AFSPA, Section 377 And Death Penalty: CPM Challenges Popular Perceptions In Its Manifesto

Posted on March 27, 2014 in Politics

By Meghana Rathore: 

It’s the season of promises, with the general elections just a few weeks away. Jayalalitha’s manifesto was till date on of the most nuanced this time over. Materialistically, undoubtedly it was very impressive and appealing, however, it failed to score on the rhetoric and principle front. CPM’s manifesto however took a fair amount of lead there.

cpm-leadersCPM, a party that is known to be quite complacent despite having performed poorly over the last few years and a party that is known to be highly intransigent in its ways, has taken up an audacious gamble this time.

Most of the portions of its manifesto are a repeat of its yester years promises. However, some of the quite notable issues that have been alluded are:
– Decriminalization of gay sex.
– Scrapping the AFSPA
– Abolition of the death penalty

Also, in the light of Andhra Pradesh’s bifurcation it seeks to amend article 3 and make the state legislature’s consent a mandatory criterion.

The most important issue that took away all the points here is the audacious declaration in favour of gay rights. This issue was something that was restricted to judicial purview only. Some purist parties like the BJP vehemently rubbished the decriminalisation of gay sex terming homosexuality as “unnatural”. While, some others like the INC took a stand, they hardly did much to help the situation in a pragmatic manner. However inconsequential this move might turn out to be for CPM’s prospects, it certainly opens up gates for debate and might put other parties in conundrum.If not in these elections these high on principles manifesto might alter CPM’s prospects in the coming times since it’s rare to see CPM tuning in with the present times.

However, even after the failure of the 3rd front coupled with its grim chances in West Bengal and now even Kerala with the RSP pulling out support, Prakash Karat expressed optimism in being able to form a non-BJP, non- Congress government at the centre.

Now, would this manifesto do any good in the number games for the CPM or not, is still a dilemma but, it certainly has done quite on the political astuteness front and changed the goalposts for the party itself.