KERALA: THE two day national seminar on the ‘World of EMS’ was held to commemorate the birth centenary of Comrade EMS Namboodiripad at his birth place, Perinthalmanna in Malappuram district. Inaugurating the seminar CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat recalled his experience with EMS Namboodiripad, who was the first chief minister of a democratically elected communist government in Kerala and the general secretary of the Party for nearly one and a half decade.
Prakash reiterated that the Party would continue its struggle against neo-liberal economic policies and the pro- imperialist stand of the UPA government. He also emphasised the importance of a self-critical analysis on the recent electoral setbacks and assured that the Party would examine whether it had distanced away from certain sections of the society. He also added that the electoral defeat is only temporary and the Party will continue to be the leading force in resisting the pro-rich, anti-people policies. The consolidated attacks of the right wing political parties, and other sectarian forces backed by imperialism can never hamper our struggle to resist neo-liberal economic policies and UPA government’s servile attitude towards imperialism, he said.
It is none but EMS Namboodiripad who identified the threat of majority communalism against democratic ethos and designed our strategy against the fascist forces. Even in the early eighties, he warned about the strengthening of the right wing Hindutva forces and their penetration into our secular society. Talking about the contributions of Comrade EMS Namboodiripad, Prakash described him as the most original and outstanding Marxist produced by the developing world in the 20th century. No other Marxist thinker theorised about the class and caste associations of our society as EMS did. He evaluated Indian national movement from a working class perspective and played a pioneering role in developing communist perspective for parliamentary forums.
The minister for local administration, Paloli Muhammedkutty presided over the seminar. Presenting a paper on democratic perspective of development, Prabhat Patnaik, vice chairman of the State Planning Board said that Kerala could never duplicate other states in development. If we imitate other states, much of our freedom would be negated and indiscriminate encouragement of capitalist investment would be dangerous to Kerala, he said.
The Finance minister T M Thomas Issac recalled the role played by EMS Namboodiripad in the successful implementation of decentralisation of power in Kerala.
The evening session kindled nostalgic revolutionary memories of Comrade EMS when Prakash Karat laid the foundation stone for EMS Memorial Complex on the banks of river Nila in a ceremony charged with emotions in which thousands of comrades and sympathisers participated. A Vijayaraghavan, MP presided over the function and the daughters of EMS, Dr Malathi, EM Radha and son in law Dr A D Damodaran attended. Dr Sumangala, the grand daughter of EMS sang melodious revolutionary songs belonging to the resistance music genre.
On the second day, the session started with CPI(M) Polit Bureau member S Ramachandran Pillai’s paper on ‘EMS and Coalition Politics in Kerala’. He urged the activists to follow the model of EMS in waging restless and sustained struggles against bourgeois social system and reactionary ideas. He also cautioned the Party activists not to confuse between the third front and the third alternative, which the Party seeks to build. He warned the Party activists to be vigilant against the influence the existing bourgeoisie society is trying to exert on them. Instead of being influenced by the unequal society, the communists should try to change the society, he said and called upon the activists to be prepared to face any challenges.
Many other learned scholars and practicing politicians presented their views on various facets of Comrade EMS’s life and related these to the contemporary task of the communist movement. Madhavankutty, famous journalist criticised the media for targeting CPI(M) adversely. Speaking on ‘Coalition Experiments and Media,’ he accused the media of giving shape to a ‘mega media rainbow coalition’ against the CPI(M). KKN Kuruppu, historian presented a paper on coalition politics in pre independent days. T N Seema, AIDWA state president spoke on Left perspective on women’s interventions.
The last session which dealt with EMS’s relationship with the cultural front was inaugurated by M A Baby, minister for Culture and Education. The session was presided over by Prabha Varma, the poet and was enriched by the presence of luminaries from the cultural front. Veteran poet Akkitham and Dr K G Poulose, vice chancellor of Kerala Kalamandalam participated. Baby described EMS as a leader who recognised the importance of cultural activities for the movements which work for social change.
The two days of discussion on EMS’s life, politics and contributions recharged the comrades with inspiration and confidence with the light radiating from the brilliance of the ‘Genius of the epoch’.
Kolkata Observes EMS Centenary
ADDRESSING a large indoor rally to remember E M S Namboodiripad, the legendary communist leader, in his centenary year, CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat said that the party would go to the people as in the past, learn from them and battle ahead, defeating all adversities.
The function was organised at the Calcutta University Centenary Hall on July 31 evening, with Biman Basu in the chair and CPI(M) state secretariat members on the dais.
Prakash Karat said EMS was not merely a theoretician, he was also of that rare quality that allowed one to put theory into practice. He would analyse the evolving situation and draw correct lessons from them. He placed a remarkable address on the problems plaguing the Malabar kisans when he was speaking at a legislative session in Delhi in the pre-independence years. This was the address that later served to inspire the land reforms movement in the country and gave birth much later to the movement for land reforms in places like Kerala and West Bengal.
EMS’s was also a correct analysis of the nationalities question in Kerala and, apart from calling for an integrated concept of what was then called a province, EMS also spoke firmly in favour of democratic decentralisation of power, financial as well as administrative.
Prakash Karat said the CPI(M) was at present under assault from the forces of reaction, indigenous and foreign. The attacks assumed a sharp dimension during the run-up to the 15th Lok Sabha elections and has continued since in Bengal.
From the date of the announcement of election schedule, 70 comrades have been martyred here in West Bengal, said Prakash Karat. In Kerala, the attack was open and overt. In Bengal the attack is covert and in the guise of ‘Maoism.’ Prakash Karat was bitterly critical of the politics of ‘Maoism’ being practiced in some parts of the country.
Analysing the election results of the 15th Lok Sabha elections, Prakash Karat pointed out that the results were an “exception in Bengal where the LF has been in office for 32 long years.” The CPI(M) has full confidence, and it would learn from the people the correct lessons to drive forward in the days to come. The life and achievements of EMS would serve as source on inspiration in this task.