Why has the RSS not been able to understand Kerala?

For almost a century, RSS has been striving to reinforce religion and not humanity as the basis for interaction between people in Kerala
Why has the RSS not been able to understand Kerala?
Why has the RSS not been able to understand Kerala?
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By MA Baby

[The author is a Polit Bureau member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)]

The article titled Kerala: God’s Own Country or Godless Country?, which was recently published in the Organiser- RSS’ English mouthpiece- is in itself an object of ridicule. A perusal of the same reveals its intolerance of Kerala’s secular credentials. It is normal for RSS to indulge in Communist-bashing, I’d rather not further elaborate on the same. But, It’s more on the lines of a hate speech by the RSS targeting women, Dalits and religious minorities in Kerala, which is not acceptable.

If an article praising Kerala would have appeared in the Indian version of this Fascist mouthpiece, then that would surely have been cause for concern for us.

Since its inception in 1925, RSS has been trying hard to take root in Kerala. RSS has always held the 1921 Malabar Rebellion as an immediate provocation for such an organization.

For almost a century, RSS has been striving to reinforce religion and not humanity as the basis for interaction between people in Kerala, a stance that Kerala has never given in to. Kerala is the only state in India (among the major states in India) which has elected neither an MLA nor an MP from the RSS’ political wing represented by the Bharatiya Janata Party or its earlier version i.e. the Bharatiya Jan Sangh. Kerala was the only state, which turned its back on the rising RSS tide that surged through the rest of India in the last Lok Sabha elections. The fact that Kerala offers an alternative choice is what has the RSS and the Congress worried.

 The Kerala House beef controversy in Delhi and subsequent raid by the Delhi police followed by Kerala’s strong reaction to the same have triggered off this current RSS outburst. The Kerala government’s response ensured that beef was served the very next day in Kerala House in Delhi, of which I also partook with many others who thronged to the place. At a time when many have given up eating even buffalo meat in the wake of the RSS trying to foment trouble across the country in the name of beef consumption, Kerala was the only state that did not cave in to the mounting RSS pressure. That Kerala ignored their attempts to divide the nation into meat and non-meat eaters is what irked them the most. That’s why the barrage of falsehoods, half-truths and distorted facts in this hate-spewing article.

This article mirrors the usual propaganda indulged in by the Sangh Parivar organisations. It would be wise to simply ignore this article, as discerning readers will simply laugh it away. A response however is called for in order to counter the vicious nature of such propaganda. Let’s therefore take a look at some of the malicious theories put forth in the said article:

1.    The first accusation is against Comrade VS Achuthanandan who allegedly promised -if elected- to include the Mullahs and Imams of madrassas and mosques on the state government’s pay-roll during the 2006 election campaign, and apparently did the same when the LDF government came into power. VS neither said so nor did the state government under his leadership do anything of that sort. For that matter, to be part of the Indian government’s effort to improve quality of education imparted through madrassas cannot be deemed faulty on any account.

2.   The next accusation levelled is the purported conversion of Kannur district into a killing field of political leaders. This year alone, four CPI(M) workers were hacked to death by RSS loyalists. RSS -amply aided by the UDF government- happens to be the main perpetrator of political murders in Kannur. The latest martyr of RSS’ connivance is Kasargod’s C Narayanan, which was followed by the hacking-to-death of party-worker Najeeb from Pattambi in the premises of a hospital. Twenty-eight party workers have been murdered till date in the course of the present UDF regime. Of these, 17 lost their lives in RSS’ attacks. It is only due to the utmost restraint shown by CPI(M) that Kerala has not plunged into serious political violence. CPI(M) does not condone any political murder. In case a party worker is found involved, it will not support any such individuals. It is ironical that an organisation behind most communal riots in India is now pointing fingers at the Communists in Kerala!

3.   The references made to the women of Kerala are purposefully made to insult them- most live-in relationships are reportedly based in Kerala and divorce is highest in Kerala. It is not illegal under Indian law to have a live-in relationship or to get a divorce. RSS is however striving to portray women in Kerala in bad light by citing rising statistics of live-in relations and divorce cases, as if it is the wrongdoing of women. That is solely due to the inherently flawed RSS perspective about women in general. Kerala hence rejects outright this innately erroneous RSS take on women’s rights in particular.

4.   Another allegation made is the increase in alcoholism and suicide rates in Kerala. Our state does in no way deny its share of problems and limitations. Kerala is part of India. All that troubles India as a whole can naturally be seen in Kerala too. Our political work is aimed at providing a solution to such social ills. Every human life in Kerala counts. So suicides in RSS-ruled states may go unaccounted for, but not in Kerala and therefore the rate is higher.

5.   References made to Comrade EMS are what actually reveal the RSS’ politically parochial thinking. By merely classifying him as a ‘top Brahmin’, they seem to be ignorant of his symbolic transition from a namboodiri to an amazing human being with his actual burning of the poonool (the sacred thread worn on the upper torso by Brahmins to highlight their priestly status). They accuse him of Muslim appeasement. And argue that many favours were bestowed on the Muslim community in Kerala, one of which was the formation of the Malappuram district -EMS’ birthplace. This district was however actually formed as part of the overall development of the then backward Malabar region of Kerala. According to the Organiser’s findings, it is the result of this so-called Muslim appeasement that Muslims in Malappuram have been able to live without any trouble all this while! If that is indeed a fault, we willingly admit to it. They are free to target EMS as the prime suspect in this case. As to other puerile arguments such as only Muslims have the right to buy land in Malappuram, I don’t even know what to say!

6.   EMS is also accused of adopting various drastic measures to appease the Dalits. Not only that, he actually visited Dalit homesteads and participated in their social functions, wherein he partook of beef, thus goes the indictment! The inherent anti-Dalit stance of the Sangh Parivar has come to the fore with this one statement. We the Communists have always been at the forefront in fighting for the rights of the Dalits in modern Kerala, and we will continue to spearhead this agitation.

7.   That EMS labelled the RSS a militant organisation all through his life is another cause for complaint in the article. That’s perfectly true and we will continue to do so!

8.   One always has the freedom to oppose a leader like CH Muhammad Koya, but to label him an extreme Muslim fundamentalist is simply trying to distort historical facts. It would be useless trying to counter every accusation made in this article against Muslims, as almost every other sentence in it seems to do so. So, I reject all of them outright.

9.   The Organiser also grieves over the fact that Kerala seemingly has no leaders of national stature. That argument in itself is wrong, as Sree Narayana Guru, a non-religious Sanyasi is modern Kerala’s greatest national leader. To name just a few, we have Ayyankali, Poykayil Appachan, Chatambi Swami, VT Bhattathiripad, Nidheerkal, Maanikyathanaar, Chavara Achan, Sahodharan Ayyappan, Vaghbhadanandan, Kuttipuzha Krishna Pillai, Muhummad Abdu Rahman, EMS Namboodiripaad, Kumaran Aasaan, Vakkom Maulavi, Swadeshabhimani Ramakrishna Pillai, O. Chandu Menon, CV Raman Pillai, Kesari Balakrishnan Pillai, Keshav Dev, Vaikkom Muhammad Basheer, P Krishna Pillai, AKG, Akkamma Cherian and other national heroes from Kerala. None of them ever tried to afflict Kerala with communal strife. Therefore RSS just cannot succeed in implementing its divisive politics here, that’s all I have to say.

(The original article was in Malayalam and this is a translated version. You can read the original article here.)

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article is the personal opinions of the author. The News Minute is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability or validity of any information in this article.)

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