Kozhikode: The "identity politics" theory, now
being discussed widely by Leftist intelligentsia in India,
where caste, religion, ethnicity and gender play dominant role
in shaping politics, has few takers in the CPI-M leadership,
going by the draft ideological document to be presented today
at the on-going 20th party congress here.
Intense discussions are expected at the congress on the
issue as Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury presents the
draft of the new document, seeking to find an "Indian path" to
socialism in the context of anti-imperialist struggles across
The ideological line is being revised for the first time
after the 1992 Chennai party congress, held in the backdrop of
disintegration of Soviet Union and the collapse of Communist
regimes in Eastern Europe.
The party exhorts people to meet the challenges of
neo-liberal reforms, drawing correct lessons from experiences
of other countries who are working out their methods to fight
Observers say that there is a strong section in the party
that believes that the communists cannot expand its mass base
in India without taking into account the influence of caste
and religion on a broad spectrum of people, determining their
political choice, a view shared by many Leftist intellectuals.
Dismissing the theory, the CPI-M draft says when political
mobilisation is based on identities of caste, religion and
ethnicity, it negates the concept of a working class, which is
considered to be only one fragment of identity. "In general,
it depoliticises the people."