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RSS-BJP doublespeak on political violence
Introspection time for CPI(M) too
By P. Sreekumaran
The RSS-BJP combine would have the people believe that the escalation in violent clashes between them and the CPI(M) in Kerala is solely because of the politics of violence being practised by the latter. The ground reality, however, tells a different tale.

The BJP-RSS leaders in the State say there has been a rise in violent clashes ever since the Pinarayi Vijayan-led Left Democratic Front Government assumed power. As many as nine RSS/BJP workers have been killed during the nine months the LDF Government has been in power, claims BJP state president Kummanam Rajashekharan.

The BJP State chief is also on record that the BJP would make all efforts to end the cycle of violence, and that it would extend full cooperation to the initiative made by the Chief Minister to put an end to the violent clashes, especially in Kannur district.

In fact, Kummanam himself admits that there has been a slight improvement in the situation thanks to the two rounds of peace talks held at the initiative of the CM.

But the RSS/BJP leaders and activists in the state have, however, violated the spirit of the peace accord by indulging in provocative speeches aimed at whipping up tension. BJP state general secretary K Surendran fired the first salvo by claiming that the BJP has retaliated for every killing of its workers by killing CP{I(M) workers! These were the leaders who raised a hue and cry when CPI(M) leader M M Mani admitted political killings to avenge the slaying of CPI(M) workers by political rivals.

As if this is not enough, the RSS/BJP leaders ratcheted up tension with a provocative call to stop Pinarayi Vijayan from attending a harmony rally he addressed in Mangaluru. The Chief Minister, however, managed to attend the rally thanks to the cooperation and tight security arrangements made by the Karnataka Government. But the tension has not abated. If anything, it is set to rise again with the saffron brigade threatening to stop Vijayan from participating in such rallies in the future as well.

It is this doublespeak of the BJP/RSS leaders which is the prime reason for the ongoing tension between the two sides. On the one hand, they request the CM to hold peace talks to end the violence. But, on the other, they create problems for him by threatening to disrupt his political rallies! The earlier they stop this doublespeak the better. And only when they do this, will Kerala know real peace.

The RSS/BJP leaders are on a weak wicket when they blame the CPI(M) alone for the violent clashes. It is not as if they do not indulge in retaliatory violence. Every murder of a BJP/RSS workers is repaid with retaliatory killings by them. When they resort to that, they are doing what they accuse the CPI(M) of indulging in: retaliatory politics of violence and murder.

Thus, their claim of injured innocence falls flat in its face. They would occupy the moral high ground only when they stop this retaliatory violence.

CPI(M) leaders in the state, however, blame the RSS/BJP leaders for the political tension and violence. The RSS/BJP efforts to change the secular nature of the state's polity is the reason why the state is witnessing rising violence, claims CPI(M) State secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

That may be true. But it is also a fact that there has been a rise in violence since Pinarayi took over as the CM. No amount of hairsplitting can wish away this fact. Being in power, it is primarily the responsibility of the Chief Minister and the LDF Government to see that the cycle of violence becomes a thing of the past. The CPI(M) leaders say the party does not believe in the politics of murder. But killing of political rivals continue despite such assertions. The Government must put down violence with a firm hand. If violence against political rivals is deliberately resorted without the knowledge of local leaders, then it is time the party disowned and expelled such hotheads. Also, the CPI(M) leaders should make a public renunciation of political violence. That alone will send a positive message to the people who are at the receiving end of the violent clashes.

Last but not the least, the allies of the CPI(M) should also come out with open denunciation of political violence. True, the CPI leaders in the state like former party state secretary Pannyan Ravindran, have condemned the politics of violence. Not only the CPI but other allies like the NCP, JD(S) and Congress(S) should also put the CPI(M) under greater pressure and induce a rethinking on its part. That way lies the path to permanent peace.

—(IPA Service)

News Updated at : Wednesday, March 15, 2017
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