Kozhikode is being garbed in a new hue, a rare scenario hitherto witnessed in this region. The glossy yellow flags of SNDP and multi-sized hoardings flaunting the pictures of its leaders have come to occupy the city’s nook and cranny.
With the SNDP’s ‘Ezhava-Thiyya Malabar Mahasangamam’ to be hosted on February 2, the first-ever mega event by the organisation in Malabar incorporating members from six districts, Vellappally Natesan and his team are all set to make a new beginning in Malabar. While multiple challenges await Vellappally in his endeavour including the infighting within the organisation, the million dollar question is how the CPM will confront the outfit’s activity in the region where an overwhelming majority of its cadre belong to Ezhava-Thiyya community.
Political analysts feel that the unprecedented deepening of identity politics in Hindu community in Malabar and the state as a whole indicates the weakening of the CPM. They point out that this trend will surely enfeeble the vigour and organisational rigour of the CPM.
Says cultural critic Azad, “The creation of ‘Adivasi Kshema Samithi’ and ‘Pattikajathi Kshema Samithi’ by the CPM is on the premises of identity politics only and not class politics. In fact, this has in a way become an endorsement for other community-based organisations to strengthen their activities and they are using it very cleverly. This emergence of communal capital is detrimental to the society.”
Ultimately, in order to fight identity-based organisations, the CPM will have to either strengthen the class politics or form more identity-based organisations under the party’s wings. “The CPM will have to form an ‘Ezhava Kshema Samithi’ in the future. And it is actually a mockery of the class politics itself, the cardinal ideology of the Left,” said another political observer, who preferred not to be named. When contacted, CPM state committee member V V Dakshinamoorthy disdained the argument and said that the activities of community-based organisations are just for bargaining of certain elite sections within those communities.
“SNDP had earlier made a similar attempt to strengthen its activities in Malabar but it failed miserably. The people here are more politically oriented and this time also they would reject the movements of community-based organisations,” he said.
Meanwhile, experts feel that the rival Ezhava group led by Gokulam Gopalan might pose a major threat to the activities of Vellappally Natesan in Malabar.
“The decadence in CPM over the years has surely made it less influential among the youth and the community-based organisations are trying to grab this opportunity. However, how far it will make an impact in Malabar cannot be predicted at the moment. It appears that the rival faction of Vellapally and the Thiyya Mahasabha have significant ground support in the region and it will resist the activities of the SNDP,” said Hameed Chennamangalloor, writer and critic.