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CPM flayed for branding Muslims communal - The Indian Express

N P Chekkutty ()
28 November 1997

Title: CPM flayed for branding Muslims communal
Author: N P Chekkutty
Publication: The Indian Express
Date: November 28, 1997

A resolution passed at the Kozhikode district conference of the CPM with its blanket criticism of all Muslim organisations has caused much resentment among a large section of Muslim in the State.

The resolution actually goes even against the official line of the party, as it practically dubs the entire Muslim community as communal and extremist in its sweeping remarks.

The resolution warns the party cadres against the rising threat of extremism and communalism in general and specifies various groups as indulging in such activities. The RSS and BJP workers have been attacking CPM workers of late, it claims.

In the next part, the resolution focuses on the growing danger of Muslim extremist forces pointing out that organisations like the National Development Front were making efforts to influence Muslim youth.

The resolution goes on to attack Muslim religious sects like the Mujahids, Sunnis and Jamaat-e-Islami as actively fomenting communalism.

It also says that foreign funds pumped in were being used to build religious institutions causing communal tension.

It also says that Milad-e-Sharif rallies by the conservative Sunnis on the birth day of the Prophet were part of the attempt to spread communal feelings among Muslim children.

Where the CPM errs is in the fact that it fails to distinguish between the genuine religious groups and the communal and extremist fringe organisations in the community.

Clearly, those who drafted the resolution had no idea about the community's religious divisions or the debates among them over a variety of theological and ritual matters. The CPM fails to take note of a running debate in the community against extremism and also the opposition to forces like the Islamic Sevak Sangh, the People's Democratic Party and the NDF, whenever they had raised sectarian slogans.

Party leaders in private agree that the resolution was a mistake and it should never have been adopted in the present form.

No one took notice of the dangers involved in the resolution which was adopted without even a proper debate, even as leaders like Chief Minister and politburo member E K Nayanar, secretariat members Paloli Mohammed Kutty, T Sivadasa Menon, Pinarayi Vijayan and central committee member Suneet Chopra were on the dais.

Many leaders have pointed out that making references to bona fide religious groups in such a flimsy manner would only harm the party's secular credentials. But what prevents the party to officially clarify its position amending the offending sections, is a mystery.

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