Gorbachev denounced Stalinist Communism, so did his friend in Keralatext_fields
Thiruvananthapuram: Mikhail Gorbachev is known as the man who ended the communist dictatorship in the erstwhile USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republic). Not many know that he had an unusual friend in Kerala, India's last red bastion.
Hours after international media broke the news of Gorbachev's demise, Kerala politician C.P. John shared a rare message on social media. It was sent by the former USSR leader to the then General Secretary of the Communist Marxist Party (CMP) M.V. Raghavan a decade and a half ago. On August 24, 2006, Gorbachev signed a copy of his book.
On August 24, 2006, Gorbachev sent a signed author's copy of his book titled 'The Road We Traveled The Challenges We Face' to Raghavan with a note greeting the latter. He had sent the author's copy to Raghavan through Dr. Ifthikar who was close with Raghavan.
Raghavan, once a prominent leader of the CPM (Communist Party of India (Marxist), was expelled from the primary membership of the party in 1986 after a factional feud with the state leadership. He then formed CMP and joined the front led by Congress, the arch-rivals of CPM. After Raghavan passed away, his close accomplice C.P. John was elected as the General Secretary of CMP.
The relationship between Gorbachev and the CMP dates back to 2003.
At the 8th Party Congress of the CMP held in Kollam in March 2003, Gorbachev had sent Boris Slavin as his representative, said John. "I had travelled to Russia to invite Gorbachev personally. But could not meet him due to some technical reasons. But he sent a representative", he added.
The CMP, like Gorbachev, had denounced Stalinism.
"Communist party's existence is in any way connected with Stalinism. We had denounced Stalinism," said John to Madhyamam English online. When asked why CMP had not invited the Communist Party, John said that the Russian Communists won't participate as they were allied with the CPM.
According to C.P. John, Gorbachev represents a point of departure for all Communists to take another look at the Communist movement and their own history.