[Marxism] De-Stalinise Marxism: Patnaik

sudhir devadas sudhir_devadas at yahoo.co.in
Tue Jun 19 12:23:47 MDT 2012


De-Stalinise Marxism: Patnaik
SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-kerala/article3541359.ece
 
Economist and the former Vice-Chairman of the State Planning
Board Prabhat Patnaik has said that “the developments in Kerala over the last
several days have been a source of great pain and anguish” for him and called
for interventions against the twin threats of “hegemonised bourgeois
liberalism” and “feudal Stalinism” preying the Communist Party of India-Marxist
(CPI-M) in Kerala and elsewhere.
 
Prof. Patnaik has, in an e-mail response to criticism about his
participation in a seminar to be organised by the Chintha Ravindran Foundation
to commemorate the late film-maker and writer ‘Chintha' Ravindran, given his
association with the CPI(M), which is facing serious allegations following the
murder of Revolutionary Marxist Party (RMP) leader T.P. Chandrasekharan, said
what the developments in Kerala posed for him were not just moral but also
existential. Prof. Patnaik, who was replying to the criticism from K.T. Ram
Mohan, associate professor at the School of Social Sciences, Mahatma Gandhi
University, that Prof. Patnaik's participation in the programme scheduled to be
held in Kozhikode in the first week of July would amount to legitimising the
“murderous party,” said that he was looking forward to the seminar as an
occasion “to critique the feudal-Stalinist trend that one encounters in Kerala,
and also elsewhere.”
 
“I have been with the party for 37 years, having joined it at
the start of the Emergency. My father had been a freedom-fighter and an early
Communist (he was a founder of the Communist Party in Orissa in 1936). Having
seen in my childhood the enormous sacrifices the Communists made, and the
dedication to the cause of the working people that they had, it had always been
my ambition to join the party which was finally realised in 1975. For this very
reason, however, the developments in Kerala over the last several days have
been a source of great pain and anguish for me. The problems they pose for me
are not just moral but also existential.”
 
“I see Communism in India today as being threatened in two ways:
either being hegemonised by bourgeois liberalism, or as falling prey to a
feudal-Stalinism. What is common to both these trends is an implicit lack of
conviction about socialism, an implicit subscription to the neo-liberal
‘development' agenda, and an implicit denial of scope for people's empowerment.
Succumbing to either or both these threats would be disastrous and totally
against the interests of the people. If socialism is to be brought back on the
agenda, then an alternative de-Stalinised Marxism has to be practiced. I saw
the seminar as such an occasion because I knew that it would be attended by
intellectuals seriously interested in Marxism. I do not often get an
opportunity to interact with such a group.”
A reflection of
trends
When contacted for his permission for reproduction of his mail
message in print, Prof. Patnaik, a member of the CPI(M) since 1975, told The
Hindu from New Delhi that “anybody who is serious about the future of
the party and the country would want to see the democratic traditions of the
party strengthened.”
His observations should be seen in the general context of
Kerala.
 
“Kerala is a feudal society, fundamentally. The trends in the
party are not exclusive to it, but a reflection of the trends in Kerala
society,” Prof. Patnaik said.
 
----------------------------------------------------------------
 
‘Developments in Kerala have caused anguish, pain’
Express news service Posted online: Mon Jun 18 2012, 01:48 hrs                                                           
http://www.indianexpress.com/news/developments-in-kerala-have-caused-anguish-pain/963281/
 
Thiruvananthapuram : Joining the political debate stemming from the murder of
rebel CPM leader T P Chandrasekharan, Marxist economist Prabhat Patnaik said a
“de-Stalinised Marxism” has to be practiced if Socialism was to be brought back
on the agenda of Indian Communism.
 
In an e-mail send to organisers of a
seminar slated for next month in Kozhikode, in which he was invited to speak,
Patnaik said the developments in Kerala over the past several days have been a
source of great pain and anguish for him.
 
“The problems they posed for me are not
just moral but also existential,’’ he said, observing that the seminar held in
memorial to film director Chintha Ravi would be an occasion to critique the
feudal-Stalinist trend that one encounters in Kerala and also elsewhere.
 
He said the Communism in India was
being threatened in two ways — either being hegemonised by bourgeois liberalism
or as falling prey to a feudal-Stalinism. In both trends, he said, there was an
implicit lack of conviction about Socialism, an implicit subscription to the
neo-liberal development agenda, and an implicit denial of scope for people’s
empowerment.
Succumbing to either or both these
threats would be disastrous and totally against the interests of the people. “If
Socialism is to be brought back on the agenda, then an alternative
de-Stalinised Marxism has to be practised.”
 
Referring to his stint as the
vice-chairman of the Kerala Planning Board during the last CPM regime, Patnaik
said that position was not out of any party mandate, but at the personal
request of V S Achuthananandan. Although many in the party had advised him
against taking up the assignment, Patnaik said he never regretted the decision.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Patnaik
stresses need for de-Stalinised Marxism
By Express News Service - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM 18th June 2012 12:54 PM                  
http://newindianexpress.com/states/kerala/article544934.ece
 

Prabhat Patnaik, Marxist economist and former vice-chairman of
the Planning Board, has called for “the practise of a de-Stalinised Marxism, if
socialism is to be brought back on the agenda.’’
 
He also revealed that he accepted the post of the vice-chairman
of the  Planning Board under the last LDF Government at the personal
request of V S Achuthanandan and not out of any party mandate.
 
“Most of my friends, including in the party, advised me against
it, but I took it up nonetheless, and have never regretted that decision,’’ he
said. In an email sent to the fellow comrades, he said,  “Communism in India today is being threatened
in two ways, either being hegemonised by bourgeois liberalism, or as falling
prey to  feudal Stalinism,’’ without naming CPM. Prabhat said that he
would elaborate further about this in his key-note address at the Chintha
Ravi memorial seminar to be held in  Kozhikode on July 7, the first death
anniversary of the filmmaker and writer.
 
The e-mail was a clarification to K T Rammohan, Associate
Professor at  School of Social Sciences, Mahatma Gandhi University, who
expressed some reservations on having Prabhat Patnaik, who might be ‘identified
as an ideologue of the killer party,’ as a speaker at the function.
 
The e-mail was circulated by Chintha Forum floated by a section
of the Left fellow-travellers, as requested by Patnaik himself. Chintha Ravi
memorial seminar is the first programme hosted by the Forum. “What is
common to both hegemony by bourgeois liberalism and feudal Stalinism, is an
implicit lack of conviction about socialism, an implicit subscription to the
neo-liberal ‘development’ agenda, and an implicit denial of scope for people’s
empowerment. Succumbing to either or both these threats would be disastrous and
totally against the interests of the people,’’ Patnaik said.
 
“I was looking forward to the Chintha Ravi memorial seminar as
an occasion to discuss these issues, and hence, to criticise the
feudal-Stalinist trend that one encounters in Kerala, and also elsewhere. I saw
the seminar as such an occasion because I knew that it would be attended by
intellectuals seriously interested in Marxism,’’ he said.


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