Kochi: At a time when fundamentalism has turned out to be a serious challenge and threat to progress and peace in South Asian countries, the Communists need to consider it their duty to ensure peace and progress in the region, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said today.
Delivering the presidential address at the South Asian Communist Parties Conference now underway in Kochi, Vijayan pointed out that the South Asian nations face the challenge of fundamentalism. If it has a communal angle in certain countries, it has racial and linguistic angles in some other countries, he added.
Issues related to fundamentalism have wreaked havoc in this region in the past too. Yet again, it is proving to be a serious threat to peace and progress, Vijayan said, adding that Communists have a responsibility to ensure that there is no threat to peace and progress in the region.
Vijayan was quoted as saying in a news agency report that “people are, as in the past, looking up to us with an urge, to lead the struggle against the divisive forces that champion fundamentalism and sow the seeds of enmity among people. We should be able to take up this task with renewed enthusiasm,’’ he added.
Apart from the challenge posed by fundamentalism, the menace of authoritative regimes is also being experienced by many countries of this region, he said, pointing out that gross violations of human rights were on the increase.
Stating that people were being alienated in their own lands and were being forced to prove their patriotism, he said various sections of the population have been crying out for help. The forces at the helm turn a deaf ear to these pitched cries, he lamented.
‘’We have upon us a great responsibility to champion the rights of those who are the dispossessed. The Communist and Socialist forces of the world were instrumental in putting forth the idea that every individual is equal. We have been able to emerge victorious in making the world realise that race, gender, education, class, caste and so on should ascribe no special privilege or disadvantage to anyone,’’ he said.
Representatives from eight Communist parties from South Asian countries, and also the CPI and CPI(M) from India, are participating in the conference.