1962: When CPI said donating blood to jawans was anti-party activity
Many from the Communist Party of India have spoken out against the Indian Army and its Chief General Bipin Rawat. It comes as no surprise that this bashing takes place on a daily basis. In this regard it would be interesting to recall what took place in 1962 when China was at war with India.
The former Chief Minister of Kerala V S Achutanandan who was a CPM politburo member at that time was sacked for suggesting that they should organise a blood donation camp for the Indian Army soldiers.
The pro-India line he took was declared anti-party by the Communists. It was an known fact that during the 1962 war, the CPI had supported China. They cited ideology and put the same above the nation.
The government at that time had sent many comrades to jail. Achutanandan who was also thrown into jail suggested that the narrative must change against the party. He was part of the jail committee in the Thiruvananthapuram central jail.
During one meeting he suggested that donating blood to the jawans and contributing money from the sale of prison ration would help them overcome the image of them being Chinese agents. The proposal was immediately shot down by O J Joseph a communist leader.
VS however did not give up and tried at the next meeting. This led to a scuffle between him and Joseph. The jail authorities had to intervene and subsequently the news leaked to the media. Jyoti Basu who was part of the West Bengal CPI ordered an inquiry into the incident. The row escalated and VS dropped his plan.
In 1965 a party worker filed a complaint with the party leadership. In his complaint he spoke about the anti-party activities of VS. A probe was immediately order and VS was found guilty.
The Kerala committee of the party ratified the probe findings and came to the view that the views taken by VS was anti-communist. VS was then demoted from the central committee to the branch level.
The CPM while demoting VS said that he had decided to donate blood to the jawans without consulting with the party. His move amounted to helping the Indian government and hence the action was anti-party.