Kerala: RSS Tactics Will Not Succeed

THE RSS-BJP game-plan in Kerala has been unfolding after the assembly election in May 2016. Having failed to make a significant impact in the election, it fell back on its longstanding method of launching violent attacks targeting CPI(M) workers all across Kerala. This new round of attacks began on the very day results were declared when a CPI(M) worker, Raveendran, participating in a victory procession in Pinarayi Vijayan’s constituency was killed by RSS goons. 

The outcry orchestrated by the RSS at the national level, about Marxist violence against the RSS-BJP workers, is an indication of its growing frustration at its inability to put the CPI(M) on the defensive and to destabilise the functioning of the LDF government.

The immediate context for the round of violence in Thiruvananthapuram was the burgeoning corruption scandals which engulfed the BJP state unit. The guilt of a BJP leader in accepting a huge bribe from a medical college owner to get recognition from the Medical Council of India has opened a Pandora’s box of charges and counter-charges within the BJP.

It is in order to divert attention from this embarrassing scandal that the BJP-RSS has resorted to their stock tactic of engineering clashes with the CPI(M) by attacking the houses of Party leaders and offices.

The killing of an RSS worker being blamed on the CPI(M) has nothing to do with politics.  It was a quarrel about control of a local market and the man who led the gang which committed the murder has no links with the CPI(M) and has a known criminal record.

The BJP, under the direction of the RSS, has begun an all-India campaign directed against the so-called violence of the CPI(M) against the RSS-BJP workers.  But the concocted facts cannot be sustained.  According to Kerala police figures, between 2000 and 2017, 85 CPI(M) workers were killed as against 65 of the RSS-BJP. These figures, themselves reveal who has borne the brunt of the attacks.

The visit of union minister Arun Jaitley to Thiruvananthapuram last Sunday was designed to lend support to the aggressive activities of the RSS.  That a senior minister of the Modi government did so, shows the hostile attitude of the central government to the LDF state government; because, the central government was fully aware of the steps being taken by state government to ensure peace and an end to clashes. 

The chief minister, in fact, held an all-party meeting on August 6 to discuss ways to end political parties’ clashes, on the very day Jaitley visited the state capital.  Before that, the chief minister had initiated state level talks between the CPI(M) and the BJP and this was followed up by similar discussion in three districts where clashes had taken place recently. 

What the country should realize is that Kerala and specifically Kannur has seen the depredations of the RSS gangs much before such violent tactics by the Hindutva forces took place in the rest of the country. Kannur saw RSS attacks during the last four decades – what is being seen in other states in last three years, the killing of intellectuals like Kalburgi and Pansare and the lynchings by the gau rakshaks.  The only difference is that the RSS has met with the organised resistance of the CPI(M) and the Left movement in Kannur and Kerala.

The RSS should realize that its violent tactics will not work in Kerala.  The people of Kerala are capable of rebuffing its nefarious designs. 

(August 9, 2017)

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