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Last Updated Saturday October 21 2017 04:54 AM IST

Zakirs and Jayanthans: Kerala CPM's new gen challenges

Sujith Nair
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cpm-leaders-alappuzha Senior leaders of the CPM during party's state conference in Alappuzha.

When considering the controversy unleashed by CPM’s young leaders Zakir Hussain and Jayanthan, one also needs to look at a portion of the report of CPM's state conference held in Alappuzha. The roots of the problem that the party is facing now can be perhaps traced to that report.

The report showed that after 2001, 244,273 people joined the party, which works out to about 59.98 per cent. This means that more than half the members of the party have only 13 years of experience with it. This means that education and training aimed at cadres to keep up with party norms have become all the more important, the report said.

About 92.58 per cent of the current members of the party have joined it after the Emergency. Stories and episodes of fiery campaigns, torture and sacrifice are old stories now. The party now belongs to new people who hold an entirely different set of ideologies. Jayanthan and Zakir Hussain are not isolated occurrences in the party; it's only that the stories of such people are not coming out often. Pinarayi Vijayan and Kodiyeri Balakrishnan have to bear the heat of an entirely different set of challenges from within the party now.

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The party was aware that some people were using high-level connections within the party for fraud. Most of such people are youngsters. Siddique, who was recently nabbed for trying to defraud a woman entrepreneur was the Man Friday for many leaders of the party when they went to Kochi. His leader was Zakir. The chain of frauds within the party might have expanded or can expand later to embarrass the party; this is the reality that leaders cannot ignore.

Recently, the CPM saw the extraordinary situation of a district secretariat meeting being convened under the state secretary to discuss an absconding CPM district committee member’s situation. A district meeting was not called because one member would not be able to take part leading to embarrassment for the party. M.M. Lawrence could not control his angst during the secretariat meeting at the fall in values of the cadre compared to veterans who had staged the historic Edappally station siege. Perhaps it was the same anxiety that CPI leader Pannyan Raveendran expressed during the KSKTU inaugural meeting. He said, “We need to preserve the government very carefully and none of us need to forget the lessons learnt from Bengal."

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The CPM state committee had instructed that leaders should not become the focus of power soon after the Left formed its latest government in the state. In Bengal, things went out of hand because leaders thought that they had the power to do anything and that the people would not react. That a prominent leader lost his ministership for deviant appointments is a good example set by the government. However K. Radhakrishnan, who had a different style of functioning from E.P. Jayarajan, changed his demeanour when he took over as district secretary, leading to his popularity taking a beating. One can easily conjure the state of the party if V.S. Achuthanandan was in power when T.P. Chandrasekharan was killed. Pinarayi is facing similar challenges, albeit smaller ones.

The Plenum at Palakkad had highlighted divisions and infightings within the party. The Plenum at Kolkota highlighted the consumerist mentality that is gripping the party. Even though the party recognized the danger and is trying to make amends, such people are repeatedly embarrassing the party and the government has to repeatedly disown its own party men in the Assembly.

Perhaps a part of the report that was approved at the CITU state conference under the CM highlights what Pinarayi would like to say to his cadres." Do not forget that the government is a by-product of the struggles of the party. Everyone should keep this in mind. Do not make the government weak."

The opinions expressed here do not reflect the views of Manorama. The responsibility of opinions expressed here lies solely with the author. According to the IT Act, derogatory statements towards an individual, community, religion and country as well as the use of obscene words are punishable offenses. Legal action will be taken against such practices.
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