Author: Rajeev Srinivasan
Date: March 13, 2017
With due applause for the historic win for the Bhartiya Janata Party in Uttar Pradesh, I’d like to know what exactly the party intends to do with this famous victory.
Yes, I am glad that this has given BJP a runway to the 2019 general election, and that it has at least partially recovered from its missteps in Bihar and Delhi. And yes, I am also glad that last year’s demonetisation has not hurt the party or the economy. I am delighted, but to mix metaphors wildly, I’d like to ask, “Hey, where’s the beef?”
That’s perhaps a slightly inappropriate quote from an iconic 1990’s advertisement where a little old American lady complains about how her hamburger has too little meat. But I’d like to know, as Americans might ask with refreshing candour, “What have you done for me lately?”
I have been following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speeches, and I am yet to see anything (maybe I missed it) about protecting the lives and limbs of the citizens in Kerala, who have been under murderous attacks by Communists ever since they came to power last year.
A dozen activists of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and BJP were brutally hacked to death; virtually every week there’s a new attack on the property of the BJP and RSS and their members. And these are members of the PM’s own party. The very same people who worked hard last year to get the very first BJP MLA into the Kerala Assembly: a historic feat in its own right, along with a 10% vote share.
Attacks on women are gathering pace as well: a famous actress was abducted and raped. Two schoolgirl sisters, aged about twelve and nine, hanged themselves one after the other because a family acquaintance was regularly raping them. A Christian padre godman is on the run, along with several nuns and people above their chain of command, after the godman repeatedly raped and impregnated an underage girl, and when she had a baby, forced her father to ‘confess’ that he had raped his daughter.
Twelve-year-old Vismaya, who was seen impishly laughing when she appeared on a quiz show last year, asked the question: “Why did they kill my father?”, and shared her heart-breaking story: “My future has turned to ashes”. Her father, a daily-wage labourer, and a BJP candidate in local elections was hacked to death by Communists in his home; with his death, the laughter has gone out of her life. Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao, dear Prime Minister?
The Prime Minister owes Vismaya an answer. And all the other daughters and wives and sisters and mothers also need an answer. So does Vimala, who was burned to death: In the image below is her mother’s journey about the pilgrimage from Palakkad to Trivandrum to immerse her ashes. It says in Malayalam: “A mother’s lament about Marxist cruelty…” That is Vimala, before and after she suffered third-degree burns. And in the top left corner, there is Vismaya.
I have wondered why the government at the centre has not acted against the Kerala government as law and order have gone for a toss in the state. The Communists, treading a well-trodden path elsewhere (I have seen with my own eyes the historical evidence of how they committed genocide in Cambodia in the Khmer Rouge days) are running a reign of terror in Kerala.
There is a precedent for tough action: in 1959, Nehru tossed out the EMS Nambudiripad (EMS) government after the clergy fomented a much milder ‘law and order situation’ in Kerala. Just waiting for an excuse, Nehru chucked EMS out using Article 356. The situation is much worse now, and what inhibits the Modi government?
I have been under the impression that the government has been waiting for the UP election to get over before reading the Communists the riot act. Although they should have done that the day the Communists were sworn in – there’s nothing more salutary than the threat of losing political power to discipline politicians. But it’s not too late today.
And the reality is that the Communists count for very little, other than in JNU. Out of 107 Communists who stood for election in the five states that recently went to polls, all 107 of them lost their deposits, a remarkable 100 per cent record. The well known poster-girl of the left Irom Sharmila got a total of just 91 votes in her constituency after she has been lionised for decades. Just like in the rest of the world, in India too, Communists are being consigned to the garbage bin.
It is only in academe (note a professor named Saibaba being jailed for terrorism activities, marvelously reflecting the film Buddha in a Traffic Jam) that there are urban guerrilla-wannabes who still have wet dreams of Che Guevara. The fact that they still run riot in JNU and Lutyens media is mostly an artefact of the #DeepState interfering to manufacture riots, but I digress.
Yet, the Communists still can hurt the Indian State, as they demonstrated in the ambush that killed 12 Centreal Reserve Police Force (CRPF) men on the same day of the UP triumph. Those 12 men didn’t have to die, and their daughters will ask the question: “Why did you send my father to die in the forest?”
There is also an unfortunate Communist tendency to tie up with the most obscurantist Muslims. Laughable, because Muslim fundamentalists see the Communists as only moderately useful idiots and will shoot them as godless atheists at the very first opportunity. In Kerala, EMS was the one who created a Muslim-majority district of Malappuram, and there has not been a single Communist assault on Muslims in the state. Nor on Christians, for that matter: the dead are all Hindus.
The fact is that to put it bluntly, the Communists are anti-national and have extra-territorial loyalties, mostly to China, and sometimes to Islamists. It’s not surprising that Communists are all full of righteous indignation about Palestinians: they go around to ask for donations for the Palestinian cause. Fortunately, we all know that ‘Palestinian cause’ is a euphemism for ‘local tavern’, so no harm was done, but the dog-whistle signalling is interesting. I have never seen them seek donations to resettle Kashmiri Pundits in J&K.
And there is a precedent for treating Communists harshly. In our neighborhood, Bangladesh shot every one of its Communists during and after the war of liberation. There are none left, the wiser ones moved and now bullied West Bengal. Indonesia did the same thing as chronicled in The Year of Living Dangerously. In Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew rounded up and shot them, suspecting (rightly) that they would impede the development of his country.
I do not advocate randomly shooting Communists, and I don’t even necessarily want them to be kicked out of power, given that the alternative (the Congress) is ruinous in other ways. But I would certainly advocate telling their leaders that they had better rule without organised pogroms, or else things may get a little sticky for them personally and for their party in general. And those who espouse violence, like this person, need to be prosecuted
As someone who has wholeheartedly supported PM Narendra Modi from the darkest days of 2002, I really would like to know now what he plans to do, before Kerala turns into another Hindu graveyard, as Manoj Kureel suggested in this dramatic cartoon. If the PM has no plan, that would be useful to know, as well. Maybe there should be a Plan B.