From India News Network(INN)
New Delhi, June 25: Prakash Karat, general secretary of Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:
The remarks made by M K Pandhe, member, Polit Bureau of CPI(M), on the nuclear deal issue on June 23, 2008 are not the views of the Party.
Mis-speaking and malicious interpretation
News channels and papers had gone gaga over a comment by CITU general secretary MK Pandhe over the Muslim vote of the Samajwadi Party. Pandhe had mentioned that the Samajwadi Party should realise that they have a good Muslim support base and that they should introspect whether going along with the Congress is a correct decision or not. This statement was made in the context of rumours about the Congress trying to get the SP's support on the nuclear deal.
Today, CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat released a statement mentioning that MK Pandhe's comments did not represent the views of the party. MK Pandhe had himself clarified his remarks saying that he believed that the Samajwadi Party were a secular outfit and had made those comments in the context of the SP coming closer to the Congress.
It is ridiculous to argue that the CPI(M)'s opposition to the nuclear deal bases itself on the "perceptions of the Muslim community about the nuclear deal". Saying so would be tantamount to the CPI(M) accepting the "Clash of civilisations" thesis put forth by prominent American academia and which has been accepted as a policy framework by the neocon dominated American foreign policy juggernaut in both the State Department as well as the White House. But the CPI(M) has consistently opposed the thesis, and has pointed out the real contradiction between the imperialist forces and the oppressed forces of the world. The party has consistently argued that the division of the world into "civilisations" as pronounced by the imperialists is a way to mask the aforementioned real contradiction that derives itself from monopoly capitalism.
Theoretical understanding apart, the CPI(M) is one party which has been at the brunt of communal attack from all kinds of communalists in the country, particularly in the areas where the left forces are strong. It is to everybody's knowledge that the primary opposition to the Left in places like Kerala include the communal forces represented by the IUML. The rabid anti-communist stances adopted by the communal elements among the UDF at various times and even recently as exemplified by the recent text book issue should put all doubts about the CPI(M)'s secular credentials to rest. Left forces led by the CPI(M) have also taken active roles in opposing communalism of the form represented by the Hindu right as well as from other obscurantist elements of various minority religions.
On the nuclear deal itself, the basis points for the CPI(M)'s opposition derive themselves from positions on the country's independent foreign policy which is at threat due to the extraneous as well as internal features of the nuclear deal. The US has made no bones about its aims in constricting India's options on energy sourcing from countries in west Asia (particularly in Iran) and also about tucking India into a strategic partnership that tries to contain China, thereby destabilising the region for the Americans' benefit to keeping the vision of "American century" intact. Statements from American policymakers who were at the forefront of constructing the nuclear deal like Ashley Tellis (who is also a John McCain foreign policy adviser), about containing China through strategic partnership with India make this stand very clear. The US Ambassador David Mulford hinted at consequences if India proceeds with an energy partnership with Iran by stating, "What we've done is to indicate to members of the government that we have legislation on our books, which is well-known, which is directed towards discouraging development of natural resources in Iran." It is pretty much clear that opposition to the nuclear deal from the CPI(M) has been due to the wider implications of "subordinating Indian foreign policy" to American strategic aims.
Why indeed is a shrill noise being made about "communalising foreign policy" as the pro-American news media such as the Indian Express and the CNN-IBN even as the party has made it clear why it opposes the nuclear deal on various counts? The answer to this question is the same that is to be given when one asks as to why is the left in India constantly branded as "chinese agents" and subject to other insinuations of "cross-border patriotism". These insinuations and allegations flow from the same old copybook drafted and pioneered by none other than Joseph McCarthy, the rabid anti-left witch-hunt specialist of yesteryear in the United States. The tactics manual of McCarthyism has among its main ingredients, subversion and rumour-mongering. Thus, we have a former RAW official B.Raman making calumnies about the CPI(M)'s leaders, a former ambassador G.Parthasarathy and FICCI chairman Amit Mitra bringing in the "China card" to force their criticism on the left. There is however no discussion on the core issues that militate against the deal:"What about the Hyde Act?"/ "the cost of imported nuclear power"/" what becomes of the indigenous three stage process" and others.
The manufacturing of abuse against the Left is only bound to increase its rate of production as the days go by. The fact that the nuclear deal is seen to be negative for the country by the majority of parliament seems to be hidden to the all seeing eyes of the Indian mainstream media, particularly those who have decided to act as the custodians of American interests (who see a correlation with their aims with that of vast sections of the Indian monopoly bourgeoisie today). Added to this fact is the reality that most of such media is already controlled by the very same corporates through holdings (which include foreign holding) and investments.