Abdullakutty’s suspension exposes CPI-M’s anti-development, anti-Muslim attitude

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[Pictures: (1.) Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi; (2.) West Bengal CPI-M leader Subhas Chakraborty performing puja at a Kali temple; (3.) CPI-M party symbol; (4.) Kerala MP A.P. Abdullakutty]


Abdullakutty’s suspension exposes CPI-M’s anti-development, anti-Muslim attitude

By Danish Ahmad Khan

CPI-M’s Muslim MP from Kerala A.P. Abdullakutty would have never dreamt that praising Chief Minister Narendra Modi for bringing astounding industrial development and turning Gujarat into a model state would lead to his suspension from the party. Abdullakutty, a two-time Lok Sabha MP from Cannanore (Kannur), was suspended from the party on 18 January for one year. Earlier, CPI-M district committee had served a notice asking him to explain why he showered praises on Modi for his efforts to bring development to Gujarat, which was at variance with the party’s view.

It may be recalled that Abdullakutty showered praise on Modi while addressing Indian Media Forum in Dubai on 28 December last year. “Today, Gujarat is the most investor-friendly state in the country. That’s the only state where every investor gets a red-carpet welcome, no matter how much he invests. Gujarat is getting investments, and industrialists are fond of Chief Minister Narendra Modi,” Abdullakutty said. When asked about shifting of Nano project from CPI-M ruled West Bengal to BJP-ruled Gujarat, he remarked: “Several chief ministers were ready to welcome Nano project in their state but Tata opted for Gujarat. This was only because Modi gave the best alternative proposal.” Asking to emulate development model of Gujarat, Abdullkutty said that Left should ponder why Ratan Tata shifted his project to Gujarat.

The upright young Muslim MP Abdullakutty now asks after all what wrong did he do that evoked party’s wrath. “I have not made any mistake. I am very sad as the party has not been convinced by my explanation. I talked about Modi in Dubai while replying to a question by an investor who asked why he should invest in a state, which witnessed 82 hartals in last year. The 2002 pogrom in which Muslims were massacred could not take away the fact that Modi had brought investments to Gujarat,” Abdullakutty said, and reiterates that Modi deserves full marks for pursuing his development agenda, but his communal agenda should be vigorously denounced. “In fact, I prefer to recognize both sides of Modi’s personality – one pro-development, and the other communal. My party CPI-M, on the other hand, is not ready to separate Modi from his communal persona, which is really unfair and unethical,” feels Abdullakutty. However, now with Abdullakutty's suspension, it is ulikely that he is going to again contest coming Lok Sabha polls until his suspension is revoked.

This is, however, not for the first time that Abdullakutty had to face wrath for "defying" CPI-M’s ideology. Earlier, the CPI-M had censured and demoted Abdullakutty for traveling to Makkah for performing Umrah [mini Hajj] in the first week of June last year. Abdullakutty, who was an area committee member, was demoted to a simple member in the local committee after the district committee took disciplinary action against him on 19 June. The party first "charge-sheeted" him for performing Umrah in Makkah. Later, conscious of the fact that the decision could invite backlash from the Muslim community, the party claimed Kutty was punished for delivering a speech against bandhs and hartals.
Abdullakutty, commenting on the party action, had then said: "Disciplinary action was initiated against me after I returned from Makkah. The so-called controversial speech is an old issue anyway. A number of leaders had aired the same view on bandhs and hartals." He added, "The timing of the party's disciplinary action against me has made people believe that I have been convicted for performing Umrah. But the party denies that the action was caused by my having undertaken the religious trip."

It may be recalled that even West Bengal transport minister Subhas Chakraborty was photographed offering puja at a Kali temple in Bengal’s Birbhum district. In Kerala, two CPI-M legislators took their oath “in the name of God” in the assembly in May 2006. The party squirmed in embarrassment in both the cases but took no action against these Marxist “believers”, who would have otherwise been suspended or expelled from the party. Abdullakutty had to face disciplinary action of being demoted only after undertaking the Muslim religious ritual of performing Umrah.

In the case of Subhas Cakraborty, the then West Bengal Chief Minister Jyoti Basu reprimanded him in public. The CPI-M’s Bengal unit also summoned Chakraborty to the party’s state committee meeting and asked him to explain his position after the media widely covered his visit to the temple. Later, CPI-M Bengal state secretary Biman Bose clarified that the transport minister was “neither show-caused nor censured” but was asked to “clear the air” in public. In CPI-M’s Kerala state unit things are no different either. Here, too, the party has never dared to reprimand or punish the “religious-minded” legislators Aisha Potti, the Marxist-ruled state’s first Brahmin woman MLA, and M.M. Monayi, a practising Christian, for taking oath “in the name of God”.

On the contrary, Abdullakutty’s demotion for performing religious ritual of Umrah and his suspension for praising Modi for turning Gujarat into a development model clearly smacks of the biasness the CPI-M holds against its Muslim members. The actions of CPI-M against Abdullakutty prove that the party is a thorough hypocrite, anti-development and anti-Muslim. Will the CPI-M stalwarts care to explain why the Left parties backed the National Front government headed by Vishwanath Pratap Singh when the ‘communal’, ‘anti-minority’ Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was part of the same government? Will the CPI-M bigwigs please explain why they allied with the BJP in voting against the Congress Party-led UPA government-backed-Indo-US Nuclear deal? Before voting against the Indo-US Nuclear deal, Left parties were in alliance with the UPA government. After all, what ‘national interests’ did the Left parties serve in allying with the ‘communal’ BJP on these two occasions? I don’t think that any Muslim CPI-M legislator or MP would have even dared to perform ‘Umrah’ or ‘Hajj’ after Abdullakutty’s demotion. Will the CPI-M functionaries or Muslim Marxists please clear their stand on this ‘discriminatory’ issue?

Abdullakutty rightly feels that CPI-M needs to change its attitude, particularly towards its Muslim members. Belief is a personal affair. The Marxist lexicon nowhere indicates that a communist should necessarily be an atheist. Yet the party frowns on believers, particularly Muslims, who want to follow the Left ideology. As per the CPI-M brand of 'secularism', backing Muslims on the Amarnath shrine land transfer issue, and staging demonstrations against Israeli brutalities in the Gaza Strip are important things. But when it comes to allowing a party MP from the same community to practice his religious beliefs, the knives are brought out against him.

Last but not least, praising Chief Minister Narendra Modi for turning Gujarat into a development model is neither a crime nor this means that his communal brand of politics would also get approval just because the person happens to be the same. CPI-M in West Bengal has already lost Nandigram assembly bypolls at the hands of Trinamool Congress. This should already sound alarm bells for Left parties. In India, today corruption and development have become important agenda to win elections. The days of communal politics are over. Parties across political affiliations need to give a serious thought over this. Or else…. better they be prepared to fade into oblivion!

Posted by Unknown on 1/21/2009 09:55:00 PM. Filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Feel free to leave a response

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