Speech of Prakash Karat at the 22nd Congress of Communist Party of India

புதுச்சேரியில் நடைபெற்று கொண்டிருக்கும் இந்திய கம்யூனிஸ்ட் கட்சியின் 22வது அகில இந்திய மாநாட்டில் மார்க்சிஸ்ட் கம்யூனிஸ்ட் கட்சியின் பொதுச் செயலாளர் தோழர் பிரகாஷ் காரத் வாழ்த்துரை வழங்கினார்… மாநாடு மார்ச் 25-29 வரை நடைபெறுகிறது.

தோழர் பிரகாக்ஷ் காரத் அவர்களின் வாழ்த்துரை பின்வருமாறு;

March 25, 2015

Speech of Prakash Karat, General Secretary of CPI(M), at the

22nd Congress of Communist Party of India

Comrades of the Presidium,

Comrade S. Sudhakar Reddy, General Secretary, Comrade A. B. Bardhan and other leaders of the CPI,

Leaders of the Left parties,

Comrade delegates and guests,

It gives me great pleasure to be here in Puducherry to convey, on behalf of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), warm greetings to all of you assembled here for the 22nd Congress of the Communist Party of India. Comrades, the CPI and the CPI(M) are part of the Communist movement which was shaped in the fire of the freedom struggle of our country. A movement which sought to bring to the forefront the interests of the workers and peasants as the basis for transforming India into a democratic and socialist society. Here in Puducherry, the life and work of Com. V. Subbiah, who led the freedom struggle, is an example of this glorious Communist tradition.

Your Congress is meeting at a time when the rightwing forces have gained ascendancy, with the BJP-led government at the Centre. This has ushered in a rightwing offensive fuelled by the twin forces of corporate power and Hindutva communalism.

Such an offensive has been launched at the behest of and for the benefit of the big capitalists like Adanis; for the super-rich who are proliferating in scores as dollar billionaires and for the multinational corporations who can hardly wait to lay their hands on the mineral wealth and natural resources of the country. Coal mines are to be de-nationalised and the banking, insurance and pension funds thrown open to foreign finance capital.

This pro-rich offensive is at the expense of the people – by squeezing the workers, farmers and the common people. The Union Budget has decreed a sharp cut in the outlays for education, health and social sector expenditures. The MGNREGA is being scuttled and the budget for the ICDS programme has been halved. Efforts are on to dilute the labour laws and to deprive farmers of their land without their consent.

The Modi government believes in the neo-liberal prescription – of austerity for the many and prosperity for a few. At no time has India been such an unequal society. This inequality is not confined to the economic sphere alone. The rightwing forces have unleashed a communal and casteist onslaught too.   Majoritarian Hindutva communalism threatens the religious minorities, women, dalits and all those socially oppressed. The RSS orchestrates the communal agenda with the instruments of State power within its grasp. Forcible re-conversion, attacks on churches, banning beef, demanding women produce more children and the witch-hunting of intellectuals and artists constitutes the staple of this oppressive regime.

The growing authoritarianism threatens both the democratic and secular basis of our society. It is this climate of hatred and intolerance which resulted in killing of Comrade Govind Pansare by cowardly assassins.

There is no need to explain to the Communists about the menace posed by this neo-liberal-communal agenda. The question is how do we go about fighting back this offensive? How do we build broad-based resistance? How to fight the communal forces on the ground?

The Left can do so only by building powerful movements of the basic classes – the workers, the peasants, the agricultural workers and the urban poor. By mobilizing the vast mass of the oppressed – women, dalits, adivasis and minorities. Only the Left can provide the core of the resistance to the neo-liberal onslaught and develop it into a mass movement.

Only the Left recognizes the necessity to wage a two-front struggle against neo-liberal policies and against communalism.

It is our historic responsibility to translate this vision into practice.

The Congress party which is responsible for the neo-liberal regime with the attendant corruption and loot of resources cannot be the alternative. Only, if there is strong independent Left can there be a realignment of forces favourable for a real alternative.

This requires, first of all, the strengthening of the individual parties of the Left. I am sure, your Congress will address this task of how to build and strengthen the CPI. We shall also do so in our Party Congress at Visakhapatnam next month. We need to acknowledge that the strengthening of one part of the Left will result in the strengthening of the Left as a whole.

Secondly, there is a need to strengthen the Left by broadening the scope and ambit of Left unity. In the recent period, we have taken some steps towards that. Six parties came together for joint actions against the policies of the Modi government, in defence of the livelihood of the people and against US imperialism. We have to work towards broadening Left unity further by bringing all Left parties, groups and individuals together for joint actions and united movements.

Thirdly, there is the necessity for forging greater coordination between the Left-led class and mass organizations working among different sections of the people. This should become the trigger for broader united mass movements and campaigns.

It is in this process that we will be able to rally and bring together other democratic forces for the common endeavour of defending secularism, democracy and the basic rights of the people.

Such is the enormity and the magnitude of the rightwing threat that it calls for an inspired and united response from all those on the Left. Let the 22nd Congress of the CPI be an important step in providing such a response.

Forward to Left unity!

Build a Left and democratic alternative!

I wish your Congress all success.


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