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CPM MP stirs party pot, says change stand on religion

A P Abdullakutty, the CPM MP from Kannur in north Kerala, has said the party should review its stand on religion...

A P Abdullakutty, the CPM MP from Kannur in north Kerala, has said the party should review its stand on religion in the same way it had changed its approach towards parliamentary democracy, private investment, foreign capital and special economic zones.

In an article published in Malayalam daily Madhyamam on Sunday, Abdullakutty’s candid observations on ‘communism and religion’, are expected to generate much heat in the CPM. He had earlier invited wrath of the party leadership when he performed pre-Haj Umra in 2007. Recently, he had also taken up a spiritual journey to Vaitheeswaran Koil in Tamil Nadu, the seat of Nadi astrology.

“I have highlighted the mental agony of many communist leaders who are unable to express their religious beliefs in public,” Abdullakutty told The Indian Express.

“In our society, the number of believers is growing. Hence the party would have to change the dialectical materialism to attract more people into its fold. The CPM is still in confusion as far as its relation with religion is concerned. I have acute pain on my failure to publicly declare my faith in religion,” he said.

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In the interview-based article, Abdullakutty said, “I am an average Muslim who believes in my religion. Hence, I have high regard for other religions also. Neither the party policy nor the Marxist-Leninist ideologies say that a communist should be an atheist. As one’s social conscience stems from his social existence, a style of functioning that negates religion would not be effective.”

He said as the majority of people in the country are believers, religion plays a crucial role in society. To free people from the clutches of racial torture and class exploitation, the CPM needs to attain clarity on religious beliefs. The party should show the magnanimity to imbibe the progressive views in religions.

“Many others also share this view. But they are unwilling to say it openly. There should be creative discussion on these issues within the party,” Abdullakutty said.

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He said he had performed all religious rituals during important events in life like his marriage. “My son is being groomed as a Muslim.” The VS loyalist said he could not enter the mosque for his grandmother’s funeral because religion and communism came face to face. He stood outside the mosque with the guilt of conscience.

“Communists who believe in God have been facing severe mental distress. The negation of religion could be attributed as the reason for the CPM’s failure to grow beyond the three states Kerala, Bengal and Tripura,” said the CPM leader.

Responding to Abdullakutty’s observations, CPM state committee member M V Jayarajan said a true communist should be a believer in materialism. “At the same time, the party is not against religion and believers can always come to the party,” he said.

First published on: 29-09-2008 at 23:39 IST
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