Yathras by political leaders are not new to Kerala. These ‘yathras’ are normally launched by various political parties and their leaders either on the eve of elections to propagate their policy and programmes or as and when a new leader assumes office as the helmsman of a party. In fact, my party and I too have led such ‘yathras’ on several occasions.
My Jana Raksha Yathra commencing on October 3 from Payannur and concluding in Thiruvananthapuram on October 17 is different from the routine run-of-the mill yathras. Call it an odyssey. My odyssey is to protect the basic human right - the right to live. The right to live is ruthlessly denied to many in Kerala. Therefore, a campaign to uphold the right to live is of utmost relevance in Kerala today. The BJP’s Jana Raksha Yathra is to remind these forces of terror that “All have to live.”
The much-trumpeted God’s Own Country is fast degrading into Devil’s Land. The Prime Minister was prompted to speak on the increasing political violence in Kerala and express the nation’s concern over the state’s pathetic plight. BJP national president Amit Shah ji is walking for a while along with my party colleagues and I when we start the odyssey at Payyannur and conclude it in Thiruvananthapuram. Not only Amit Shah ji but also several others from the party’s top brass are also joining the Jana Raksha Yathra. It will be a mega event in Kerala history. Thousands of workers and sympathisers will accompany the yathra. The Jana Raksha Yathra will set a new agenda for the state and initiate a new course in the state’s sociopolitical life.
Kerala has been the breeding ground and training ground for jihadists. International Islamic terrorist organisations are on a frantic bid to recruit as many as possible. Even love and marriage are widely misused as means for recruitment to the jihadi brigade. While stepping down as chief of Kerala Police a few months ago, DGP Senkumar had said the state is a fertile ground for jihadi terrorists. Police records confirm ‘Love Jihad’ under which innocent girls are brainwashed and recruited for IS activities. The cases of young men and women missing from different parts of the state have been many. Subsequently, several among them are reported having reached Syria and other places abroad. Organised and planned murder of youngsters in the name of ultra Islamic ideology is never few here.
Incidents of red terror in Kerala are blood curdling. The attack on the Sangh Parivar is all the more aggressive and fierce whenever the CPM is in power in the state. Within the first 13 months of the present LDF Government headed by Pinarayi Vijayan, there have been 14 murders of Sangh Parivar activists. That means at least one RSS or BJP worker is killed on an average every month by Pinarayi’s comrades. This cannot be allowed to continue.
An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth is never the Sangh Parivar’s philosophy. Every person in Kerala knows the RSS or the BJP is not on a weak wicket to physically or organisationally counter Marxist violence. We are to live and let live. Hence, the campaign against jihadi-red terror. Ideas have to be met with ideas - not to be dealt with arms as the red terrorists. The emerging public opinion in Kerala transcending caste, religion, creed, party and ideology is to put a full stop to the cult of violence once and for all. The Jana Raksha Yathra is a catalyst to this emerging awareness against terrorism, both jihadi and red. Let us translate the motto into reality and make Kerala God’s Own Country in every sense of the term.
The author is state president of the BJP
(The views expressed by the author are his own)