Saturday, May 5, 2012

Yet Another Political Murder and Some 'Reactionary' Thoughts

Last night, one more life met its untimely end in my home district of Kozhikode, Kerala. Yet again, a brutal murder by political opponents.

This time the victim was a very popular political leader who dared to challenge the hegemony of Communist Party of India (Marxist) in its historic stronghold of Onchiyam.  TP Chandrasekharan, the victim, was the force behind the Revolutionary Marxist Party, (RMP) an offshoot of CPM fractional feuds. 

TP, who began his struggles with CPM’s official leadership as a factional leader of VS Achuthanandan group, ended up having to go out of the party like most of the once trusted VS supporters, who failed to succumb to the leadership.  What differentiated TP was his excellent organisational skills and the wide popularity among local people.  He succeeded in creating a rebel movement in Onchiyam and surrounding areas and taking along the otherwise diehard CPM supporters with him. 

Onchiyam was always a very strong hold of CPM, right from the struggles of 1940s and the infamous police firing of 1943.  So, when the Party was successfully challenged by TP and his followers, it became a prestige issue for the official leadership of CPM, more so because it challenged the top leadership directly.  The rebels and their supporters were hunted and attacked all the time.  Latest being the open violence and threats to life to stop conducting of the Area Convention of RMP at Onchiyam at any cost. 

A bright, upright and upcoming political leader got killed.  In the recent past of Kerala, this must be the senor most leader to get murdered.  However, life is precious irrespective of whether it is a leader or a follower!  From that perspective this brutal murder is just another statistics in an ongoing series.

The areas north of Vadakara in Kozhidode district and south of Payyannur in Kannur district have had to live through this mindless violence for decades now.  So many lives got ended prematurely and so many families got destroyed.  Friends and neighbours targeted and killed their own - at the command of political bosses.  Most of the political parties operating in these areas were part of the cycle of violence at some point or other. 

While I am tempted to blame the entire political class in general, I believe time has come to fix responsibilities more specifically.  It is in this context one has to see the role of CPM in the violence.   CPM is the only constant in most of the political murders that took place in the area, either as perpetuators or as victims! Only exception being short cycles of RSS- Muslim League violence in certain pockets.

CPM had indulged in the killing contest with RSS in Talasserry, in Kannur, with a daily score card, for many years.  Similarly, I strongly believe that CPM had a role in pushing the Muslim youth into taking up violence because it was mainly in retaliation to their targeting of Muslims and their properties in Nadapuram and surrounding areas.  Recently, CPM brought the murder politics further down south to Payyoli, where a young RSS worker was hacked to death in front of his wife and mother, in his own house.

The violent feud between the current Kannur MP from Congress, Mr Sudhakaran and the CPM leadership of Kannur is also well known.  It is widely known that but for Sudhakaran’s violent resistance, CPM would decimate any opposition in Kannur!

The party leadership always washes their hands off these murders by repeating the same excuses.  However, their leaders do not find it odd to give open threats to their opponents from public stages.  It is also well known that CPM as a party always provided a convenient list of workers to be booked for these murders, there by letting the real culprits who are more professional and hardened killers working for the party escape the law!  This system of sponsored accused is the main cause for continued violence in these areas.  

The history of mercenary killings from these parts of the State, made famous by the ‘Vadakkan Paattu’ (Northern Folksongs) is getting repeated in these modern political battles.  For the people of this area, the heroes were always the members of the martial households, who fought battles as mercenaries, for settling disputes among individuals or families.  Number of popular songs, dramas and films made on the life of such warriors is enough proof for the influence of this culture and its protagonists on the local population.

Today, murders are committed by similar mercenaries of political parties, especially CPM and RSS, at the behest of their leaders.   These killers get protected by the parties within the sanctuary of deep ‘party villages’ and the police close the case by arresting other innocent youth deputed by the party and/or accused by the opposite parties.  No sincere effort is made by the police to reach the roots of these heinous crimes because in most cases it will reach senior political leaders as conspirators!

Look at the reaction to this latest murder... UDF, the ruling Front of the State immediately called for a State wide Hartal.  Was the murder committed by the people of Kerala that they should be punished by a Hartal? That too by the ruling Front? Instead of this Hartal and such political drama, UDF should ensure that prompt action is taken to ensure best possible inquiry into the murder and make sure that the big fish behind the conspiracy are brought to book.

This is not too much to ask for, in a law abiding society.  Yet, I am not sure whether the current government that includes many Ministers who have benefitted in the past from such mutual back scratching from LDF (and CPM in particular) will do enough to take the inquiry to its logical conclusion.  Meanwhile, the same leaders will decide their next victim and plan their attack strategy!  The new disturbing rumour doing rounds in official circles is that of Party courts that decide the fate of the political opponents!

Before I conclude, we the people also need to consider our own complacency.  At least we must seek answers from party leaders as to why they are still leaders if they can’t control the murders and attacks by their supporters, even if they say that they and their party are not involved.  Murder after murder we close our eyes and never question our political masters.  We faithfully go and vote for the same leaders based on our ideologies, conveniently forgetting the fact that ideologies are for the benefit of human beings and not vice versa!

Let the police and courts do their job sincerely and reach the real culprits.

Let the political leaders be accountable in the eyes of people, for these attacks, until proven innocent...

Let there not be any more mercenaries... or scapegoats... to ruin their own lives!

Let the people of Malabar (who are otherwise very peace loving) be able to wash the bloodstains from their hearts!

Let not there be any more murders...

Let there be peace and brotherhood!

No politics or no ideology is as important as human life!

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