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Tripura Election 2018: CPM's “Luv-Kush” Theory
Sagarneel Sinha
Tripura Election 2018: CPM's “Luv-Kush” Theory
PHOTO : TIWN File Photo

The ruling party of the state CPI(M) — Communist Party of India (Marxist) which has been ruling for the last 25 years is facing a tough battle this time. After being in power for such a long time, a strong incumbency against the party is expected. Addition to this incumbency, is the arrival of the new opposition to the political arena of the state — Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). BJP has replaced the Congress, the traditional rival of CPM, which has been a worrying cause for the Marxists.

The Congress party is a mixture of European ideologies of 'secularism', 'social democracy' and 'liberalism'. This ideological position of Congress doesn't differ much from that of CPM's ideology — 'communism', a mixture of 'secularism', 'socialism', 'internationalism' and 'atheism'. However, BJP is totally different from these two parties. The saffron party though economically liberal, is a 'Hindutva Nationalist' party.

Both CPM and Congress are accused of appeasing minorities as a votebank and ignoring the majority Hindu community around the country. Tripura has around 85% Hindu population. This is the reason CPM is facing heat with BJP as the main rival. The red party is aware that BJP's graph has risen since the 2014 LokSabha elections. The reasons are saffron party's successful portrayal as the main opposition to the CPM and party's 'Hindutva' image is also attributing behind the rise of the party in the state. In the state, the growing activities of BJP's ideological parent — RSS, an organisation working for uniting the divided Hindus, don’t suit the red camp's electoral arithmetics.

Last December's rally of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat in the state capital, Agartala was attended by a large gathering. Marxist party is disturbed due to party's pro-minority stand around the country which may push a section of Hindu voters to vote for the saffron camp. This 'Hindutva' image of BJP is concerning 'atheist' CPM, which has never faced the challenge of the party in Tripura and was witnessed in the party's central rally in the Astabal ground addressed by the central Left leaders, attended by a large gathering.

The Left Front rally organised by big partner CPM showed a softness towards 'Hinduism', a clear strategy of Left leaders to counter BJP's 'Hindutva' image. If CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury’s speech is to be believed then Tripura's upcoming election would witness a new incarnation of “Luv-Kush” of Ramayana. In Yechury's version, the twin brothers — Luv-Kush would dress 'red' clothes with 'sickle' and 'hammer', the famous identity of the communist parties across the world, stopping the Modi led BJP's 'Ashwamedha horse'. Such version of one of the famous Hindu epics 'Ramayana' that also from 'atheist' communist leaders seems a little awkward.

Most surprising is that the same Sitaram Yechury had earlier told Tripura would be a 'Waterloo' for the BJP. However, rise of BJP in the state forced Yechury to change the European version to an Indian one, the Ramayana. It is also an irony that CPM for long has ignored the Ramayana and its stories.

In the recent times, there has been a shift for the Left leaders as they are now found celebrating Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru and most importantly the famous Hindu monk Swami Vivekananda. The Astabal ground where the rally was held, was changed to Vivekananda ground by Manik Sarkar's government despite opposition from some tribal groups. New additions are Luv Kush, the twin sons of Lord Rama and Mother Sita of Ramayana. The Hindu connections to this rally were not limited to Ramayana only. A cabinet minister of the state even linked CPM to 'Pandavas' of the Mahabharata, the other most famous Hindu epic.

Pandavas won the battle of Kurukshetra against the evil Kauravas. The famous battle was hailed as the victory of Dharma in the holy Mahabharata. Pandavas won the battle with the help of Lord Krishna. Therefore, the question arises is, if CPM represents Pandavas in this battle then who is Lord Krishna? Or has the 'atheist' CPM started to believe in the existence of 'God' — Lord Krishna and trying to seek help from the Lord just like Arjuna, the third Pandava of Mahabharata to cross the election Vaitarani?

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