28 March Tuesday

Importance of 23rd Party Congress

Web Desk‌Updated: Wednesday Apr 6, 2022

This is the 12th Congress of CPI-M which I am participating in. Every party Congress had its own importance. It is a privilege to be a part of it. It gives us great energy and enthusiasm.

The 23rd Congress is being conducted in a particular situation which is connected to the alarming situation in our country. The secular democratic republic of India is in great danger. It is being systematically undermined, with the ominously articulated efforts to replace it with the RSS vision of Hindutva. In addition to tampering Constitutional order, they are  destructing all independent constitutional authorities starting from the Parliament, Judiciary, Election Commission, CBI and ED among others.

The gross violation of Constitutionally guaranteed democratic rights and civil liberties, the effort to replace rationality with irrationality, reason with unreason is alarming. Faith is promoted to negate scientific enquiry.

The ease with which myths are passed off as real historical facts have, indeed, laid the foundations for many constructs of nationalism. Amongst many examples is the case of David's city and temple at Jerusalem which continue to remain as one of the foundational pillars for the existence of the modern State of Israel. In India, the influence of Rama and the Ramayana continue to play a similar role.

However, whenever the dividing line between mythology and historical inquiry is deliberately blurred to serve immediate political interests, it invariably leads to ruptures.

Every epic, composed around a central myth or a variety of myths, thus, has this quality of enduring attraction by being relevant across individuals and overtime. Every individual who comes into conscious contact with it strikes an independent chord with one feature or the other giving it a universal appeal. Hence, recourse to people's mythical beliefs is a common short-cut adopted by reactionary forces to further their political agenda.

Apart from the other attributes of an epic, Ramayana has the additional richness as the diversity of its narration is spread across many modern nations of South Asia. In recent decades, however, the richness of this epic is being straight jacketed to serve the political objectives of the RSS/BJP.

In order to achieve its objective, Ram and Ayodhya have become the central themes for RSS political mobilisation which has even led to the demolition of the Babri Masjid nearly three decades ago. In this entire campaign, which brought  BJP to the centre-stage of Indian politics, the recourse is to deliberately blur the distinction between mythology and history as well as  philosophy and theology.

Hindutva has little to do with Hindu religion as VD Savarkar himself had noted when he coined the term Hindutva as a political project. Seeking to communalise every issue for political benefit, the BJP takes recourse to faith to authenticate mythology as history. This battle of minds must ensure that rationality prevails over irrationality and reason over un-reason. All secular democratic Indian patriots must rally together to safeguard and strengthen the secular democratic character of the Indian Republic in order to advance towards creating a better India moving towards Socialism.