Power-hungry Long March

The Samatwa Munnetta Yatra led by Vellappally Natesan has kicked up a row in political circles. How valid is the argument of the UDF and the LDF constituents that the march will create a division among the people of the state, which is akin to taking a position that the state has not witnessed earlier any attempts to create caste or religion-based vote banks?

Published: 30th November 2015 05:51 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th November 2015 05:51 AM   |  A+A-

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Dr Geoge Jacob, Kochi

The Samatwa Munnetta Yatra led by Vellappally is nothing but one of those typical stunts amounting to political eyewash. The ultimate ‘destination’ of the man, who has set his eyes on highest echelons of power in the state, is for all to see. It will not be easy for him to hoodwink the politically astute people of the state, like others who have conducted similar ‘yatras’ before him are well aware. The claim made by the UDF and LDF that the yatra would cause division among the people is nothing but sheer nonsense. All that it does is to add to people’s inconvenience as it passes through the state. The people of Kerala are too sensible to let that happen. They are not naïve as not to identify the political tamasha indulged in by these all too familiar political players, who are all birds of the same self-centred feather

N G Nampoothiry, email

People of Kerala have started realising that they were being hoodwinked by both fronts. The apostles of secularism both in the LDF and UDF are the real perpetrators of caste and religion-based politics in the state. And they are worried that Samathwa Munnetta Yathra by SNDP supremo Vellappally Natesan will polarise the religious sections in the state. When people other than Hindus unite based on caste and religion the parties and power bow  before them and offer freebies at taxpayers expense. When Hindus awake and unite to fight for their rights due for them by all means it disturbs the secular equilibrium of the state and the so called secularists are worried. It is not worry, they are afraid that their machinations are being understood by the Hindus who are subjected to untold exploitations.

Saleem I,  Kottakkal

Vellappally Natesan’s ‘Samatwa Munnetta Yatra,’ aimed at formation of a political party by uniting all major communities in the state, invited hot discussion. I think it will create communal division and will affect the peaceful atmosphere here. Vellappally is misusing an organisation like SNDP Yogam which stood for high ideals like secularism, brotherhood, peace and harmony; for his vested political interests. The SNDP was formed by Sree Narayana Guru for the development of Ezhavas,  the backward Hindu communities. We should fight against all forms of communalism to ensure harmony in the state. But the new slogan is entirely different. Guru’s philosophy and the values endorsed by him were fully disguised. At a time when there is need to create unity among different communities, Vellappally is trying to divide people on religious lines.

A RAVEENDRANATH, Aranmula

Let us face the hard fact squarely: Kerala politics has increasingly become the cesspool of communal and casteist interests. Neither the UDF nor the LDF can wash their off hands Pilate-style from the sordid state of affairs we find ourselves in. Both have had no qualms in sharing power with communal parties on the pretext that minority communalism is synonymous with secularism. Communalism and casteism in any avatar, whether donning the minority garb or the majority cloak, are equally antithetical to the ideal democratic concepts. Vellappally Natesan naturally felt enticed with the gains garnered by the minority-brand politicians, who claim to be Messiahs of the minorities. But, he would be hard-pushed to succeed in his ambition since the majority community is not a monolithic entity unlike other minority communities.

NARAYANASWAMY RAMAN, Parali

Numerous religious/caste-based groups like IUML, Kerala Congress, NSS, SNDP and Kerala Brahmana Sabha have been in existence in the state for ages, they all co-exist here peacefully and will continue to remain so for years to come. Vellappally’s Yatra is just a political experiment to garner Hindu votes en bloc. What worries UDF and the LDF constituents most is the remote possibility of crucial Hindu votes getting divided as a result of Vellappally’s efforts to unite the divided majority through the march. But their worry is unfounded because Hindu unity in India cannot be realized in any foreseeable future.

K M Divakaran, Kannur

The no-holds-barred attack on Vellappally and his Samathwa Munnetta yatra by political parties belonging to the left, middle and right has been unique in the sense that never before in the history of Kerala politics a leader of an organisation has been so ruthlessly attacked as in the case of the SNDP Yogam general secretary. The personal attack on Vellappally has nothing to do with democracy or communalism but has everything to do with vote bank politics. That the CPM is in the forefront of the attack reveals that more than any other party, the CPM fears of a sizeable number of its supporters leaving it and joining the new party proposed by Vellappally. It is difficult to predict whether the third front will make any dent in the present political scenario in the state, but one thing is sure - the yatra has created a fear psychosis among all political parties in Kerala.

KOSHY P K, Mavelikkara

While we live in a pluralistic democracy, it is hard to justify the hue and cry made by both the Opposition and the ruling fronts against Vellappally Natesan’s mission to form a political party to save the majority from exploitation suffered for decades at the hands of the political clouts of minorities. Presumably, though the LDF is spitting fire on the yatra and the proposed new party for fear of losing their ardent supporters, the UDF is extremely worried about the invasion of a prominent force, which at any cost will demand a major share of what they have been enjoying so far unchallenged. It has been the practice of political parties to woo the leaders of religions and communities during polls. However, a dream come true project of Vellappally survives or not is yet to be a reality, when the shadow of serious allegations are hanging as ‘the Sword of Damocles’ above his head.

Shaj Koodathil, Mahe

The Samatwa Munnetta Yatra spearheaded by Vellappally Natesan bringing all the Hindu communities under the same umbrella has been hogging the limelight for some weeks. The apprehension of the both fronts is that whether it will create a division among the people of the state. It is a fact that communal harmony and religious harmony are the need of the hour and the secular fabric of the state should be preserved. But there is an undeniable fact that in order to coming to power, caste and religion-based vote banks are created. Vellappally takes the advantage of the brewing discontent among people. The favouritism and vested interest should be uprooted from our soil to bring perfect harmony curbing polarisation.

Sabu Kelachandra, Chingavanam

Substandard groupism in the Congress proved to be a stumbling block in the process of materialising revolutionary resolutions ensuring the interests of the people and the LDF also has failed to function as an effective opposition as a result of faction feud. Against this backdrop, the Samatwa Munnetta Yatra is a democratic means at the opportune time to reveal the blatant acts of omissions and commissions of the government. The opinion of UDF and LDF that the march will create a division among the people can be understood only as a defence mechanism, since they realise that they will be displaced by another force for not rising to the occasion and addressing public issues.

Thomas Matthew Parackel, Muvattupuzha

Our “political leaders” and the so-called “social reformers” have been at it right from the beginning. Wreaking vengeance for personal failures by dividing the unsuspecting masses on a shameless basis. The Kerala political scenario has been vicious with the anti-social activities of  such ‘leaders’. And the latest attempt by Vellappally Natesan is yet another attempt which will, for sure, divide Kerala further. Of course the state has been witnessing many such divisive politics stagemanaged by selfish leaders. But the latest by Vellappally will adversely affect the social growth of the state and upset the apple cart of communal amity which has been the hallmark of Kerala. So, it will definitely create a division among the people of the state.

E SETHURAMALINGAM, Kollam

Naturally, one might be inclined towards his religion and caste. The hierarchy of caste, its role in politics and access to power and resources create a political scenario like patron-client relationship along caste lines. This structure generates ‘vote banking’; voters back candidates of their caste or religion.  Caste system has traditionally had a determining say in people’s access to power. Despite such backdrop, undue brouhaha emerging from UDF and LDF over Vellappally’s moves, echoes their fear about dull poll show.  Vellappally, though in troubles, is growing politically. The UDF and LDF have a good chunk of Ezhava voters.  If this strength rallies behind him, electoral prospects of others are likely to lose lustre. Given the prevailing political trend and assessment, SNDP leader could grow powerful enough to pose a threat to poll survival of both fronts.

V N MUKUNDARAJAN, Vattiyoorkavu

The blitzkrieg of abuse and vitriol hurled by the UDF and LDF leaders at Vellappally Natesan is proof that they have been rattled by the SNDP leader’s mobilisation under the broad platform of Hindu unity. Apart from mouthing clichés about secularism, they have nothing to counter the accusations of minority appeasement that has ignited resentment among sections of the majority community. Kerala has already been communalised over the years by the policies practised by the two fronts. Therefore, the argument that a Hindu front will vitiate peace in society is absurd. Even if the proposed new party does not win any seat in the next Assembly elections, the movement will gain enough traction in the days to come. The LDF and the UDF are ignoring the writing on the wall. They misused secularism to upset the  social equations in society in an irreparable manner.

VIKAS NARON, THALASSERY

The Hindu community in Kerala feels marginalised and feels the heat of minority appeasement in all spheres of life. Secular parties consider Hindus as mere vote banks. With vote bank politics, minority appeasement and Hindu bashing being considered the pillars of secularism, who will protect the Hindus? Vellappally is not a saint and is only exploiting the insecure feeling of the majority community to meet his own interests. Caste and religion-based vote banks are a reality in this state and are considered part and parcel of the neo-secularist  game plans. He is only exploiting that vote bank politics highlighting the Hindu cause. How can he blamed for that? If the Congress and CPM are genuine to protect secularism, let them stop all appeasement politics. Then we can blame Vellappally as divisive and communal.

O Gangadharan, Angamaly

One feels the criticisms being advanced by the UDF and the LDF constituents against the Samatwa Munneta Yatra look absurd and trivial. One  can emphatically substantiate that the row is unwarranted. The allegation that Natesan’s yatra would create a division among the people of the state is non-sense and it may turn only a myth. All these years the political outfits (except BJP and its fringe groups) played an imaginary bogey of “communal card” to hoodwink Kerala voters and cunningly thrived on community organisations. Vellappally’s Yatra seems unpalatable to the traditional Fronts, and they are bitterly scared of loss of the traditional votes to their respective vote bank kitties. These fronts, if they have any faith  in  democracy, need not have to fear about any new political fronts or any kind of yatras by any groups.

N G Nampoothiry, email

People of Kerala have started realising that they were being hoodwinked by both fronts. The apostles of secularism both in the LDF and UDF are the real perpetrators of caste and religion-based politics in the state. And they are worried that Samathwa Munnetta Yathra by SNDP supremo Vellappally Natesan will polarise the religious sections in the state. When people other than Hindus unite based on caste and religion the parties and power bow  before them and offer freebies at taxpayers expense. When Hindus awake and unite to fight for their rights due for them by all means it disturbs the secular equilibrium of the state and the so called secularists are worried. It is not worry, they are afraid that their machinations are being understood by the Hindus who are subjected to untold exploitations.

SUNDARAM GOVIND, Aluva

The argument that the Samathva Munnetta Yatra will divide people based on caste, creed and religion presupposes that there is no such cleavage so far. The Kerala Congress is Christian based and Muslim League exclusively represents Muslims in Kerala. The LDF also banks upon minority votes by conducting beef festival. The UDF recognises caste-based organisations like NSS and SNDP as their support base. When there is a plea to unite the majority community, the two fronts take up the cudgels stating that secularism is in danger. This is a vestige of the divide and rule policy of the British. The threat is really to the vote bank politics and the two fronts will do well if they stop the appeasement policy and stand for the uplift of all sections.

Dr Asok Sanker, Kollam

Vellappally Natesan who heads the SNDP Yogam is now leading a yatra from Kasargod to the capital city to declare a new political outfit. According to his statement, he is going to fight for the injustice he and his followers are receiving  from the government and that he is bound by his conscience. C K Janu and friends are applying the same principle to form another party for the Dalit community. The present day political parties  vie with each other to capture power at any cost. The secularity of the nation will be lost if such divisive forces are allowed to exist.  He has no right to form a party which speaks of hypocrisy.

 

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