Kerala: Kalamassery Blast: Hate-Mongers Led by Union Minister Spit Venom
N S Sajith
FOLLOWING the blast at a prayer meeting hall in Kalamassery, Kochi on October 29, there was an abrupt surge in hate campaign against the Muslim community. Social media handles associated with the Sangh Parivar extensively propagated the idea that the blast was orchestrated by Muslim organisations, suggesting increased surveillance of all members of that community. Union minister of state and industrialist Rajeev Chandrasekhar, along with other BJP leaders, played a prominent role in this hate campaign, which aimed to tarnish Kerala's image, which has been largely successful in preventing religious fundamentalist elements from gaining influence.
The Sangh Parivar openly propagated hate through press conferences and social media posts. Rajeev Chandrasekhar suggested that terror elements had strengthened during the LDF's rule. Some leaders assumed that the culprits were from the Muslim community and argued that Hamas played a significant role in the blast. BJP's former spokesperson, Sandeep G Varier, claimed that both Jews and Jehovah's Witnesses, a Christian congregation, follow the same beliefs and accused the state government and CPI(M) leaders of justifying the "terror activities of Hamas" and thus holding responsibility for the blast.
The individual responsible for planting the crude bombs in the convention hall, Dominic Martin, confessed to his actions in a social media video. This revelation debunked the false claims made by BJP-supported YouTube channels about a connection with Hamas and the retaliation for events in Israel. After this confession, the hate campaign against a particular community subsided.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, following his visit to the Kalamassery Medical College where blast survivors were receiving treatment, criticised the central minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar for his remarks, calling them as "foolish" and "dangerously divisive." He accused Chandrasekhar and his supporters of trying to undermine the state's secularism and unity.
The investigation into the incident is progressing properly, and the central home minister was informed about it promptly. Vijayan emphasised that Chandrasekhar's statements were directed against a specific community.
HATE SPEECH: CASE FILED AGAINST UNION MINISTER OF STATE
A case has been filed against union minister of state, Rajeev Chandrashekhar for allegedly promoting communal hatred and disharmony among different communities. This action stems from his comments in the aftermath of the Kalamassery blast, where he accused the LDF and Congress of minority appeasement. In a Facebook post, he drew a comparison between the blast at a prayer meeting in a convention centre in Kalamassery and the Hamas attack on Israel.
The union minister faces charges under sections 153(a) of the Indian Penal Code (promoting enmity between different groups based on religion, race, place of birth, residence) and section 120(o) of the Kerala Police Act (causing nuisance and disturbance of public order).
In a separate incident, a case has been registered against BJP leader Anil Antony, who is the son of veteran Congress leader A K Antony, for promoting communal hatred among different communities. This case was filed by the cyber police of Kasargod. Anil Antony used certain visuals of students blocking a passenger bus to fuel animosity, adding a caption claiming that in northern Kerala, no woman is allowed to travel without wearing a hijab.
Fighting the Good Fight
PINARAYI Vijayan, Kerala chief minister and Polit Bureau member was presented with a book written by Prabir Purkayastha titled “Fighting the good fight”. Prabir, who is in jail, was arrested unjustly under the provisions of the draconian UAPA. Prabir was arrested under a similiar black law MISA during the emergency just like Pinarayi Vijayan, then an MLA. They both had to spend more than a year in jail at the time.
Prabir Purkayastha, a long time member of the CPI(M) from his student days is being targeted by the Modi government because of his role in promoting independent and fearless journalism through the news portal NewsClick.
The book is an account of his arrest during the Emergency and his work in various spheres from the promotion of scientific knowledge to analysis and exposure of capitalist aggression in a neoliberal world.
The book has been published by Leftword.