CPI-M revitalises children's front to counter RSS' ideological intrusiontext_fields
Thiruvananthapuram: With an aim to prevent the spread of right-wing Hindutva ideology in society, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has decided to start from the bottom, by expanding the activities of its children's wing, Balasangham, at the national level.
As a first step into this, the CPI-M leadership organised a three-day national workshop for children, from different states, aged between 6 to 18 years at EMS Academy in Thiruvananthapuram from September 30 to October 1. The event was also attended by workers from 19 states.
The workshop, inaugurated by the CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechuri, was also attended by Kerala Chief Minister and politburo member Pinarayi Vijayan, CPI-M state secretary M.V. Govindan and politburo member M.A. Baby.
At the last party congress of CPI-M, which was held at Kannur, had decided to take steps to form an organization in the children's front nationally.
CPM central leadership endowed the responsibility to form such a front to politburo member M.A. Baby.
According to him, the party was only facilitating the emergence of such an organization. "Balasangham is an independent organization. It has to decide how it would work. CPM would provide all the help," he said.
Though the CPI-M has dismissed its association with the Balasangham, it is said to have been longing for such a launching pad for future leaders of the party.
The decision to move forward with the idea of a national-level structure for the children's organization came after a series of discussions.
According to a central committee leader, for sometimes now the leadership was vocal about how RSS has successfully used the children's front as a tool to propagate the right-wing idea.
After a series of discussions, CPI-M leadership decided to go ahead with the launching of a platform for children.
RSS-affiliated children's organization, Balagokulam has successfully been organizing various cultural events and processions at the state and national levels.
It is reported that RSS has found a place in the minds of middle-class families. According to Balagokulam's website, it was formed to teach children the Hindu way of life and instil Hindu pride in them.
The RSS is said to have been instilling its ideology in young minds through various events on certain occasions that are being participated by masses from different communities.
"To prevent the growth of the right-wing ideology in the minds of a younger generation, we have to build a secular space where children from all communities can mingle together," said a CPI-M central committee member on condition of anonymity. 'Such a space must have the facility to understand India's history and heritage, he added.
The activities of Balasangham, which had a very strong presence in Kerala, West Bengal and Tripura, have shrunken considerably, particularly in Bengal and Tripura ever since the party lost its power.
To overcome the challenges, the workshop has decided to adopt the working of the Kerala unit as a model.
"The RSS is catching the children at a very young age and injects blind religious beliefs and hatred against other communities," said a CPM secretariat member.
Apart from preventing children from being influenced by the RSS ideology, the Balasangham also intends to instil constitutional values, cultural diversity and scientific sense in young minds, he added.
Balasangham was first formed at Kalyassery in Kannur in 1938 and E.K. Nayanar was its first president and Berlin Kunjananthan Nair was the secretary.