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"Pinarayi Vijayan, when asked about the Ram Temple shilanyas and Priyanka Gandhi’s stand, had this to say, "“I am not surprised by Priyanka Gandhi’s stand in this matter. The Congress party’s stand during Rajiv Gandhi and then Narasimha Rao’s regime are all part of history.
If Congress had a definite stand on secularism, the country would not have been facing such a situation today,”.

I am glad he is not surprised. Politicians should not be surprised at tactics and conveniences of other political leaders.
We, as voters on the other hand, have a right to b surprised, dismayed, angry or disappointed.

But then he says something I find funny-His reference to History and that if Congress had a definite stand on secularism, the country would not have been facing such a situation today.
Poor guy; time must have dulled his memory. We should help him out with that.

The year was 1977. Emergency had just been lifted n there was an impending election. A front was formed under the leadership of Jayaprakash Narayan which brought under one umbrella,
..everyone who was anti-Indira Gandhi. Who was everyone? The Socialists led by George Fernandes and Raj Narain, the Congress (O) led by Morarji Desai, the Bharatiya Lok Dal led by Charan Singh, the Jana Sangh (which later became the BJP) led by L.K. Advani n Atal Bihari Vajpayee,
Congress for Democracy led by Jagjivan Ram, Akali Dal n CPI (M).

Till then, the Sangh was considered an untouchable. It was JP, along with others, including CPI (M) which allowed Jan Sangh to gain credibility, by allowing it entry into the anti-Indira front called Janata Party.
This gave Jan Sangh and its leaders like Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L K Advani, a legitimacy which they had never enjoyed earlier.

Further, if it were just cosmetic support, it wouldn't have been worth mentioning. But it wasn't just an outside support.
CPM's Palakkad Convention for their candidate, Comrade Shivadasa Menon, was addressed by none other than L.K Advani, whose speech was translated by O Rajagopal from BJP. In this election, Pinarayi Vijayan was CPM's candidate from Koothuparamba constituency,
..hence was well in the scene, in case today he has conveniently forgotten that.All this, while Advani was an RSS guy n so was Vajpayee.

Didn't d stalwarts of d Left know what RSS stood for?Or was it politically expedient to ignore it at that time?I think d reason was the latter
And this was just after the famous 42nd Amendment to the Constitution, which saw the inclusion of 'Socialist' and 'Secular' added to our Preamble by Indira Gandhi. So definitely, Secularism was as important a topic then, as it is today.

The best part about this unholy alliance?
It was routed in Kerala,while being successful everywhere else. Mainly because while d rest of the country was reeling under Emergency n so was brewing wid bitterness against Indira Gandhi,Kerala was more or less shielded from its high-handedness(Kerala has been like that always)
CPI leader M N Govindan Nair had famously said. “A K Antony stood as the massive Vindhya range that prevented the Emergency from reaching Kerala.” So, was it because CPIM knew it stood little chance of winning, that it took the help of the Sangh leaders?
Or was the hatred towards Congress stronger than their so-called Secular ideology?

Then, in 1989, The National Front was created, led by the Janata Dal, which formed government between 1989 and 1990 under the leadership of N. T. Rama Rao as President and V. P. Singh as Convener.
They were supported from outside by the Left Front and the Bharatiya Janata Party. Voila!!

If that was in the past, more recently, arch-rivals BJP and the CPI(M) joined hands in Nadia district, West Bengal, to defeat the Trinamool Congress in the panchayat polls.
While Yechuri denied it, CPI(M) Nadia district secretary and state committee member admitted, “Yes, there have been adjustments at the grass-root level,” and that “In many seats as the villagers had wanted a one-to-one fight, we had to respect it and act accordingly.
But it is not that there have been several rounds of discussions between parties n it is a formal seat sharing adjustment.”

During d last LS elections, it is no secret that the Left voters had en-masse shifted to BJP to counter Mamta in Bengal. Yechuri admitted to it as much.
CPI(M) ideologue Prakash Karat had once very famously declared that the Narendra Modi government is ‘authoritarian’ but not ‘fascist’, and for that, Kanhaiya Kumar had challenged Karat at a speech in Kolkata. And Karat is not a Nobody in CPI(M).
He is much more important in CPI(M) than probably a twiddly Kamal Nath in INC, for whom I have no love lost.

So, let no political party or leader claim sainthood at the altar of secularism. It's a fact that India is a Hindu majority country and ..
all political leaders and parties have tried to play with secularism the way they deemed fit and according to the playground they were playing in.

The Left today has the unenviable position of being limited to one state- a state which doesn't care much about the Ram Temple..
and for which, human development index is more an election plank than religion. Many other political parties do not have the same luxury.

So, should we condone any party when it moves away from secularism? Of course Not. But let not any political leader take a high stand..
or climb up on the proverbial high horse. History won't treat most of them kindly. Like they say, "is hamam me saare nange hain."

Borrowing from a Mohanlal movie- The battle is not between the good and the evil. It's between the bad and the worse.
In pictures:

1. Advani campaigning for Left candidate Shivadasa Menon, asking people to vote for Menon

2. BJP state chief, Marar fondly pinning the convention ribbon on the Big Daddy of Communists in India, EMS Namboodiripad".

(This post is written by Celin Mary on FB.)
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