep crowding the leadership with elites?'
Photographs: Reuters

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'My Manch has nothing in common with Modi's BJP'

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Indrani Roy

How is your stand different from that of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi? If Hinduism is the basic tenet of his campaign, you too are standing up for a particular caste and religion...

It's a wrong perception.

My Manch has nothing in common with Modi's BJP.

It throws up a basic question to the people: Why should an upper caste minority population of 6 per cent rule the 60 per cent consisting of Dalits and Muslims?

Those who are trying to draw a parallel between the BJP and my platform are attempting to tarnish the image of the Social Justice Manch.

Do you think your expulsion from the CPI-M will affect the Lok Sabha election results?

I am not the right person to comment on this.

I have no doubt that the CPI-M will have a very feeble presence in the country post the elections.

Modi or Rahul Gandhi -- who do you think will make a better prime minister?

None. Both are equally bad.

Both belong to parties that propagate capitalism.

Both are equally harmful for the people.

Please click NEXT to read further...


Image: Narendra Modi addresses a gathering at Godhra, Gujarat.
Photographs: Reuters

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'The alliance between Hazare and Mamata is a marriage of convenience'

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Indrani Roy

Anna Hazare has been praising Mamata Banerjee as one of the fittest candidates to be prime minister...

The alliance between Hazare and Mamata is a marriage of convenience.

It is politically beneficial for both parties.

Will Mamata be a decisive factor when the next government is formed?

Of course!

If the Trinamool Congress wins 32 to 36 seats, as is being predicted, hers will be one of the strongest voices at the Centre.

What is your opinion about Mamata as the next prime minister?

It will be disastrous for India. She is too feisty and fickle-minded.


Image: A television grab of Kisan Baburao 'Anna' Hazare and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.


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