Kolkata: Claiming the “BJP-RSS unleashed communal onslaught” was aimed at changing the secular Indian republic into a “Hindutva Rashtra”, CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury on Wednesday called upon democratic forces to collectively stand against the “biggest threat” faced by the country.
Delivering the Promode Dasgupta memorial lecture here, Yechury hailed the Supreme Court’s verdict restoring the Congress rule in Arunachal Pradesh and accused the Narendra Modi government at the centre and Mamata Banerjee regime in West Bengal of “destroying democracy”.
“The communal onslaught unleashed by the BJP and the RSS is not just confined to mere riots, strife or violence. Rather it is aimed at changing the very character of the Indian republic.
“It wants to undermine and replace the secular, democratic republican order as defined by our constitution, with the Hindutva Rashtra,” he said.
He said the communal onslaught was the “biggest threat” which India faces.
“The communal onslaught is not just about religious bigotry or whipping up communal emotions, in fact to achieve the larger objective of changing the character of the nation, this onslaught is targeting the country’s four basic pillars – secular democracy, economic self-reliance, federalism and social justice,” he said.
The Marxist leader pointed to the various issues including the unrest at the Jawaharlal Nehru University and suicide of a Dalit student in Hyderabad to elaborate on how the “communal onslaught was targeting the basis of the country” and harped on the need for the democratic forces to unite.
Later asked by mediapersons if the Congress was also part of the democratic forces which the Left wants to unite, Yechury replied in the affirmative.
“On issues, all the forces who are willing to come together in opposition of the decisions or proposals that create a communal decision, communal onslaught, we cooperate with all secular forces.
“We have done it on several issues. On the JNU issue, I and (Congress vice president) Rahul Gandhi were on the same platform. So when there are issues, we say that all secular forces must come together,” he said.
“However, it is not just party to party equation. It’s a much wider concept. We are talking of all the elements of secular forces must unite to prevent this attempt to change the secular democratic character of India by the communal forces,” he added.
Asked to comment on historian Irfan Habib writing a letter to politburo member Prakash Karat questioning his opposition to the party’s tie-up with Congress in Bengal, Yechury said: “Everybody in the party can write expressing their views, our party constitution provides that flexibility. We give very adequate attentions to all those views.”