Two days after the tyrannical Soviet leader’s terror mass grave was unearthed in Ukraine’s southern city of Odessa, Congress has urged the Communist party to remove the portrait of former Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, infamous for his brutality, from their offices in Kerala.
Senior Congress MLA VD Satheesan has said that CPI(M) leaders in Kerala should remove the portraits of Joseph Stalin from their party offices and other places. In a scathing attack on the CPI(M), the Leader of the Opposition in the state Assembly claimed that the Communist Party’s history is one of dictatorship and genocide. He added that the news of the discovery of bones from two dozen graves close to Odessa’s airport had caught the modern society, which is cognizant of human rights and democracy, by surprise.
He went on to say that if Communist organisations in Kerala begin to realize democratic values, they should at the very least be willing to take down Stalin’s portraits and stop paying him homage.
Satheesan said in a Facebook post that Pol Pot, the former Communist ruler of Cambodia, was the person who killed the most people in the world, followed by Stalin and Adolf Hitler. Launching a scathing attack on the communist party, the Congress leader added that by displaying his portraits in their offices, the Kerala Communist Party leaders continue to idolise Stalin, who is accused of massacring 15 lakh people.
“If the Communist party leadership in the state can recognise the value of democracy, they should be prepared to remove the images of a dictator like Stalin from their offices,” PTI quoted Satheesan as saying.
He also hoped that it will inspire the next generation of party supporters to follow in their footsteps and tread the path of democracy without double standards.
Mass grave of Joseph Stalin’s terror discovered in Ukraine
On August 26, media sources claimed that the bones of 5,000 to 8,000 people had been discovered in over two dozen sites near Odessa’s airport, making it one of Ukraine’s largest mass graves to date.
Sergiy Gutsalyuk, the head of the National Memory Institute’s regional division, believes they were killed by Stalin’s infamous NKVD secret police force in the 1930s.
Gutsalyuk told the media that the number of victims may increase as the excavations continue.
As per various Russian accounts, a whopping 20 million people are said to have perished under Joseph Stalin’s regime, after being at the receiving end of labour camps, forced collectivisation, famine and executions.
Besides these measures, Stalin had also initially colluded with the Nazis during the latter’s Polish invasion in 1939 and at the end of the war, the Communist soldiers under Stalin have been alleged to have raped at least 2 million German women.
In a century, communist states have killed approximately 100 million people, according to Ilya Somin’s articles. Joseph Stalin’s attempts to collectivise agriculture and production in Russia resulted in the deaths of 6 to 10 million people. Stalin imposed collective agriculture, prohibiting people from cultivating on their own, and imprisoning dissenters in Siberian labour camps. In Russia and Ukraine, millions went hungry, and hundreds of thousands died in prison camps. When Ukrainian production fell short of Stalin’s quota, he punished them even more by taking away everything they had. In Ukraine, Stalin’s forced famine is termed ‘Holodomor’ by joining the words for hunger (holod) and mor (extermination or mass-murder).
Stalin’s atrocities were not restricted to the Soviet famine; he also carried out the ‘Great Purge,’ in which everyone he disapproved of was imprisoned, tortured, or executed. No one was spared, even wealthy peasants, politicians, military men, and ethnic minorities. The Purge alone is thought to have killed over 1.2 million people.
It’s worth noting that the communist party’s affinity for the dictator has often been criticised in the past as well. In fact, in 2012 the then Defence Minister and senior Congress leader A K Antony had criticised the communist party in Kerala saying: “Stalin’s ideals have been discarded world over. But here a section in the party still practises them and this is what leads to political murders.”
“Unfortunately Stalin is still a role model for a section in the CPI(M) in Kerala. They follow him (the Soviet dictator) as their model in the organisational functioning”, the veteran Congress leader has then expressed his displeasure.