Friday, September 02, 2005

CPM rags to riches story: Chandrasekhar

CPM rags to riches story; Exposing the bourgeoise face behind the
proletariat facade

By S. Chandrasekhar

Right from local offices to multi-crore headquarters to TV channel, to
newspaper, to hospitals, to banks, to resorts and to a water theme
park, the CPM is no longer a working class party. It is equivalent to
any other corporate body which has interests in various areas and

The commies may proclaim themselves a working class party and their
existance as a protection for the deprived and the have-nots, but six
decades of communism have made the Kerala unit of the party the
richest, with assets estimated at a whooping Rs 4,000 crore, something
beyond the comprehension of any corporate body existing in a highly
consumerised society like Kerala. It is ironical that in this mad rush
for asset accumulation, the CPM has totally deviated from its ideology
and is functioning as a cut-throat commercial establishment, thereby
becoming a burden on the working class, whom it professes to protect.


In the forties, fifties and sixties, the aim of the communists was to
expand their base. Right from the seventies their eyes reverted to
property accumulation. Kerala has one per cent of the land area of
India and almost three per cent of the national population. With the
Gulf boom in which lakhs of Keralites went to make money, land prices
started spiralling thereby pushing many to invest in real estates. The
CPM made good use of this opportunity. It is now estimated that the
CPM and its feeder organisations are the single largest owners of
land, buildings, properties and estates in the State.

All the offices of the CPM and its affiliates like CITU, SFI, DYFI,
women organisations, head load workers, government employees,
teachers, college and professional institutions teachers from the
Taluk level to the State level are in prime areas on premises owned by
them, throughout the length and breadth of Kerala. The crowning glory
is the multi-crore CPM state headquarters, AKG Centre with a
1,500-seat centrally airconditio-ned auditorium in the heart of the
capital city of Thiruvanan-thapuram. Exactly opposite to it, is the
multi-storied flat for luxuriously housing its state leaders. A
60-acre complex and a huge constructed township for purposes of
training CPM cadres called the EMS Academy is another humble abode for
the working class outfit at the capital city.

The multi-crore CPM television channel Kairali in Malayalam launched
five years ago is another major investment apart from the Malayalam
newspaper Deshabhimani which has editions in all the districts of
Kerala. The channel and all the newspaper offices are in premises
owned by the CPM with state-of-the-art technologies.

Hospitals and banks in the co-operative sector are another major area
in which the CPM has a strong stranglehold. Co-operative banks from
the primary level to the state level are mostly under the control of
the CPM. Taking into account the wide scope in the healthcare sector,
the CPM has started creating huge hospital complexes named after
departed comrades in many districts of Kerala.

Kerala, with its divine natural beauty is a travellers heaven. Taking
advantage of this the CPM is through its 'Agricultural wing' taking
possession of acres of land in tourist spots like 'Wagamon' near
Kottayam and 'Athirapalli' in Trichur, to convert it into money
spinning tourist resorts. It is ironical that the CPM which is
spearheading a movement against 'Coca-Cola' in Plachimada for misuse
of ground water is constructing a multi-crore water theme park in
Kannur district in which lakhs of litres of drinking water will be
wasted. The opposition to the project from its own cadres have been

Party assets only in Kerala estimated at Rs. 4,000 crore. CPM emerges
the richest business group in the State. Read the bigger picture of
West Bengal in the follow up.


Although the source of funds of any political organisation is
contribution from the public, the funding system of the CPM is so
corporatised, streamlined and institutionalised that it is never short
of funds be it in power or not.

The various service organisations through their monthly contributions
ensure regular flow to the affiliate organisations. Periodically,
funds are collected by them in the respective areas for buildings

Head load workers, a menacing feature of Kerala and the muscle of the
CITU/CPM, provide the physical power, to implement its writ on the
population of the State. It is a joke in Kerala that even a pregnant
lady or a man with elephant legs has to pay money to the head load
workers for carrying their weight.

Traders and commercial establishments are threatened into paying money
to the CPM coffers. Circulation for its Malayalam daily is also
through bullying of traders, shopkeepers and residents. In addition
'Bucket Collections' another intimidative feature of the CPM, for any
reason under the sun brings crores of rupees to the party

With the CPM leverage at the Centre, oil major PSUs, BSNL, other PSUs,
are being pressurised to pump crores of rupees into the CPM channel
'Kairali' as advertisement revenue. The Managing Director of 'Kairali'
regularly accompanies the Prime Minister on his tour abroad. When the
CPM was in power in Kerala, officials close to it, including those
from central cadre officers were sent abroad for purchasing costly
electronic equipments for the 'channel' and to bring it through the
'Green Channel' at airports.

Kerala, despite its 3% national population is the largest consumer of
liquor in India. Due to prohibition imposed by the Antony led UDF
regime, the illicit liquor lobby has a total sway. The CPM links with
this lobby bring crores of rupees into its coffers which mainly
account for the enormous asset accumulation which the party has
achieved in the past one decade. A state-level leader and former MLA
Surendran is under investigation for having links with the hooch baron
Manichan whose killer brew eliminated scores during the Left rule.
Diaries of Manichan reveal that he has been paying sevd scores during
the Left rule. Diaries of Manid scores during the Left rule. Diaries
of Manichan reveal that he has been paying d scores during the Left
rule. Diaries of Manichan reveal that he has been paying sevManichan
reveal that he has been paying sevd scores during the Left rule.
Diaries of Mand scores during the Left rule. Diaries of Manichan
revead scores during the Left rud scores during the Left rule. Diaries
of Manichan reveal that he has been paying sevManichan reveal that he
has been paying seve power sector. In the name of establishing new
power projects and renovating existing projects crores passed hands.
The recent controversy in which CPM State Secretary and former power
minister Pinarayi Vijayan is involved, is a glaring example. Rs 375
core given to a Canadian firm SNC-Lavalin for renovation of projects
has gone down the drain, with no benefit to the State. But certainly
the party would have benefitted out of the deal. Ironically the CPM
which is shouting from the roof top for protection of PSU major BHEL,
by-passed BHEL and gave the order to SNC-Lavalin, despite it offering
a lower rate. Obviously, because BHEL cannot offer under-the-table
finances to the CPM.

The CPM presence in the social, cultural, literary and scientific
fields is represented by leaders like MA Baby and organisations like
KSSP (Kerala Sastra Sahitya Parishad). This ensures strong CPM
presence in the film industry (another money spinning enterprise) and
a social scientific facade to its working-class ideology.

It is ironical that the CPM which is spearheading a movement against
'Coca-Cola' in Plachimada for misuse of ground water is constructing a
multi-crore water theme park in Kannur district in which lakhs of
litres of drinking water will be wasted.


The CPM and its leaders have become the greatest hypocrites, the State
has ever seen. While leaders like Atchuda-nandan openly take part in
agitations destroying cash crops like coconut and rubber to highlight
the importance of declining paddy cultivation (due to exhorbitant
wages demanded by CPM cadres), many CPM offices and houses of its
leaders are built in paddy reclaimed lands. Similarly, the party had
in the sixties expelled members for giving gold as dowry during
marriage of their children, but recently when the son of late chief
minister E.K. Nayanar got married, the bride was decked in gold from
head to toe. In fact, she was fully covered in gold. Similarly,
Nayanar's ashes were immersed in the holy rivers of Kerala and in

Comrades as faithful Hindus

The CPM and the SFI had been in the forefront of the agitation against
self-financing professional colleges thereby forcing Malayali students
to go to other states for professional education. But during the
earlier LDF tenure maximum number of schools and colleges were doled
out to Christian/Muslim managements, for a price naturally.

Although ideologically bankrupt, the CPM through its institutionalised
system, has become the most corrupt and hypocritical outfit. The CPM
is the biggest threat to Kerala's economic progress, social
development and cultural unity.


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