On The Home Minister's Remarks

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Press Statement

Prakash Karat, General Secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:

It is surprising that the Union Home Minister has chosen to ignore the history of the naxalite/Maoist movement. Far from being the CPI(M)'s "comrades in arms", the Maoists have always been unremittingly hostile to the CPI(M). After they split away from the CPI(M) in the late 1960s, the ultra-Left elements in West Bengal targetted the Party and hundreds of CPI(M) cadres and supporters lost their lives due to their depredations in the early 1970s.
It is also amusing to see Mr. Chidambaram claiming that the CPI(M) saw the Maoists as their allies in fighting the bourgeois Congress, when the fact is that the earlier UPA government led by the Congress was propped up for four years with the support of the CPI(M).
The reference by Mr. Chidambaram to the attitude of the CPI(M) towards the Maoists having been different till the last session of parliament is also misplaced. The CPI(M) is critical of the laws that have draconian provisions in the name of fighting terrorism. Such laws have been used against hundreds of innocent people, mainly from the Muslim community in the name of fighting terror. We have always held that the Maoists have to be fought ideologically and politically apart from resort to firm administrative measures when they indulge in violence. The Maoists cannot be equated with the Laskhar e Taiba or the Jaish-e-Mohammed. The fact that the Home Minister has offered to talk to the Maoists, if they stop the violence, itself recognises this difference.
Evidently, the Home Minister is put in an unenviable position when a colleague of his in the cabinet takes positions that are contrary to that of his ministry and government. Right from the start of the joint operations in Lalgarh, the Union Railway Minister has made known her displeasure and asked for recall of the central paramilitary forces. She had extended support to a front organisation of the Maoists. Another minister belonging to her Party has publicly admitted to knowing in advance about the Rajdhani train stoppage.
It would be better if Mr. Chidambaram took the initiative to sort out this glaring contradiction within the cabinet and not make irrelevant feints against the CPI(M).