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Secularism can not be defended if there is no strict separation of religion from politics, says Yechury

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CPI (M) Secretary-General Sitaram Yechury says forces like RSS want to lead India into the darkness of the past

Unless there is a strict separation of religion from politics and government, secularism cannot be defended, defended or put into action in a proper sense, CPI (M) Secretary-General Sitaram Yechury said on Saturday.

Mr Yechury said forces like the RSS want to take India into the darkness of the past by changing the country’s history, culture, education policy to give India a monolithic Hindu identity instead of its syncretic cultural identity.

Mr Yechury was speaking as he inaugurated the nationwide CPI (M) celebrations marking the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party in India, via video conference.

October 17 this year is a historic day for the Communist Party as it marks the hundredth anniversary of the formation of the first Communist Party of India unit in Tashkent in the then Soviet Union.

Secularism means the separation of religion from politics and the state. Every individual has the right to choose his faith and it will be the duty of the state, the law to protect that right which is inviolable and the communists will always stand up to protect it, Mr Yechury said.

He said the state or government does not have any religion and all the rights of individuals to their religion, or the belief chosen by them towards their religious practices, should be protected.

However, secularism in our constitution was interpreted as equality of all religions. The moment you say equality of all religions, it is natural that the religion to which the majority of the population agrees, has a greater advantage than the others. And this has inherent risks, which is what we are seeing today. And unless there is a strict separation of religion from politics and government, secularism cannot be defended, defended or put into action in a proper sense, the CPI secretary general (M) said

He said that the whole logic of saying my Lord is better than your Lord is the basis for municipal polarization and municipal conflicts.

Today we have forces like the RSS, whose political wing is the BJP, who want to lead India into the darkness and backwardness of the past. Lack of scientific temperament, rewriting of Indian history, change of India’s educational policy, change of India’s cultural policy in cultural institutions, all to give a monolithic Hindu India identity instead of the syncretic identity with which we all we grew up, said Yechury.

He called on the people to join in the battle to stop India from going into the darkness of its past and lead India to the splendor of the future by ending exploitation and moving towards socialism.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, in a Facebook post, said communist parties are the voice of democracy and civil rights which are being suppressed by fascist forces.

Looking back over a century of holiday history is a proud experience for anyone who remembers the dream of an equal and peaceful social system. The communist movement survived brutal attacks and oppression. It is a movement of brave martyrs who fought for their lives. An alternative political policy in favor of the people is the most important factor that makes the Communist Party important in the Indian context, Mr Vijayan said.

The CPI (M) in Kerala organized flaghoists at each branch level that adhere to the COVID-19 protocol.

The CPI (M) in a statement said that the congruent development of neo-liberalism and Hindutva forces posed a serious challenge to the Communist movement and all Left and Democratic forces.

Neoliberal capitalism has brought about many changes in the structure and composition of the classes, some of which have had a negative effect on the development of the working class and peasant movements. Unbridled privatization in all areas has had its impact on the middle classes, the CPI (M) said.

She said there was a change with the Modi government taking power in 2014 and for the first time, a party based on the Hindutva ideology and controlled by the fascist RSS has exercised State power for the past six years.

The catastrophic consequences for secularism, democracy and the well-being of working people have been unfolding. A political force which had no role in the struggle for freedom nor by sharing its secular anti-imperialist ethic is now engaged in overthrowing the Constitution and establishing authoritarian rule all in the name of a nationalism that is regressive and reactionary, said the Left party.

He said the challenge is to counter this pseudo-nationalism with an anti-imperialist, secular and all-encompassing nationalism and claimed that the communists are best equipped to do so because they carry forward the legacy of the anti-imperialist struggle for independence.

He also said that building the unity of all communist and leftist forces is essential at the moment to bring together other democratic and secular forces.

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