The decision of Comrade Bant Singh Jhabbar, whose resolute battle for justice for his daughter had epitomised the spirit of Dalit resistance in Punjab, to join the Aam Aadmi Party has disappointed many activists and well-wishers of the communist movement. What has compounded this disappointment is the fact that Bant Singh was inducted into AAP in the presence of and along with the very persons who had attacked him. While AAP has eventually disowned the attackers of Bant Singh, admirers and comrades of Bant Singh understandably felt sorry for this whole episode.

While this disappointment is understandable, the statements attributed to a senior CPI(ML) leader in Punjab in a story published in smack of elitist arrogance and are at total variance with the CPI(ML)’s principled position on the struggle for justice involving Comrade Bant Singh. The comrade in question has said that his remarks have been taken out of context, and that he by no means wanted to belittle the struggle waged by Comrade Bant Singh and the Party, but he regretted having made some of the remarks out of his sense of frustration and disappointment. The Party however censures him for his remarks.

The struggle for annihilation of caste must be treated as central to the communist praxis of class struggle in India. While the Communist Party certainly takes class as the basic unit of social analysis and political mobilisation, it must be understood that class and caste are closely intertwined in India. The class rule of the exploiting classes is enforced through caste and gender hierarchies and class struggle must therefore strike at every form of caste and gender oppression.

– CPI(ML) Central Committee