Monday, March 30, 2009

How to Break Muslim Political Power: Why Madani is Key to CPM Strategy in Kerala?

PDP's Abdunnasser Madani and CPM's Pinarayi Vijayan are kindred souls in Kerala politics.

WHAT IS the rationale for CPM’s alliance with Abdunnaser Madani’s PDP in Kerala despite stiff resistance from sections within the left front and even from within the party? Is the PDP such an influential force in Kerla politics to help CPM win this election, while in fact, it appears the PDP factor has alienated substantial sections of left followers and voters away from it?

Recently I came across a defense of this policy made by a CPM intellectual in a discussion forum. I reproduce the argument here:

Let there be no mistake; the CPM's effort in Ponnani is to try and break a traditional stranglehold that one party has had in the region. This stranglehold, along with another stranglehold in central Kerala, has been holding up the growth of progressive forces across Kerala for many years. It is not an issue of winning one seat. It is a part of a strategy that is likely to alter fundamentally the balance of
political forces in Kerala. And that is a good thing.

So the point is very clear: the effort is to break the stranglehold of one party to pave the way for the growth of progressive forces in Kerala. Read it as the decimation of Muslim League in Malappuram for the CPM to take control over the entire state of Kerala, and enjoy a free ride for decades as they had done in West Bengal.

As a political party, no one can blame the CPM for nursing such hopes of hegemony. But how would it help minorities, say Muslims in Kerala? I suspect it can prove to be the proverbial last straw and if the Muslims lose even the little political clout they have today, they would face grave consequences soon.

Here I reproduce some comments I made in the discussion with regard to Madani and his politics and the long-term impact of such moves on Kerala Muslims:

1. I think for the Muslims in India, and even Kerala, they would expected to be constantly apologetic and would need to accept a position of playing second fiddle to certified anti-imperialists like the Communist party.

Rigth now, thank God, Madani has been accepted as a genuine anti-imperialist while people/orgnizations like PFI need to wait for further clearance.

I heard the continuous false propaganda against PFI as a terrorist group by people like P Jayarajan, CPM MLA and present ideologue, on TV the other day. I was there but I chose not to react because I think such calculated calumni painting a community and new elements in it as terrorist is part of a game-plan to which Madani has now fallen a willing tool.

But how long they can keep a proud and historic community like Muslims at this game of blackmailing?

2. ...I was trying to point to a much more serious and even sinister trend that I see in Kerala today. That is painting those who you do not like, or those who may oppose you, as nothing but terrorists and enemy of the nation. The Jayarajan quote I mentioned was part of it, to paint NDF/PFI as the one and only enemy, as the epitome of terror in Muslim community, allowing the real culprits do their dirty work undisturbed.

The CPM MLA referred to Kashmir incidents and death of four people. Who recruited them and who sent them there? The police are investigating and indications point to a certain place and I do not want to say anything more about it.

But we at Thejas daily) had made an investigation as a newspaper and the series was published in our newspaper. Two things emerged in the story. First, some secretive spiritual groups like thareequaths seem to have links to sinister and even criminal elements as proved in the case of Vennakode thareequath, where Thammanam Shaji was a regular visitor. They have a national network too. The police are well aware of it.

The second aspect was the role of some people who keep a close link to police and seem to play a role in inciting such extreme religious sentiments. Some of them are known police agents. They play a role that is dictated by interested parties and groups with links in police. We had exposed a few people with such links and detailed the extreme religiosity they showed on certain occasions.

You know even before this series was fully out, the police became very restive and they threatened to arrest the reporter. It was a very curious phenomenon, and I have not seen it happen even in the time of Emergency. They were asking for sources but anyone who reads it would see the police knew about all this. The same period, they took into custody another of our reporter foisting a terror tag, in Tirurangadi, but the game backfired as the 'terrorist' proved to be a poor brahmin from Jharkhand who came to the place and knew our reporter.

I see that this is part of a wider plan, a plan that has been successfully implemented in the north of India where Muslims have been effectively destroyed as a community. Recently my friend and human rigths lawyer Bobby Kunhu was writing about the success of Modi project in Gujarat.I know it would not be restricted to Gujarat alone, it could come here and indeed it is now appearing in many ways. But why should progressive political parties and sensible people like you and me be a party to such sinister games?

3. I am returning to this link only because I find even people like Satchi daa seem to think the new political line being adopted by the Kerala CPM could be of some benefit to Muslims, dalits and other backward sections in our society.

I have very serious reservations about it. In fact I do feel Madani in his recent press conference was acting according to a script prepared elsewhere and the key to this script seems to be the weakening of these sections who are now slowly emerging as an alternative force, perhaps a third force that is likely to emerge in the near future.

Who are the principal components of the third force, which would try to replace the Congress-led groups and the CPM-led parties? To my mind, the Muslims along with Dalits will have to lead such a force in Kerala, and parties and groups that belong to backwards, and other minorities, including Christians, would also have to join in. Madani would have been a real force, a leading power, in such a situation, but unfortunately his present role is that of a hatchet, a willing tool in the hands of CPM to strike at his own community.

As for the CPM leading the subalterns to liberation, let us look at Bengal and see what has been the experience in the past 30 years of CPM rule there. I would only like to invite attention to the latest editorial in EPW (March 21, 2009) which gives a balanced and objective assessment of how little CPM did to these sections by way of empowerment, both economically and politically.

Now people speak of a new CPM. What is it? Has there been any change in the party programme which we are not aware of? The party has been saying they are committed to a left and democratic alternative and left parties would be the core of such an alliance. And who are the NEW left forces they are forging in Kerala now? By what yardstick could they say that Madani or Raman Pillai are the real and legitimate left and democratic forces to replace old left like CPI, RSP and Janata Dal?

1 comment:

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