RSS-CPM Co-operation: An Utopian Concept?

published on November 19, 2012

When it comes to discussions on the political milieu of Kerala, one single topic seems to have become a hotpot: the recent expression of support between the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh and the Communist Party of India (Marxist).These debates had their beginning from an article written in ‘Kesari’ by TG Mohandas titled ‘Keralam Kaathirunna Sauhridam’ (The Goodwill that Kerala Awaits), which appeared on 30 September, 2012.

There were arguments in favour and against the directives suggested by him. What seemed glaringly lacking were points of logic. It seemed as though the responses were based on preconceived notions, clothed in a lot of emotional outbursts. It was therefore, necessary that Kerala society be presented with a few vital aspects related to the same.

CPI and CPM have, unfortunately not been able to blend with the Nationalistic mainstream social fabric. Let me cite a few instances:

During the days of Quit India, they have been nailed with the shameful allegations of having taken a stand that weakened the movement. In 1957, following their accession to power in Kerala, the party was accused of doing ample espionage for the Chinese, when the Chinese attacked India.

The United front government led by EMS Namboothiripad in 1967 (With 7 parties) was a fine sight to behold. The CPI and CPM, which underwent a split 3 years ago, ruled jointly under EMS. He had no qualms ever in handing over the Education Ministry taken care of by Joseph Mundassery to CH Mohammed Koya.

It was the CPM that was solely responsible for giving the district of Malappuram to the Muslims, after having conceded to the Mulsim League’s demand for an area for the minority community. When the CPI joined hands with the Congress party, it did not hesitate to place a section of the Muslim League with them as opposition.

Even during the time of Emergency, the approach taken by RSS and CPM are poles apart. In the first few weeks, a few party workers presented protest strikes and then the whole thing fizzled out. Even the current party workers do not acknowledge any contribution to the Emergency period.

Those days, even though most opposing parties extended their cooperation in all possible ways, there are bitter experiences of Communist parties and allied groups resorting to various opportunistic tactics. Not just that the CPM distanced itself from the movement, they even withdrew themselves from the promised satyagraha, which they had sworn to do jointly with students unions like ABVP. This was the sole cause that weakened the students’ agitation. The reason given by SFI was that the CPM had given standing instructions that any ties with RSS were to be kept at bay.

What is cited above are just a handful of instances, when compared to the larger scenario. So,  placing  CPM at the pinnacle in the article referring to them as vocal participants of the Emergency, it stands undeserving. It is the Sangh Parivar workers, numbering over a lakh, who defied death and went ahead with unending protests. They endured rigorous imprisonment and all the other horrendous tortures that go along with it.

Pointing out the joint ventures of JanSangh- CPM in Samyuktha Vidhayak Dal (SVD), TG Mohandas has heightened the possibility of an RSS-CPM geniality. He brings out another point. Even though short-lived, it has been during the SVD rule that the RSS had the chance to bring out greater influence on people. Is political authority the reason for RSS influence?

Let us make brief examination of the backgrounds of RSS and CPM. Even though in 1948, Thiruvananthapuram and in 1951,  Allappuzha, when the communists stormed and assailed the programmes of Guruji Golwalkar, there was a lot of good will between the two groups till 1969. When the hang-over of the allegations of Gandhi’s assassination waned, the acceptability of Sangh grew. It was at this juncture that the CPM trained daggers at Sangh workers. The first encounter of this kind took place in 1969 in January at Kerala Varma College, Trissur.

The next 75 years witnessed a loss of several dedicated Sangh workers in various ensuing encounters. The period after 1977 witnessed a spurt of violent incidents between RSS and CPM in the districts of Kannur and Alappuzha and the area of Chavakkad in Guruvayur. The stance of non-participation by CPM cadres during days of Emergency resulted in a large scale exodus of CPM cadres to RSS. This was one of the main reasons of conflict.

During the last Lok Sabha elections, the All India President of DYFI SreeRamakrishnan  made a startling revelation: The tie-up with M’Adani was with a view to influence the Muslim community of Malappuram and turn them communal. Can we assume that the spokespersons of such crooked initiatives will put up a protesting face against Muslim communalism? If CPM has protested against minority appeasement and communalism., why did the CPM insist that there be no CBI investigation into the matter when the Marad massacre of 2003 took place?

Another instance cited is that in 1987, EMS Namboothiripad had voiced support in favour of removing the disputed temple at Ayodhya. However, the stance was changed with a statement that “any truthful utterances in political arena stands unprofitable”.  Here, the matter in focus is the credibility of the organization with which the hand of cordiality is being extended. The CPM is the same party that once declared that it stands contradictory with the UPA in matters of ideology, and yet extended its hand of support and kept UPA in power. And that- just with the sole aim of keeping the Bharatiya Janata Party out of power. So, the big question- is this the same faction that the RSS wants to extend its hand of warmth?

Is it necessary for Mohandas to comfort the Communist comrades about there being no waning of votes when it comes to a geniality with Sangh Parivar? The CPM, which has found the NDF and Popular Front nothing short of a nuisance, has resorted to camaraderie with Sangh Parivar members at local levels. When they never worked together on matters like the Emergency, should small time genialities be taken into account and supported? Instead, anyone can work shoulder to shoulder with the RSS, not just the CPM, but any party, for that matter!

Based on the article by T Satheeshan (Former Kochi Jilla Karyavahak) published in Mangalam daily

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