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Mainstream, VOL LVII No 34 New Delhi August 10, 2019

Call to Build Unity to Resist Fascist Onslaught

Sunday 11 August 2019, by Barun Das Gupta

The CPI-ML (Liberation) recently observed the 50th anniversary of its foundation and the birth centenary of the party’s founder, Charu Mazumdar, in Kolkata. A mass convention was held at the Netaji Indoor Stadium on July 30 while a two-day workshop of party cadres was held in the Moulali Yuva Kendra on July 31 and August 1.

The message that emanated from the Convention was to “forge a rock-solid unity’’ to resist the fascist onslaught on the democratic freedoms of the people and in defence of the independence of the judiciary and all other constitutional and statutory bodies.

Party General Secretary, Dipankar Bhattacharya, who delivered the main speech, explained that while the party’s primary emphasis would be on the consolidation of the Left forces, any democratic party which would like to be part of the resistance against fascism would be welcome. He recalled the Bulgarian Communist leader Georgi Dimitrov’s untiring efforts to build an anti-fascist United Front in Germany of the 1930s and said what Dimitrov had said then was relevant even today.

Many workers of other Left parties attended the Convention. The CPI-ML gave an earnest of its sincerity not to be partisan by not displaying the picture of Charu Mazumdar on the dais. Bhattacharya also demanded the immediate scrapping of the EVMs and returning to the ballot paper system. This demand has been voiced powerfully by the West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee.

The party decided to form propaganda squads to make the people aware of the danger posed by the rising tide of fascism. It said: “Buoyed by the return of the Modi Government at the Centre and the stunning advance of the BJP in West Bengal, the Sangh brigade has unleashed a massive campaign of terror and vandalism to grab power in the State... We call for a united defence of our collective rights and our beloved country’s democracy and diversity. We defy the attempts to terrorise and silence us with abuse, arrests and assassinations. We will not allow India to be turned into a HinduRasshtra.”

The Convention noted that the “BJP is blatantly using corrupt means to buy MLAs and topple Opposition State governments. The Modi Government is proposing the idea of “One Nation, One Election”. This is aimed at moving India from a parliamentary to a presidential mode of government. This attempt is undermining federalism and democracy.

Bhattacharya recalled the rise of communalism during the freedom movement which weakened national unity and eventually led to the partition of India. “The only lesson that India should take from this tragedy of history is not to repeat it, not to allow communalism to drive the country towards further division.” He also emphasised the need for removing the organisational weaknesses the party suffered from.

The Convention was attended by about ten thousand party workers and supporters from all over India. But the largest contingents were from the five States of Assam, West Bengal, Tripura, Bihar and Jharkhand. Some 400-odd cadres attended the workshop which adopted a plan of action for mobilising public opinion against fascism.

The author was a correspondent of The Hindu in Assam. He also worked in Patriot, Compass (Bengali), Mainstream. A veteran journalist, he comes from a Gandhian family and was intimately associated with the RCPI leader, Pannalal Das Gupta.

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