Jana Raksha Yatra In Kerala: Looking Beyond Electoral Gains
This Jana Raksha Yatra is not for electoral gains but to establish the essence of democracy in Kerala, writes Rakesh Reddy.
The ‘Red Terror’ that was carried out in response to Vladimir Lenin’s letter to Bolsheviks – “It is necessary, secretly and urgently, to prepare the terror” – may well be history for many, but it probably doesn’t seem that way to the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M).
The violence that Kerala saw before independence hasn’t left the state, and Kannur in particular, yet. Like the Bolshevik secret police that repressed any opposition by carrying out Red Terror, the CPI(M) attacked the rallies of then Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief M S Golwalkar in 1948 after the RSS tried to set up its base in Kerala. Having failed the first time, CPI(M) attacked again a gathering that was being addressed by Golwalkar in 1952.
Then came the murders of some members of the RSS, but the RSS didn’t budge. This only agitated CPI(M) further and the violence has continued ever since. It led to the death of scores of members of the RSS and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). It took 20 years for the RSS to make inroads into North Kerala. Between 2000 and 2016, Kannur district alone reported 31 murders of RSS and BJP members.
Political violence in Kerala touched its zenith after the CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) came to power with Pinarayi Vijayan as the chief minister. Vijayan is the same person who had reportedly asked his party leaders to kidnap political enemies and bury them alive along with a sack of salt, in deep ditches. He asked his cadre to follow the “Bengal model” to remove any traces of murder.
It isn’t a coincidence that most murders of RSS members till date have happened in Kannur district, the place from where Vijayan hails. It hardly comes as a surprise that 13 BJP/RSS members are killed within a year of Vijayan’s tenure. No matter where the communists ruled, be it Kerala, Bengal or Tripura, violence is what they left behind.
Two weeks ago, Sitaram Yechury of CPI(M) accused the Modi government of taking India the Pakistan way, pointing at the string of killings and lynchings that happened across the country. Though the charge is far from the truth, CPI(M) can also be given that charge with all the political killings.
Yechury called Rohit Vemula’s suicide an “institutional murder”. It didn’t matter to him that the Justice A K Roopanwal report clearly justified disciplinary action by the university and ruled out any possibility of the action leading to a suicide.
Some false stories by the communists have sufficed to further their political agenda. One wonders how Yechury can call a suicide an “institutional murder” while his government in Kerala is busy ‘institutionalising murders’.
So much for CPI(M)’ theatrics when it comes to renaming Aurangzeb road to A P J Abdul Road in New Delhi, they turn a blind eye to what is happening in their backyard, i.e., Kannur. According to this report, in Kannur, one gets to see signboards and posters saying such things as “Welcome to Communist Party Village”, “Che Guevara Gramam”, “RSS banned area”, “No entry for communal RSS men”, and so on.
The communists in Kannur disallow others the freedom to exhibit the posters of their choice. Now recall the response of Yechury at Jawaharlal Nehru University or Hyderabad Central University, all in the name of freedom, calling the current government a fascist regime. Communists calling Prime Minister Modi a fascist is like a pot calling the kettle black.
Amidst all this, if one thing stands out, it’s the hypocrisy of the ‘intolerance brigade’ and certain sections of the media that stay indifferent to all this. The former wakes up from their slumber only when the narrative suits their agenda, while the latter tunes into the former’s call. What surprises one is the meticulous coordination between the two groups.
1. Both the intolerance brigade and a section of the media appear to ignore or provide less coverage to a murder if it doesn’t help further propaganda.
2. Both respond to an incident only when the victim belongs to a religion or caste that helps them blame the BJP even when it isn’t the ruling party of the state in question.
3. Both propel propaganda based more on their assumptions than on facts.
The first point became obvious when they chose not to speak up for the killings of RSS/BJP members, while the outrage in response to the murder of journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh and the suicide of Rohit Vemula emphasises the last two points.
Ever since the news of Lankesh’s murder broke, the media showed no delay in peddling the right-wing angle to it despite knowing nothing about the details of the case. Even the latest news articles on her murder don’t fail to mention her ‘criticism’ of the right-wing ideology.
This clears two interesting things.
First, the attempt of the media to present anti-Hindu vitriol of Lankesh as ‘criticism’.
Second, the focus with which they stick to the agenda by making a point that’s irrelevant to her murder as there is no conclusive evidence yet to prove the involvement of the right wing. They even included the names of Narendra Dabholkar, M M Kalburgi and Govind Pansare in an attempt to make their claims sound credible while conveniently ignoring the fact that all of them, except Pansare, were killed in Congress-ruled states.
The latest to join the chorus is actor Prakash Raj. Lankesh gets killed in Congress-ruled Karnataka and the actor ridicules Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Prime Minister Modi.
Interestingly, few among these people raised their voice or did prime-time debates for Rajesh (34), who was brutally hacked in Thiruvananthapuram. He was stabbed throughout his body and his hands also chopped off. As a matter of fact, all the killings within and outside (the likes of Prashanth Poojary) Kerala put together, received maybe a fraction of the air time given to Akhlaq alone.
‘Anti-Hindu’ bigotry is clearly a theme that ties all these together. With nobody paying attention to the murders of RSS workers, it was time the BJP did something to lift the morale of the karyakartas and the Hindus of Kerala in general.
The Jana Raksha Yatra
The BJP’s Jana Raksha Yatra is a much-needed support to RSS/BJP karyakartas. It’s even more important to show that the party cares for the karyakartas. This yatra is not for electoral gains but to establish the essence of democracy in Kerala and to protect our Constitution and the fundamental rights of people. The huge response to the yatra speaks for itself. It was time the country paid attention to Kerala’s politics. Saffron-turned streets of Kannur not only show the enthusiasm of the oppressed but also justifies why it was time this 13-day yatra happened.
No wonder CPI(M) is feeling the heat due to a surge of saffron in Kannur. It’s amusing to see Yechury tweet:
It’s a bit rich coming from someone who has never won general elections in his life, and became a Member of Parliament through the Rajya Sabha route. Now, he has lost his Rajya Sabha membership as well. Yechury will be well-advised to focus on his party. They already hardly exist beyond Kerala, Bengal and Tripura.
What exactly does CPI(M) expect Adityanath to learn? How 126 people died in Kerala in the first half of this year alone due to H1N1 and Dengue? Or how to be unresponsive when people are dying? The Indian Medical Association (IMA) called it a “man-made disaster” and blamed the state government for being sluggish. The CPI(M) might as well ask Adityanath to learn how Kerala is turned into a ‘recruitment hub’ for Islamic State. Kerala even has a village in Malappuram district where people are living in their ‘Islamic utopia’.
The CPI(M), a party that exists only in three states, will do itself a great favour if it takes to civilised debates and constructive policies instead of resorting to destructive politics. Out of the three states, Bengal is already a lost cause. If they persist with violence, Tripura might be next.
People are intelligent enough to see through CPI(M)’s game of denying political opponents the right to life back in Kerala while pretending to fight for the right to free speech in New Delhi.
Unlike the CPI(M), the BJP believes in engaging with political opponents in a democratic way. The BJP will continue to work to strengthen the democracy of the country, come what may.