The Communist Party of India (Marxist) has had a leadership change on Sunday with Sitaram Yechury taking over as the fifth general secretary replacing Prakash Karat who served three times as the party head.
Yechury getting elected as the new party head was not unexpected and was the unanimous choice of the party’s 91-member central committee. He said that it was a “big responsibility” adding that he would try to “correct the weaknesses” that had crept into the party. Yechury has several advantages over S. Ramachandran Pillai, his political opponent including the advantage of age. The party would be banking on him to attract the youth and expand its base. Yechury has a good rapport with his fellow party men as well as Sonia Gandhi which would result in greater coordination with the Congress and the Left against the BJP both at the Centre and the state level. His good connections at the national level and an established stature have worked in his favour. The party realized that the reigns would be safe in the hands of Yechury. It sees in him ideological sternness and proficiency for the pragmatic politics.
The CPI(M) is at present going through its toughest political crisis. The ideological uncertainties and the slips in practical approaches have debilitated it. So far the party has been unsuccessful in nurturing the communist ideologies. It has failed in comprehending India’s ground realities and the Indian version of secularism. The electoral politics on one side and the corporate temptations on the other may also have weakened the party due to which it had taken an anti-public stand when required. Singhoor and Nandigram incidents are instances. The interim policies aimed at the looming elections have always adversely affected the party. Beyond party interests, personal rivalries and infightings have also weakened the CPI(M). No steps have been taken so far to rectify it. Now the party apparently is ready to rectify their mistakes and move ahead.
Yechury represents the pragmatic face of CPI(M) and has vowed to strengthen Left unity and fight the communal agenda “unleashed by the Modi government”. The Polit bureau, unlike before, manifests more representative traits. Reports of giving youths, women and the minorities more representation are sign of a positive change. Not only the Left parties, mass movements, Leftist groups and intellectuals, but also the outfits that work for the Adivasi-Dalit-women-minority issues would also be included as per the new political policy. Yechuri, in an interview recently, has pointed out the party’s’ recent debacle. The presence as well as the representation of the party in the Parliament and the Assembly and the power to intervene in public fronts have deteriorated.
The party moved ahead succumbing to the corporate interests and upheld the agenda of secularism meaning the absence of religion. Advancement of communal terrorism, the increased role of the corpoartes in the governance and the rise of global imperialism pose a threat to the people. Common man desires peace and wants to be free of communal exploitation. The people coming to power never fulfill their promise of standing for the people and CPI(M) has been no different. The reasons for failure have to be comprehended and the mistakes rectified. This would eventually ensure a strong comeback for the party.