[Marxism] Secular Chauvinism (was How to answer these questions?)

Sayan Bhattacharyya ok.president+marxmail at gmail.com
Tue Aug 1 07:47:26 MDT 2006

On 8/1/06, Yoshie Furuhashi <critical.montages at gmail.com> wrote:

> And here's
> what Michael Yates says, "When workers say that, when they have
> problems, they look for a church, labor better listen. " ("Do Unions Still Matter?"
> <http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/yates041105.html>).

"One reporter who traveled to rural Bengal last month found that even
as the small farmers and landless tenants had much to complain about
(bad roads, poor electrification, mediocre health care), they would
vote for the Left. Hidai Sheikh, a fifty-year-old farmer said, "the
CPM [Communist Party of India -- Marxist] is the only viable
alternative we have. After all, in times of need, they are always
there beside us." In Murshidabad's Fakirpara village, Gulehara Begum
and her daughter-in-law Ainur said, "The CPM is like our relative."
The reporter, Suhrid Sankar Chattopadhyay, writing for Chennai's
_Frontline_, concluded that the CPM "has managed to integrate itself
completely into the lives of the rural people."

"Results from Kerala show that the CPM's principled position against
the US war on terror and its attempts to isolate Iran as well as the
battle against Hindu fundamentalism has paid off. The Malappuram
district was once the unshakeable home of the Muslim League (a
coalition partner of the Congress). The Muslim League's P. K.
Kunhalikkutty tried to rally the Muslim vote under the green flag,
arguing that the Marxists now think "that they can borrow people from
amongst us and destroy our unity." The Left won five of the twelve
seats in the Muslim League stronghold, a sure sign that it is now seen
as a consistent defender of secular and anti-imperialist values."

        -- Vijay Prashad, "The Indian Road", in _CounterPunch_,

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