CPM rags to riches story; Exposing the bourgeoise face behind the proletariat facade
By S. Chandrasekhar
Right from local offices to multi-crore headquarters to TV channel, to newspaper, to hospitals, to banks, to resorts and to a water theme park, the CPM is no longer a working class party. It is equivalent to any other corporate body which has interests in various areas and products.
The commies may proclaim themselves a working class party and their existance as a protection for the deprived and the have-nots, but six decades of communism have made the Kerala unit of the party the richest, with assets estimated at a whooping Rs 4,000 crore, something beyond the comprehension of any corporate body existing in a highly consumerised society like Kerala. It is ironical that in this mad rush for asset accumulation, the CPM has totally deviated from its ideology and is functioning as a cut-throat commercial establishment, thereby becoming a burden on the working class, whom it professes to protect.
In the forties, fifties and sixties, the aim of the communists was to expand their base. Right from the seventies their eyes reverted to property accumulation. Kerala has one per cent of the land area of India and almost three per cent of the national population. With the Gulf boom in which lakhs of Keralites went to make money, land prices started spiralling thereby pushing many to invest in real estates. The CPM made good use of this opportunity. It is now estimated that the CPM and its feeder organisations are the single largest owners of land, buildings, properties and estates in the State.
All the offices of the CPM and its affiliates like CITU, SFI, DYFI, women organisations, head load workers, government employees, teachers, college and professional institutions teachers from the Taluk level to the State level are in prime areas on premises owned by them, throughout the length and breadth of Kerala. The crowning glory is the multi-crore CPM state headquarters, AKG Centre with a 1,500-seat centrally airconditio-ned auditorium in the heart of the capital city of Thiruvanan-thapuram. Exactly opposite to it, is the multi-storied flat for luxuriously housing its state leaders. A 60-acre complex and a huge constructed township for purposes of training CPM cadres called the EMS Academy is another humble abode for the working class outfit at the capital city.
The multi-crore CPM television channel Kairali in Malayalam launched five years ago is another major investment apart from the Malayalam newspaper Deshabhimani which has editions in all the districts of Kerala. The channel and all the newspaper offices are in premises owned by the CPM with state-of-the-art technologies.
Hospitals and banks in the co-operative sector are another major area in which the CPM has a strong stranglehold. Co-operative banks from the primary level to the state level are mostly under the control of the CPM. Taking into account the wide scope in the healthcare sector, the CPM has started creating huge hospital complexes named after departed comrades in many districts of Kerala.
Kerala, with its divine natural beauty is a travellers heaven. Taking advantage of this the CPM is through its ?Agricultural wing? taking possession of acres of land in tourist spots like ?Wagamon? near Kottayam and ?Athirapalli? in Trichur, to convert it into money spinning tourist resorts. It is ironical that the CPM which is spearheading a movement against ?Coca-Cola? in Plachimada for misuse of ground water is constructing a multi-crore water theme park in Kannur district in which lakhs of litres of drinking water will be wasted. The opposition to the project from its own cadres have been bulldozed.
Party assets only in Kerala estimated at Rs. 4,000 crore. CPM emerges the richest business group in the State. Read the bigger picture of West Bengal in the follow up.
Although the source of funds of any political organisation is contribution from the public, the funding system of the CPM is so corporatised, streamlined and institutionalised that it is never short of funds be it in power or not.
The various service organisations through their monthly contributions ensure regular flow to the affiliate organisations. Periodically, funds are collected by them in the respective areas for buildings construction.
Head load workers, a menacing feature of Kerala and the muscle of the CITU/CPM, provide the physical power, to implement its writ on the population of the State. It is a joke in Kerala that even a pregnant lady or a man with elephant legs has to pay money to the head load workers for carrying their weight.
Traders and commercial establishments are threatened into paying money to the CPM coffers. Circulation for its Malayalam daily is also through bullying of traders, shopkeepers and residents. In addition ?Bucket Collections? another intimidative feature of the CPM, for any reason under the sun brings crores of rupees to the party periodically.
With the CPM leverage at the Centre, oil major PSUs, BSNL, other PSUs, are being pressurised to pump crores of rupees into the CPM channel ?Kairali? as advertisement revenue. The Managing Director of ?Kairali? regularly accompanies the Prime Minister on his tour abroad. When the CPM was in power in Kerala, officials close to it, including those from central cadre officers were sent abroad for purchasing costly electronic equipments for the ?channel? and to bring it through the ?Green Channel? at airports.
Kerala, despite its 3% national population is the largest consumer of liquor in India. Due to prohibition imposed by the Antony led UDF regime, the illicit liquor lobby has a total sway. The CPM links with this lobby bring crores of rupees into its coffers which mainly account for the enormous asset accumulation which the party has achieved in the past one decade. A state-level leader and former MLA Surendran is under investigation for having links with the hooch baron Manichan whose killer brew eliminated scores during the Left rule. Diaries of Manichan reveal that he has been paying sevd scores during the Left rule. Diaries of Manid scores during the Left rule. Diaries of Manichan reveal that he has been paying d scores during the Left rule. Diaries of Manichan reveal that he has been paying sevManichan reveal that he has been paying sevd scores during the Left rule. Diaries of Mand scores during the Left rule. Diaries of Manichan revead scores during the Left rud scores during the Left rule. Diaries of Manichan reveal that he has been paying sevManichan reveal that he has been paying seve power sector. In the name of establishing new power projects and renovating existing projects crores passed hands. The recent controversy in which CPM State Secretary and former power minister Pinarayi Vijayan is involved, is a glaring example. Rs 375 core given to a Canadian firm SNC-Lavalin for renovation of projects has gone down the drain, with no benefit to the State. But certainly the party would have benefitted out of the deal. Ironically the CPM which is shouting from the roof top for protection of PSU major BHEL, by-passed BHEL and gave the order to SNC-Lavalin, despite it offering a lower rate. Obviously, because BHEL cannot offer under-the-table finances to the CPM.
The CPM presence in the social, cultural, literary and scientific fields is represented by leaders like MA Baby and organisations like KSSP (Kerala Sastra Sahitya Parishad). This ensures strong CPM presence in the film industry (another money spinning enterprise) and a social scientific facade to its working-class ideology.
It is ironical that the CPM which is spearheading a movement against ?Coca-Cola? in Plachimada for misuse of ground water is constructing a multi-crore water theme park in Kannur district in which lakhs of litres of drinking water will be wasted.
The CPM and its leaders have become the greatest hypocrites, the State has ever seen. While leaders like Atchuda-nandan openly take part in agitations destroying cash crops like coconut and rubber to highlight the importance of declining paddy cultivation (due to exhorbitant wages demanded by CPM cadres), many CPM offices and houses of its leaders are built in paddy reclaimed lands. Similarly, the party had in the sixties expelled members for giving gold as dowry during marriage of their children, but recently when the son of late chief minister E.K. Nayanar got married, the bride was decked in gold from head to toe. In fact, she was fully covered in gold. Similarly, Nayanar'sashes were immersed in the holy rivers of Kerala and in Kanyakumari.
Comrades as faithful Hindus
The CPM and the SFI had been in the forefront of the agitation against self-financing professional colleges thereby forcing Malayali students to go to other states for professional education. But during the earlier LDF tenure maximum number of schools and colleges were doled out to Christian/Muslim managements, for a price naturally.
Although ideologically bankrupt, the CPM through its institutionalised system, has become the most corrupt and hypocritical outfit. The CPM is the biggest threat to Kerala'seconomic progress, social development and cultural unity.