“Manipur needs self-sufficiency after a great political change that could be brought only by CPI. Other parties are opportunists. They do not perform any sacrificing duties for the welfare of the people,” stated assistant secretary, Manipur Communist Party of India, M Joykumar in an exclusive interview with the Imphal Free Press.
In continuation of the Imphal Free Press initiative on the ‘Idea of Manipur’, we bring you an exclusive interview with the CPI representative by IFP reporter Donald Sairem.
IFP: What is your “Idea of Manipur” from a historical perspective?
Joykumar: Free and developed Manipur state in the free and developed India is our idea of Manipur. We wish to establish a just society comprising different communities of Manipur and to get rid of exploitation of man by man with everyone having an equal opportunity. It will be achieved in Manipur also. It was achieved in different countries of the world at different times as a result of strategies and tactics worked out in accordance with the situation in every country guided by the basic laws of social science of Marxism.
IFP: What were the key contributions made by your party for the development of Manipur?
Joykumar: (a) Overall contributions – Since 1948, the CPI has struggled and sacrificed for social change to uplift the downtrodden people of Manipur.
(b) Statehood Movement – Thousands of CPI members took part in the struggle for statehood and many were even thrown into prisons including Tihar Jail of Delhi. Statehood movement launched in 1955 and the people achieved statehood status in the year 1972.
(c) Manipuri Language – It is the CPI which for the first time put up in the parliament for inclusion of Manipuri language in the 8th Schedule of the Indian Constitution in 1951. CPI also organised a long struggle for three decades and the demand was materialised at last.
(d) Movement against AFSPA – CPI carried out number of movements for more than 30 years against the draconian act and AFSPA was withdrawn from seven ACs of Imphal. CPI/Manipur was in the government and threatened to withdraw support to the coalition government and to resign from ministership if the AFSPA is not withdrawn.
IFP: What is your view on inter/intra political party dynamics in the State of Manipur?
Joykumar: Good relations with Left Parties and friendly relations with all Right wing parties whether they are in ruling or in opposition. Left parties are CPI(M), RSP and AIFB. The CPI is doing our best in the state with the Left parties. We resolved to take up demands for the downtrodden people of Manipur. Our state is underdeveloped compared to other states of India. But the ruling government is not in the interests of the working people. There are more than 8 lakhs unemployed youths. But the government is not taking up employment opportunity for the unemployed youths. With other friendly parties we fight for injustice by the ruling government. We along with friendly parties always object the so called economic reforms, which are always anti-people and towards non-public sectored reforms.
The Left forces in India could legitimately claim to have played a consistent role in the defence of secularism, fighting back the attacks on the people’s livelihood and the pro-imperialist orientation.
And we are fighting against the Neo-Liberal economic policy of the ruling government. The present opposition party introduced Privatisation, Liberalisation and Globalisation in this economic system. But they are somewhat convinced about the dangers of Neo-Liberal economic policy.
IFP: What is your take on the idea of federalism in India?
Joykumar: (a) We are always demanding Federal Structured Government System in India.
(b) We demand that more power be given to the grass root as well as to the states and union territories. Federalism and to give more power to the grass-root level is crucial in governing a state. During the era of Soviet Union, all the 14 republic states have the power to rule their states freely and earn the wealth of the state. Taking example from the Soviet Union, the different states of India can develop themselves through federalism.
IFP: How important is New Delhi when it comes to taking decisions for the development of the State?
Joykumar: (a) New Delhi/Centre or Union Government is important but the state should have the power to rule their state.
(b) CPI does not have the High Command and we have more power to the grass roots. We could take resolutions and could do our duties for the people.
IFP: How important is party ideology in the context of Manipur?
Joykumar: Our party’s ideology is the only ideology for the working people. Marxism as a scientific socialism is our goal which could bring equal opportunity to every people and no exploitation of man by man. Without strong party ideology, none of the parties could emancipate the people from exploitation. Present Indian rightist parties are exploiting the people because of their weak party ideology. Communism may be adjusted to any place on earth. Exploited people are the same and only exploited people will have a same culture. That would be proletarian culture.
We will be unable to solve their problems unless we transform the culture of mankind towards the proletarian culture. Proletarian culture must be the logical development of the knowledge of mankind that was accumulated under the yoke of capitalist, land owner and bureaucratic society. Manipuri people also has the accumulated exploitations under the same yoke. By leading the exploited sections of the people of the state, we should overthrow the exploiters. And by leading and convincing the people, we should plan to the revolutionary process.
IFP: Why do you think multi-party politics is important for a State like Manipur?
Joykumar: People of Manipur are not well convinced about our thoughts and ideology of our party. And people’s voting behaviour are different. So, we think without multi party politics, we could not bring the desired change. CPI for the time being is part of the multi-party politics but the single party system would be more favourable for betterment of the people. China is an example to the world for single party system. China developed very fast achieving advancements in various fields. It is only because of single party Communist System. Communist governments in Cuba, North Korea, Laos and Vietnam are ruling very smoothly and fulfilling the freedoms of peoples and their happiness with prosperity.
IFP: What are the important issues confronted by Manipur in contemporary times?
Joykumar: Manipur needs self-sufficiency after a great political change that could bring only by our party. Other parties are opportunists, which do not perform any sacrificing duties for the welfare of the people. CPI has the Ideology for a revolutionary change. People of Manipur are confronting the issues of Citizenship Amendment Act, Naga peace talks, insurgency, unemployment, corruption, influx of outsiders, borders issues and many others.
Manipur should have to fight against the CAA. And Communist will not bow down to the ruling fascist government. CPI always stood in the forefront of the freedom struggle along with Congress and other progressive forces. CPI fought the British, the French and Portuguese. Likewise, now also we have to fight the ruling BJP who is the real Fascist.
IFP: What is your vision of Manipur as distinct from the position your party hold of the State?
Joykumar: With increased connectivity of our state with other states of India and countries of the world, we could jump up to the developed stage by utilising our natural resources and establishing numerous industries of small and medium scale. Besides, we can earn income from tourism and sports. We can utilise our human resources at the international level.Manipur, CPIM, cpi, left