100 years of Communism in India: CPM's M B Rajesh questions CPI's Benoy Viswam

100 years of Communism in India: CPM's M B Rajesh questions CPI's Benoy Viswam
Benoy Viswam and MB Rajesh

CPM leader M B Rajesh on Monday countered CPI veteran Benoy Viswam's arguments on the contentious issue of the 100th anniversary date of the Indian Communist party.

CPM launched the centenary celebrations on October 17 across the country, in memory of the meeting in Tashkent in 1920.

However, CPI asserts that Communist party was formed in India on December 26, 1925 at Kanpur and that the centenary year falls on 2025.

Rajesh said he was surprised to read Viswam's logic that celebrating the formation of the secret Communist grouping in Tashkent as the inception of the Communist party in India would fuel the criticism that the ideology is foreign.

Rajesh made the statement during an interview with Onmanorama.

"Comrade Benoy Viswam's argument surprised me. Marxism as an ideology is meant for the liberation of entire humanity. It has nothing to do with national boundaries. Extreme right-wing forces like Sangh Parivar are raising this kind of criticism (that the ideology is foreign)," Rajesh, a state committee member of the CPM and former Palakkad MP, said.

He said RSS ideologue Golwalker identified Communism along with Islam and Christianity as an enemy of the Hindu Rashtra because the three have foreign origins.

"A Communist cannot and should not agree with this criticism," Rajesh said.

On the debate over whether the CPM and CPI should merge or not, Rajesh said, "What's the need of the hour is to strengthen the unity of the Communist parties. The rest, let's leave it to the time."

The undivided CPI split in 1964 as CPI and CPI(M) following the differences over ideological issues.

CPI leaders have publicly questioned the CPM's decision to celebrate the Tashkent grouping. "Once the split was a reality, everything had to be changed. Not only the policies and programmes, but the CPM decided that even the history has to be changed. That's how it decided to change the birthday - December 26, 1925 - which was commonly agreed upon by the undivided party. It also set October 17, 1920 as the birthday. Based on that the CPM celebrates the centenary of the Tashkent meeting as the 100th anniversary of the Indian Communist Party," Viswam wrote in Malayala Manorama on Monday.

Watch out this space for the full video interview with M B Rajesh.

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