The Communist Party of India (Marxist) chief Sitaram Yechury today inaugurated the EMS Smrithi in Kerala as a tribute to erstwhile communist and independent India’s first communist Chief Minister EMS Namboodiripad.
Yechury made the announcement on Twitter and used the opportunity to attack the right wing for their purported anti-constitutional project.
We must defeat the current Right Wing assault on Reason. Attacking Reason has been the corner-stone of their anti-Constitutional project. (Inaugurating the EMS Smrithi in Kerala) https://t.co/6xETjLzal1
— Sitaram Yechury (@SitaramYechury) June 13, 2019
EMS Namboodiripad was an Indian communist politician and theorist, who served as the first Chief Minister (CM) of Kerala state between 1957–59 and again between 1967–69. As a member of the Communist Party of India (CPI), he became the first non-Indian National Congress chief minister in the Indian republic. In 1964, he led a faction of the CPI that broke away to form the Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPI(M).
However, one of the lesser known fact about Namboodiripad is that he was a staunch proponent of caste hierarchy and had once famously hailed it as a “superior economic organization.” Namboodiripad found the caste system superior because it assisted organised production through systematic caste allocation. He was apathetic to the atrocities heaped on the Dalits and lower castes and thus kept a distance from the issues dealing with their emancipation.
Namboodiripad assailed B.R Ambedkar when he ramrodded Poona Pact in 1932, seeking separate electorates for the Dalits. “This was a big setback to the freedom movement. This will lead to distraction of people’s attention from the important goal of full independence to the mundane cause of the upliftment of the Harijans,” he wrote.
Namboodiripad and other senior communist leaders had little sympathy for the subjugation of the lower caste. Calling the cause of their upliftment as ‘mundane’, is reflective of the deep supremacist ideology espoused by Namboodiripad. Even in his party ranks, the lower castes and Dalits found no place.
However, Yechury, who claims to be the protector of ‘reason’ continues to whitewash Namboodiripad’s profoundly controversial worldview about lower castes and Dalits. Far from repudiating Namboodiripad’s Dalit anathema, Yechury pontificates his ideological opponents of accommodating demands made by lower castes and Dalits. In fact, fearing backlash from lower castes and Dalits, Yechury has not even dared to reveal the views expounded by Namboodiripad.
Hence, it is ironic that Yechury, whose party founder Namboodiripad was an advocate of the oppressive caste system, accuses BJP of being a fascist party with low regards to diversity, while he turns a blind eye to Namboodiripad’s flagrant caste supremacism and instead eulogizes him through EMS Smrithi.