There seems to be no end to the recurring debate between CPI(M) and CPI over the 1964 split in the Indian communist movement with the two sides offering differing perceptions on the vital question whether the schism has helped the Left to grow in the country or not.
The current context for the sparring is CPI(M)’s plan to observe the golden jubilee of the formation of the party by a group of Communist stalwarts walking out of the national council in 1964. While acknowledging the CPI(M)’s right to celebrate the occasion, CPI has expressed reservation about overlooking the 75th anniversary of the party formation in Kerala and held that the split had proved to be a big setback to the onward march of the Left movement in the country.
This view was put across by CPI Kerala secretary Panniyan Raveendran in an open letter to the party’s branch secretaries carried by his party’s ideological organ Navayugom recently. Hitting back at CPI’s position, CPI-M’s state secretariat member V V Dakshinamurthy, in an article in the party mouthpiece Deshabhimani the other day, held that the split had in fact helped emergence of a working class revolutionary party by dissociating from the wrong line and authoritarian approach of the then chairman of the undivided party late S A Dange.
The unfortunate circumstances leading to the party split was not an overnight development. This was the result of a decade long inner-party debate, Dakshinamurthy, also editor of ‘Deshabhimani’, said. Significantly, the write-up has been endorsed by CPI(M) state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan as its official position on the issue.
When his reaction was sought on the issue, Raveendran told reporters today that he stuck to the stand that the split was a tragedy. We are not questioning the CPI-M’s plans to celebrate the party formation in 1964. But we adhere to the view that the split was a tragedy which proved to be disastrous to the Left movement in the country, he said.
Interestingly, sections in the CPI had recently expressed the view that it was time that the two parties thought about re-unification, though the party’s national leadership has steered clear of committing themselves to that stand. The CPI(M), however, practically rejected the suggestion, holding that the need of the hour is to strengthen the Left unity rather than re-unification or merger.
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