Jana Raksha Yatra : The milestone in the ideological landscape of Kerala
– Aparna Patwardhan
Across the world, Communism has been synonymous with a dictatorial regime, bloodshed and extermination of opponents. But today, Communism is almost dead. In Russia, there is no Communism left and in China, it has metamorphosed into something else altogether. Yet, Communism still exists in Kerala and the Communist party (CPM) has been democratically elected to form the government.
The party first formed a government in 1957 in Kerala and held sway for five decades. It gave the party time and influence to establish its cadre and territorially declare party gramams (villages), party booths and party streets. These Communist colonies cruelly eliminate every ideological and political opponent that dares enter their vicinity. In fact, the methods adopted to eliminate are extremely violent so as to deter opponents. It is ensured that the local administration is subservient to the party command and that the police take orders only from local Communist leaders.
In a Communist regime, when murderers are provided protection, when justice is not served, when the media is silent about atrocities, the influence and power that the Communists wield is evident. If one thinks that a police complaint can be lodged and justice sought by families of RSS & BJP workers who have been murdered, that is a naïve thought. It is common for FIRs to be manipulated, for wives & women family members of the balidaanis to be harassed and mocked at when they seek justice from law enforcers. Social boycott of martyrs’ families, character assassination of women relatives and cooked up cases against family members are the norm after a political opponent has been attacked or murdered.
In 2017, Remith, a BJP worker, was stabbed to death in Pinarayi, the hometown of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. Fifteen years prior to this, his father, Chodon Uthaman, a BJP worker and bus driver, was hacked to death. Their crime was that they chose to be nationalists and not communists in a party gramam. During the Jana Raksha Yatra, the widow of Utthaman and mother of Remith, was inconsolable when BJP leaders visited her home and offered floral tributes to the two martyrs. The psychological torture she must have experienced following the two deaths, while continuing to live in the party gramam, is difficult to comprehend.
When the families of the 84 martyrs of Kannur came together to be present at the flag-off of the Jana Raksha Yatra by the BJP President Sri.Amit Shah, everyone’s eyes including the BJP President’s eyes, welled up with tears. A district that is in the deadly grip of Communists saw a spontaneous crowd of 10,000 RSS and BJP karyakartas converge, to send the strongest possible message against the Communist violence and atrocities. Almost 5000 RSS/BJP workers gathered in Pinarayi¸ the hometown of the Communist Chief Minister – a historic event by itself.
It is a more educated & democratic world today and the Communist party (CPM) is finding survival difficult. It has joined hands and formed an unholy nexus with another fascist entity, the Islamists, in order to extend its life. The Popular Font of India (PFI), a Jihadi organization, and SDPI which is the political wing of the PFI, are increasing their footprint in Kerala with the tacit support of the Communists.
On 4 July 2010, PFI workers punished Sri.T. J. Joseph, a professor in a Christian minority institution, for blasphemy by chopping off his hands. According to the NIA, PFI is also involved in luring and forcing Hindu & Christian girls to convert to Islam, marry Muslim youths and even join the ISIS. Despite the growing number of Love Jihad cases and the increasing recruitment of Kerala’s Muslim youths by the ISIS, the Communist government displays a soft corner for Jihadi organizations.
Seven decades after independence, the degree of infiltration of the Communist cadre in intellectual, bureaucratic, academic, media, theatre, judicial circles is becoming apparent to the ordinary citizen. Communists here also receive tremendous support from affiliated institutions abroad. At the smallest trigger or incident, Communist leaders such as Sitaram Yechury, Brinda Karat, D.Raja mobilize strong negative opinions against nationalists without any basis. They invoke the help of their friends in their ecosystem, inside and outside India to malign the Hindu majority. Politically, they may be relevant in just one small state i.e. Kerala, but ideologically their influence is strong in several institutions.
On December 31 1999, the BJP Yuva Morcha State Vice President, K. T. Jayakrishnan, was brutally hacked to death inside a classroom in front of his students. All the five convicted for his murder were given the death sentence. But, in 2006, the Supreme Court acquitted the accused and set them free, giving them the benefit of doubt. The students, who witnessed the murder, have developed serious psychological problems. Meanwhile, one of the acquitted went on to become the PTA President of the same school! This is not just a mockery of justice but a concerted effort to exhibit the power of the Communist ecosystem.
The acquittal of Jayakrishnan’s murderers was the turning point in the ideological war in Kerala.
Nearly 300 RSS and BJP workers have been murdered in cold blood by Communists and Jihadis in Kerala. Following a significant vote share increase for the BJP in the 2016 Assembly elections, incidents of violence have increased against nationalists. This prompted the BJP to organize the Jana Raksha Yatra to demand the right to live for everyone irrespective of their political or ideological affiliation. The yatra began on 3rd October in Kannur and will end on 17th October in a rally in Thiruvananthapuram, after covering 11 bloodied districts of Kerala.
The Communist cadre has called for hartal of all business establishments on the yatra route. The government is ensuring power cuts and the administration is not in a mood to cooperate with the yatris. Shops are closed and yatra posters & banners have been torn to shreds. But, this has not dampened the spirit of the RSS and BJP workers, who have declared an all-out war against violence. What was supposed to be a yatra by the BJP to show solidarity with the workers, has turned into a spontaneous saffron wave by Keralites who are demanding the right to live and the right to democracy.
In a state where people would not even stop to watch a BJP program a few years ago, people are not only coming out of their homes to watch the yatra but thousands are joining the yatra in every district. At the end of thirteen days, the number of people participating in the yatra and rallies has reached six lakhs.
The Jana Raksha Yatra has rattled the Communists. After the yatra began on 3rd October, three RSS workers have been attacked by Communists in Kannur. But people have continued the march towards Thiruvananthapuram, despite heavy rain and the risk of attacks. The increasing crowds and the determination of the people to end the violence and anarchy, is a testimony to the changing tides.
Jana Raksha Yatra promises to be a milestone in the ideological landscape of Kerala. People are determined to end the violence perpetrated by Communists and Jihadis. When peace and democracy are restored, there is no doubt that Kerala will truly become “God’s Own Country” once again.