Take a chill pill, comrades! Your leaders were not paragons of probity

Congress MLA VT Balram’s Facebook post on legendary Communist leader AK Gopalan’s “affair with a minor” has kicked up a huge row in Kerala. Soon after the post became viral, Marxists vented their anger on the Congress leader’s office and vandalized it. Interestingly, a section of the media has also joined forces with the Marxists to condemn and spew venom on the controversial MLA. Former Naxal leader Civic Chandran who supported Balram too had to face the Marxist rage and his Facebook account was shut.

Some time ago, VB Cherian, former CPI(M) leader, in an interview to a TV channel, narrated an interesting incident that happened at a party unit in Kerala.

The story goes like this: A woman comrade became pregnant and it triggered a huge controversy in the party circles. The woman claimed that the local secretary of the party had impregnated her. The party instituted a probe committee which, in its report, not only gave a clean chit to the party leader but found that the woman was not pregnant. But after seven months, the woman delivered a baby boy. Upset leaders expelled the woman for “indiscipline”.

A former editor of the party mouthpiece, Deshabhimani, had revealed that many top Communist leaders had indulged in debauchery during the crackdown on the Communist party in the early 40s.  According to him, some leaders had even fathered illegitimate children and this was an open secret in social circles. Civic Chandran has also alleged that the lives of many top Communist leaders were not that “holy” and that many had succumbed to the human frailty of lust when they got an opportunity.

Noted Malayalam writer Paul Zacharia had to face Marxist ire when he spoke about it in an open forum. Zacharia had said the CPI(M), like the Church, was trying to foist conservative attitudes towards sex. According to him, the first-generation Communist leaders had “lavishly indulged” in sex, taking advantage of their underground lives, but the present-day comrades had lost that “generous attitude”.

Although the attack on Zacharia invited widespread criticism, then state secretary and present chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan justified it, calling it a “natural outburst of comrades”.  Criticizing Zacharia, Vijayan said, “What would happen if a speaker tried to cast aspersions on Christ at a meeting attended by Christians only? When Zacharia mentioned about early leaders, the comrades at Payyannur had in their mind the late leaders P Krishna Pillai, AK Gopalan and EMS Namboodiripad. He should not have denigrated such leaders.”