Party Edict on Religion Ruffles Feathers

published on December 4, 2013

By N V Ravindranathan Nair | ENS – PALAKKAD

As CPM’s state plenum has managed to successfully exhibit the party’s organisational might and mass base, the cadres should have been a happy lot over the party’s growing prospects. But if a seeming reluctance to toe the party line among local-level cadres is to be taken as an indicator, it will be unrealistic to think that the party can thrust certain guidelines upon them. According to the organisational document adopted at the plenum, the party has barred members from taking memberships in caste and communal organisations and becoming office bearers of administrative committees of worship places.

It has been noted that the document clearly dissuades cadres from conducting rituals during housewarming ceremonies, marriages and funerals. In addition, with the aim of attracting more members from non-Hindu communities, the plenum has called for adopting special strategies. Apparently, as part of this, the party has allegedly undertaken efforts to construct a Church near Iritty to attract Christian settlers. A CPM cadre, who hails from Kozhikode, said that when the party organised a seminar in Kannur, engaging various Muslim organizations, it provided a separate place for Muslim members to offer prayers.  A local committee member from Alappuzha, who is an advocate, told ‘Express’ that many suggestions and directives formulated at the plenum might prove counter-productive in the long run.

“The party cannot provide directives on how to conduct one’s personal faith. If it forbids members from worshipping and conducting rituals many would be forced to quit membership”. A cadre from Chengannur, who is a secretary of a major caste organisation, said that he had been member of the party for past 20 years.

“My faith and association with my community organisation have never been a hindrance for conducting party work. If they insist that I sever ties with the community organisation, I would be forced to quit either of the organisations,” he said.

 

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