‘We want to free India from the clutches of global finance’

AM Jigeesh New Delhi | Updated on January 23, 2018

Sitaram Yechury

New CPI(M) chief Sitaram Yechury says the party will fight Modi govt’s economic policies, communalism

Sitaram Yechury, elected General Secretary of the CPI(M), in Visakhapatnam on Sunday, takes over at a time when the Left faces a serious crisis. Yechury, 62, has helped the party find ideological direction twice — at the 1992 Chennai congress and the 2012 Kozhikode congress — by presenting two crucial ideological documents.

Most of the points in his note on the Political-Tactical Line were accepted by the party’s Central Committee last October. Yechury spoke to BusinessLine over the phone from Visakhapatnam on the challenges that lie ahead.

You bear a huge responsibility… What is your immediate task?

Yes, this is a huge responsibility. Our major challenge is to strengthen the CPI(M) and the Left. The country is facing troubles in the form of the economic policies of the Centre and the communalism unleashed by the Sangh Parivar. The Modi government has proved that right wing economics and communal politics are two sides of the same coin. CPI(M)’s first effort is to go to the people against these policies. We will strengthen protests against the Centre, particularly on issues such as changes to the Land Acquisition Act.

The Congress has hit the streets against the Land Bill. Your party also opposes it. How do you view the issue?

There is a fundamental difference in how we see the issue. The CPI(M) considers that an important task of the democratic revolution in India is to eliminate the vestiges of feudalism and landlordism in agriculture. The other important task is to liberate India from the stranglehold of international finance capital.

These tasks remain incomplete because the ruling classes align with landlordism and collaborate with international finance capital. Hence, the task of completing the democratic revolution has as its target: anti-feudalism and landlordism; anti-imperialism and anti-monopoly capital. The CPI(M) considers the agrarian revolution the axis of the democratic revolution. To achieve this, ‘land to the tiller’ remains the basic slogan.

There have been reports of differences within the party on your appointment…

We are united in facing the challenges before us. We understand the gravity of these challenges. The Left has hit an all-time low in terms of representation in Parliament and the Assemblies. We discussed our strengths and weaknesses. The CPI(M)’s connect with the masses will have to be stronger.

Published on April 19, 2015

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