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CPM warns comrades against being casteist - The Observer

Observer Political Bureau ()
21 December 1996

Title : CPM warns comrades against being casteist
Author : Observer Political Bureau
Publication : The Observer
Date : December 21, 1996

The central committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has warned
leading comrades, particularly in Hindi-speaking states, against nurturing
casteist attitudes.

"It cannot be in any way accepted that in a party leader's house, lower caste
people are not allowed to eat or socially mix. Party members, particularly in
Hindi-speaking states, must be educated and motivated to oppose various
tendencies of caste discrimination and oppression such as not allowing
scheduled caste persons to sit on the same charpoy and drawing water from
wells," the CC stated in a four-page document-rectification campaign. The new
document, finalised recently, has been sent to every state committee which in
turn is to circulate the same down the party hierarchy.

In West Bengal, for instance, party's general secretary Harkisan Singh
Surjeet will, along with Mr Prakash Karat, Mr Ramachandran Pillai and Mr P
Ramachandran, will have a threadbare discussion on this on December 21 here
in Calcutta. The new document has admitted that the party at its various
stages has been contaminated with reformist trend of parliamentarism and
electoral opportunism, careerist trends, erosion or lack of communist
consciousness and alien class values and habits.

The central leadership has been drawing attention to the deviations from
communist norms since the 14th congress of the party, held in Madras between
January 3-9, 1992, but the follow-up from the state and district committees
have not yet been adequate at all.

Referring to parliamentarism and crass opportunism, the 14th congress
organisational report stated categorically that it is common occurence even
in the weakest states for party committees to make aggregated claims about
fighting elections, bickerings over candidates and choice of seats. Hankering
for posts in elected bodies such as municipalities, zilla parishads or
assembly leads to groupism.

Individual eho and vested interest vitiate collective functionism. The latest
document has reiterated the same thing but has provided a socio-political ex
party works in a bourgeois and semi-feudal environment, alien class values
and habits constantly penetrate the party.

It is very evident that the CC is worried over the erosion of minimum
standards of integrity and class commitment of the party members, right from
the leaders to the lowest cadres in the organisational hierarchy in West
Bengal and Kerala. Referring to West Bengal, albeit indirectly, the document
observes that there are instances of lavish expenditure of party conferences
and major organisational conferences and points out that huge feasts and
extravagant displays are considered a matter of prestige for the

Efforts to eliminate minority have been reported from a few conferences in
units under the Calcutta district committee and some other places. In Assam,
the failure to finalise an organisational report by the secretariat and state
committee reveals as unhealthy state of affairs. It also pointed out that
there have been reports about deliberate leakage of inner-party discussions
to the press to garner benefits in factional fights.

There have been several instances of deliberations of the higher committees
being leaked to the bourgeois press in Kerala and West Bengal. This reveals
the magnitude of the dangerous trend creeping into the party. Surprisingly,
the West Bengal state conference, held between March 1-5, in 1955 did not
utter single word about this.

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