Health and Fitness

Identity vs class: Tamil Nadu CPI(M)’s temple fest bid marks ideological shift, sparks debate


The Tamil Nadu CPI(M)’s resolution to take lively half in temple festivals within the state to counter the Sangh Parivar, has created a stir in political circles. This was declared final Wednesday by CPI(M) state secretary Ok Balakrishnan whereas addressing a press convention forward of the social gathering state convention to be held in Madurai subsequent week. The transfer raised many eyebrows within the Left circles because it was broadly perceived as a serious shift from the CPI(M)’s core ideology, which can set off battle and confusion among the many social gathering’s card-holding members, who preserve their political life insulated from points associated to faith and its symbols.

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A frontrunner hailing from the Cauvery Delta’s agrarian belt, Balakrishnan mentioned the transfer was geared toward constructing a “solid resistance” to the Sangh Parivar’s dominance in temples. Regardless that it’s required to be endorsed formally by the state CPI(M)’s upcoming twenty third social gathering convention, he mentioned the choice is about taking on cultural elements of temple festivals which contain lots.

The Communist events in India, together with the CPI(M), have at all times fought shy of identification politics and targeted on class politics, at the same time as widespread individuals throughout the nation proceed to have numerous deeply-held identities together with non secular religion.

The Tamil Nadu CPI(M)’s transfer is clearly geared toward increasing the social gathering base whereas in search of to play a extra important function in electoral politics, at the same time as nearly all Dravidian events, together with the DMK, have now been refraining from projecting their rationalist politics. Within the 2021 Tamil Nadu Meeting polls, the CPI(M) has contested as a part of the DMK-Congress alliance and received two seats.

In his speeches throughout his Meeting marketing campaign, DMK president M Ok Stalin, the Chief Minister, used to additionally record his social gathering’s work over the many years for cover of the Hindu temples. The Dravidian and Left events had then appeared shaken up by a BJP’s outreach to believers by way of a marketing campaign centred round Lord Murugan, the preferred Hindu god in Tamil households.

“The move by the CPI(M)’s Tamil Nadu unit is a highly opportunistic and hypocritical move. They should have started engaging with the faithful at least 50 years back. You should have had that dialectical approach to engage with religion and spirituality,” mentioned Ramu Manivannan, the previous head of political sciences on the College of Madras. “They denied caste and all identities to promote the class politics, and failed farmers and the oppressed. They didn’t think of religion when they were an ally of the UPA government (at the Centre). Now they are entering the faith regime for the vote bank politics, after seeing BJP effectively using religion,” he charged.

It’s one other matter that the CPI(M) in Kerala, which is at present the ruling social gathering in that state, has had made comparable strikes through the years. It has fashioned its connections with a number of distinguished temple committees moreover taking part within the celebration of the Hindu festivals with an goal to curb the affect of the BJP and the RSS there.

A distinguished author, poet and ex-Naxalite, Civic Chandran, who had been related to the Left armed teams in South India within the Seventies and 80s, welcomed the Tamil Communists’ bid to acknowledge the existence of religion in individuals’s lives. “But it should not be that typical utilitarian tactic of the Communists to hijack something, but an effort to gain a language to engage with the faithful. Communists should internalise the values of the faithful if they want to keep them away from communalists. The Communists should realise that they can become spiritual without being religious or without going to temples,” he mentioned.

The “problem of Communist movements,” Chandran charged, was that “they denied everything except class”. “They denied all identities. If you are a lone urban Naxal, you can believe in a single-dimensional class war. But when you are a mass movement, you have to engage with families, talk to the most ordinary people, who are all faithful…Let them (Communists) realise that spiritualisation of politics is also possible,” he mentioned.

On whether or not the Communists and rationalists might be concurrently materialist and spiritualist, the distinguished Tamil author Cho Dharman mentioned, “It looks like they can.” He claimed the Communists by no means knew the distinction between blind beliefs and the native tradition. “Even the British knew that, they never touched the faith. But Periyar and Communists denied faith, they ridiculed gods. What have they gained? I am happy if they have realised now the nuances of faith, that the mere stone being worshipped was not a blind belief but an icon of memories and our own history,” he mentioned.





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