CPM Politburo member Pinarayi Vijayan has defended party activists who abused noted Malayalam writer Paul Zacharia for speaking out against the partys conservative approach towards man-woman relationship,in light of the recent arrest of Congress leader Rajmohan Unnithan for immoral activities.
It were CPM activists who had cordoned off the house where Unnithan was caught with a woman and informed the police last month,leading to his arrest.
Speaking at a book release function at Payyannur,a Marxist stronghold in Kannur,last week,Zacharia said the CPM,like the Church,was trying to foist conservative attitudes towards sex. The first-generation Communist leaders had lavishly indulged in sex,he said,taking advantage of their underground lives,but the present-day comrades had lost that generous attitude.
Referring to the Unnithan incident,Zacharia said men may have to stop travelling with women. Situation has come that one would be attacked even while travelling with own wife, he said.
Irked over the observations of the writer,known for attacking mainly Christian orthodoxy,Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) activists had abused him soon after the speech,threatened him and even tried to manhandle him.
While the attack invited widespread criticism from state writers and intellectuals,including Left sympathisers,in the state,CPM secretary Vijayan called it a natural outburst of comrades.
Addressing a DYFI meeting in Thiruvanananthapuram on Monday,he said Zacharia should have taken into account the mood of the audience. What would happen if a speaker tried to cast aspersions on Christ at a meeting attended by Christians only? When Zacharia mentioned about early leaders,the comrades at Payyannur had in their mind the late leaders P Krishnapillai,A K Gopalan and EMS Namboodiripad. He should not have denigrated such leaders, Vijayan said.
Critic Balachandran Vadakkedathu called the attack cultural Fascism by the CPM. This is an attempt to suppress thought… The DYFI,which is known as a revolutionary outfit,succumbed to the general sentiments of a mob, he said. Feminist writer Sara Joseph regretted that the DYFI resorted to muscle power.