‘Ahuti’ in remembrance of the martyred: A saffron twist to a murderous political tale in Kerala

The booklet was released at the recently concluded BJP national meet in Kozhikode.
‘Ahuti’ in remembrance of the martyred: A saffron twist to a murderous political tale in Kerala
‘Ahuti’ in remembrance of the martyred: A saffron twist to a murderous political tale in Kerala
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During the recently concluded national meet (23-25 September 2016) of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at Kozhikode, a small booklet titled Ahuti (meaning ‘sacrifice’ in Sanskrit) was released by the party’s national leaders to commemorate the sacrifice of the ‘brave sons of Bharat Mata who laid down their lives to preserve nationalism’.

It is only the fourth time in the party’s history that Kerala has been chosen as the venue for the national conference. This could in all probability be attributed to the rise in the party’s vote share from a mere 6% in 2011 to 10.5% in 2016, thereby heralding Kerala as the next political bastion that ought to be captured by the BJP.

The booklet is published by the Centre for Kerala Socio Economic and Political Studies (CKSPS), a non-profit organisation reportedly dedicated to studying the political impact on socio-economic development in Kerala.

Conceived and edited by Sanju Sadanandan and Nirupaka B, the booklet goes on to royally thrash the Communist ideology and Leftist politics which is deemed inherently virulent in nature.

Going by what the booklet says, ‘the mission of the Centre is to present empirical knowledge based on data to encourage policy decisions….that would lead to understanding the spectrum of political outcome on social development.’

While lauding Kerala for its lush greenery, Ayurveda, Kalari and the land’s cultural diversity, Kerala is presented as a hotbed of political violence and infamous for its anti-industry strikes.

A perusal of the booklet acquaints the reader of almost 268-odd murders of karyakartas and slain BJP workers (replete with pictures and copies of newspaper cuttings) starting from the first instance of martyrdom cited in the Preface itself, that of 16-year old Subramaniam  who died on 18 Mar 1965 in police firing, in the backdrop of a Muslim League win in the state assembly election.

It does make for a disturbing read, but when intermingled with newsy tidbits like that the actual figures could run into thousands, one is not very sure about the veracity of the empirical evidence presented by CKSPS.

The above fact is sought to be justified with the statement that ‘in 1997, veteran Marxist leader Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee brazenly stated in reply to a question in the state assembly that between 1977 and 1996, 28000 political murders had taken place. That works out to a whopping average of 125.7 murders per month, and four per day!

Just because West Bengal and Kerala share a leftist political history, by attributing political intolerance in one state to apply to the other by default is stretching it a bit far.

Almost every sentence in the booklet is written with the sole aim of establishing how ‘barbarism is a Communist forte when it comes to making murders more gruesome.’ To quote a few lines from the Preface:

“Kerala is now almost synonymous with political murders….Nationalist forces of Kerala -read Jan Sangh/BJP/RSS/ABVP- have always been at the receiving end of Communists or Marxists, Islamic fundamentalists and Evangelists, many a times, there being an unholy nexus between them all.”

As delineated further, Jayakrishnan Master, Yashoda, Dharmarajan, Kausalya, Ammu Amma, Rajan, Satyan, Anoop, Durgadas, PS ANu, Sujith, Kim Karunakaran, Bimbi, Murugananda, VIshal, Sachin Gopal and many more are brave unsung heroes who  would have gone on to  become pillars of the nation, had they been alive.

Ahuti’s objective is “to pay obeisance to the departed souls and bring before the nation the sacrifice made by these martyrs.”

Terming their martyrdom as a colossal national loss, BJP national president Amit Shah seeks to paint Kerala’s volatile politics as detrimental to societal and national interests. According to him, the sheer nature of political violence indulged in by all the opponents of the nationalist –read saffron- ideology has left the rest of the country stupefied by its grossness.

That they are able to answer BJP and Sangh ideology with only violence points to the innate failure of Communist ideology and Leftist politics, he avers.

The booklet apparently aims to create a holistic picture of this prevailing tense political atmosphere in the state -especially in the aftermath of the lotus flowering for the very first time in Kerala’s political history (BJP won the Nemom constituency in the recently held state Assembly elections)- by paying obeisance and singing paeans to the memory of the dead among the saffronists in the state.

Kerala BJP state president Kummanan Rajasekharan –in his message- attributes the Left’s comeback to power in the state to rampant corruption in the UDF and by playing the development card well.

He too starts off with how Communists could never tolerate any ‘democratic opposition’ whatsoever, and goes on to brand Ahuti as a public record of the atrocities committed by the Marxists who ‘love to flaunt their political clout and suppress any form of dissent.’

In the epilogue, the editors seal the ‘bitter truth’ with a quote from the Financial Express that Kerala has had more political riots than any other state, with more than half of India’s cases to its credit.

“Data collected by the US State Department lists Taliban, Islamic State, Boko Haram, and CPI (Maoist-a banned outfit) as the first four in the list of feared terror groups in the world.”

And the Maoist avatar is very conveniently merged with Kerala’s Marxist avatar of the Communist Party of India to reiterate the horrendous reality that Communist regimes across the world have killed approximately 100 million people.

Just how many of them the Sangh would love to attribute to have occurred in Kerala is just anyone’s guess.

The booklet can be accessed here.

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