Castro is a true son of Karl Marx: Bengal communists

February 23rd, 2008 - 5:27 pm ICT by admin  

By Soudhriti Bhabani
Kolkata, Feb 23 (IANS) Left icon Fidel Castro may not have any relevance in today’s communist-ruled pro-capitalist West Bengal, but veteran leaders of the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) in the state still swear by his ideologies and respect him for his strong defiance of US hegemony. Senior CPI-M leader and party’s central committee member Shyamal Chakrabory recounted his meeting with the charismatic Cuban leader at Lenin Park in Havana.

“It was in 1978 when I met Castro for the first time. We had gathered at the Lenin Park in Havana to attend a youth festival there. Suddenly, some local people said Castro was passing by. I rushed towards to his convoy just to have a glimpse of the bearded leader,” Chakraborty told IANS.

“After going a few yards, he alighted from the car and shook hands with a few people around. Fortunately, I was among those few who could feel the warmth of his hands,” he said.

He said the experience was like a dream come true. “I do not have words to express my feelings.

“I spent the entire night sleepless and didn’t have food using my right hand as I felt I would lose the magic touch,” Chakraborty said.

An era came to an end with Castro stepping down from the post of president Feb 19, almost 49 years after snatching power in Cuba through an armed uprising against US-backed dictator Fulgencio Batista in 1959.

The present legislature in Cuba is likely to nominate his brother and designated successor, Raul Castro (76), as president.

The 1978 Indian delegation to Cuba comprised senior communist leaders like CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat, Left Front chairman Biman Bose and Communist Party of India (CPI) West Bengal secretary Manju Kumar Majumdar.

Holding forth on the ideology of Fidel Castro, Chakraborty said there is hardly any scope to implement his principles in a capitalist country like India.

“It was possible for them to turn Cuba into a socialist country, but in India, it’s impractical because of its diverse political structure,” he told IANS.

West Bengal is unique in the history of communism as the Left Front government here has completed 30 years in power, the world’s only communist government to have been democratically elected for six consecutive terms after assuming power Jun 21, 1977.

CPI’s Majumdar said: “Castro is an inspiration for Communists across the world. As long as the fight against capitalism continues, Castro will play a pioneering role in the movement.

“I got an opportunity to see him only once. I saw him as a great orator, a visionary and a leader with a strong organisation power,” Majumdar said, adding the milestone Castro achieved in education and healthcare in his country was truly unparalleled.

“We still have lot of things to imbibe from Castro’s administrative qualities,” he said.

Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) leader and a member of the Left Front cabinet in West Bengal Kshiti Goswami told IANS communist leaders here have many things to learn from Castro.

“He has set an example with his strong defiance of US capitalism. He is a true son of Karl Marx.”

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