Will Vellappally’s Samathwa Munnetta Yatra herald in a new dawn in Kerala’s bipartisan politics?
Not if one goes by the words of CPM veteran and Kerala’s Opposition Leader VS Achuthanandan who predicts a watery grave for the new political party to be floated on December 5 with the culmination of this yatra in a massive rally scheduled to be held at Shanghumugham Beach in Thiruvananthapuram. Piling heaps of ridicule on Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana (SNDP) Yogam General Secretary Vellappally Natesan’s latest political venture, VS termed the Yatra a damp squib which would end in a Jal Samadhi for Natesan’s political aspirations.
Never one to miss throwing a barb at the SNDP-BJP alliance, VS foresaw Vellappally donning the RSS attire of khaki shorts and white shirts, once the Yatra reached Attingal, a supposed RSS stronghold in Thiruvananthapuram. He quipped that Vellappaly could hand back the black money to the government as a sign of atonement once the Yatra reached Thiruvananthapuram.
The Samathwa Munnetta Yatra( March for Equality for Hindus) embodies Natesan’s ambitious plans to establish ‘a party for majority communities’, a move welcomed by RSS state general secretary Gopalankutty Master as a demand for a broader Hindu alliance. In an article written for a leading Malayalam daily Vellappally delineated his plans to realise the aspirations of R Shankar and Mannathu Padmanabhan -who had tried to set up a Hindu Mahamandalam in 1950- through this Yatra, a clear indication of cozying up to the Nair Service Society which has hitherto stood askance at all such political ploys by the SNDP supremo.
The 13-day Samathwa Munnetta Yatra was flagged off from Kasargode on Monday and will traverse the entire length of this coastal state, with the purported aim to ensure unity among all sections of the Hindu community from Nayadi to Namboothiri, thereby reiterating SNDP’s willingness to hold talks with any group hailing from within the Hindu fold. Flagged off from Kasargode’s Sidhi Vinayaka temple, Natesan’s Kerala Yatra intends to create a multi-hued Hindu coalition with support from other social organisations such as Sambhava Sabha, Kerala Pulayar Mahasabha, Kerala Dheevara Mahasabaha, Yoga Kshema Sabha and Kerala Nair Samajam- a group of breakaway NSS rebels. Social justice and equality for all Hindus irrespective of caste is the adopted anthem for this equality march.
Though no definite measure of success can be attributed in the recent SNDP-BJP alliance in the just concluded local body polls in Kerala, BJP emerged as a major force to reckon with a sizeable chunk of the vote-share. It is hence but natural for their bête-noir -the Left front- to be wary of any such move which could witness a drastic erosion of their traditional vote-base from among backward Hindu communities of the state. What with the BJP slowly relegating the United Democratic Front to a mere also-ran status, it may be just time for the dawn of a viable Third Front alternative. For whom the bell tolls- the 2016 assembly elections will tell!