Ahead of the upcoming polls in West Bengal, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has joined hands with rabid Islamist forces in the State. With an eye to gain political mileage and strengthen its hold over the Muslim vote bank, it has allied with Pirzada Abbas Siddiqui and his Indian Secular Front (ISF).
In an interview with Jyoti Malhotra of The Print on Thursday (March 11), CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury was seen desperately trying to justify the party’s decision. On being asked about the rationale behind forging an alliance with Furfura Sharif Pirzada Abbas Siddiqui, Sitaram Yechury justified, “They are saying that it is an Indian secular front. Now, our target is to keep the BJP from the reigns of power. Now, what people do in their personal lives do not bother (matter) in politics.”
He then tried to deflect the conversation to the BJP by asking a counter-question to the interviewer as to why BJP gets overwhelming support of saints and Hindu pandits. “What about Yogi Adityanath,” he asked. Jyoti Malhotra replied that Yogi Adityanath in his personal capacity has the right to contest elections and hold public office. “So, why doesn’t Abbas Siddiqui have that right?”, Yechury tried to draw parallels between the two.
CPI (M) leader accepts that Abbas Siddiqui is communal
Malhotra emphasised, “This is because the speeches that he has made are openly communal. You know that.” In a bid to dodge the question, the CPI (M) leader engaged in whataboutery yet again. However, in doing so, he indirectly admitted that his ally Abbas Siddiqui is ‘communal.’ “…And UP CM doesn’t (engage in communalism)? The sauce for the goose is the sauce for the gander. Jyoti, please understand. You can’t have different yardsticks,” he said.
Sitaram Yechury engages in whataboutery to justify his ally
The interviewer further prodded, “Do you accept that Abba Siddiqui’s speeches are communal?” Yechury went into a defensive mode and justified, “What he does in his personal life is his (choice)…We believe that your religion, allegiance to any Faith is your personal belief. It has to remain at that level, which has to be protected by the State and the Constitution. Their cannot be mixing up of religion with politics or running of the State administration.”
Interestingly, the Marxist leader claimed that the President, Prime Minister, UP Governor and UP Chief Minister have been sitting for the construction of the Ram Mandir, even though individuals are free to practice their own Faith in their personal capacity. Yechury drew up the analogy to suggest that Abbas Siddiqui was free to practice his own Faith. However, the objection to the alliance between the Left and Siddiqui’s party is problematic not because of the religion of the cleric but the genocidal remarks he had made about his fellow Indians.
CPIM allied with Siddiqui to save India, claims Yechury
Jyoti Malhotra then clarified, “BJP never said that it will not mix religion and politics. At the Brigade ground rally, there was a banner that said that ‘we are the alternative, we are secular’. When you ally with someone like Abbas Siddiqui, you are certainly not secular.” In his defence, Yechury suggested that since Siddiqui was from Indian ‘Secular’ Front, therefore, he must be secular himself.
On being asked whether he was repeating the BJP model, the Marxist leader’s justification was that the Left would ally with anyone who would save India. “We are not doing this because somebody else is doing something. We are saying that we are aligning with those forces who want to save India from this completely destructive direction which will undermine the Constitution that created this independent India.”
Abbas Siddiqui and his radical Islamist views
While the opposition of Sitaram Yechury to BJP can be attributed to political compulsion, the idea behind saving India seems ironical. During the outbreak of the deadly Coronavirus in the world, a video of Abbas Siddiqui shot on February 26 last year had gone viral on social media. He was seen addressing a large gathering of followers and praying to Allah to kill 50 crore Indians with the virus.
In the video, the cleric was heard referring to anti-Hindu Delhi riots and saying, “Recently I have got the news that mosques are being set on fire, mosques are being burnt for the last two days. I think something is going to happen within a month. May Allah accept our prayers. May Allah send such a terrible virus to India that ten to twenty to fifty crore people die in India. Am I saying something wrong? It is absolutely blissful.”
Recently, Abbas Siddiqui was seen fuelling separatism in the State. “In the next election, we will free our homeland even if it requires shedding our blood for it,” he threatened. His violent rhetoric bore an uncanny resemblance with the slogan “Ladke lenge Pakistan (We will fight until we get Pakistan)” of the separatist leaders of the Muslim League in 1946. Siddiqui’s incendiary rhetoric, fear-mongering and calls for ‘divine intervention for death of Hindus have been conveniently ignored by the Left.