Tuesday, June 23, 2009

CPM doublespeak: It’s right when it is Right and wrong when it is Left

Express news service Posted online: Tuesday , Jun 23, 2009 at 1220 hrs

New Delhi : CPM General Secretary Prakash Karat, opposing the ban on the Maoists, said on Monday that his party’s line was to fight them “politically and administratively.” However, such a battle, it seems, is not possible with Right-wing extremists.

While he talked about combating the extreme Left “politically,” he conveniently forgot the numerous occasions on which his party had demanded ban and action against organisations such as the Bajrang Dal and VHP.

Speaking hours after the Centre ordered the inclusion of CPI(Maoists) in the list of terrorist organisations, Karat said that banning such groups “doesn’t serve the purpose as they can change their name and continue functioning.”

But the CPM has consistently called for proscribing outfits such as the Sri Ram Sene and demanded stern action against Bajrang Dal and the VHP under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act — exactly the treatment the Centre gave to the Maoists.

Here is a look at some of the statements made by the CPM:

• Joint appeal by the Left parties on March 24 in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections: In the context of the attack on minorities in Orissa, Karnataka, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, the appeal said: “The

BJP-run state governments protected and covered up such acts of violence by the various Hindutva outfits. The least that the UPA government could have done was to ban the Bajrang Dal, which was involved in the barbarous violence in Kandhamal and Mangalore, but firm action was not taken.”

• CPM Politburo on January 27, 2009, after the Mangalore pub attack: “After the brazen and criminal attack on young women by the Shri Ram Sene in Mangalore, the BJP state government has not acted firmly in taking action against this Hindu extremist outfit... The Politburo demands that all the leaders of the Sene be arrested and immediate steps taken to proscribe the organisation’s activities.”

• Sitaram Yechury at the National Integration Council meeting on October 31, 2008: “Police investigations in the past few years have noted the involvement of Bajrang Dal or other RSS organisations in various bomb blasts across the country... Internal security of our country can be strengthened only when all such cases are also probed impartially and with the same degree of intensity. Given this, action against the Bajrang Dal under the Unlawful Activities Act must be initiated.”

• Central Committee statement on October 14, 2008: “The Bajrang Dal has been spearheading the attacks on the Christian community and its involvement in terrorist violence through the manufacture of bombs and placing of explosives have come to light, the latest being in Kanpur. The Central Committee demands that strong action be taken against the Bajrang Dal under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.”

• On September 18, 2008, after the violence against Christians in Orissa and Karnataka: “The violence and threats against the Christians is an assault on the Constitution, yet the Central Government appears to be a silent spectator with not even a statement, leave alone any action emanating from senior Government functionaries. The violence in Orissa and now in Karnataka by the Bajrang Dal in the context of the clear evidence of their guilt in making bombs and planning communal attacks calls for immediate action against the Bajrang Dal by the Central Government.”

• Brinda Karat’s letter to the then Home Minister Shivraj Patil after visiting parts of Orissa where anti-Christian violence took place on September 9, 2008: “I strongly urge the Government to put the Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad on the watchlist of organisations indulging in terrorist like activities.”

• Politburo statement on August 30, 2008: “The involvement of the Bajrang Dal in violent and terrorist activities is becoming increasingly evident. In the ongoing violence against the Christian community in Orissa, the Bajrang Dal is involved. In the light of these events, the Central government should take cognizance of the terrorist nature of the activities of the Bajrang Dal and take strong action.”

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