THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Vilappilsala is witnessing a new mode of agitation, which finds its strength not in the conventional way. The inactivity of the mainstream parties in organising the agitation has resulted in spirited participation from radical groups, frowning on both mainstream parties and police officials alike.
“The passive approach of mainstream political parties has given an opportunity for the fringe parties to intervene. When the agitators blocked the waste-laden vehicles from entering the plant, the strategy was quite clear from their part. Tying together the legs of the women was something new that the law enforcers encountered.
‘’The suffering endured by the people of the place could not be underestimated and so is the lack of participation from the mainstream political parties. Some organisations have tried to fill the void and are making inroads into the area. But we are maintaining a strict vigil on the happenings,” a top Intelligence official said.
G R Subhash, Vellanad local committee secretary of the Socialist Unity Centre of India (SUCI) (Communist), opined that the unity exhibited by the public during such an agitation alone is capable of changing the attitude of the mainstream political parties. ”In Vilappilsala, the mainstream parties have cheated the public. They are trying to choke the agitation. The latest action of the panchayat to file a petition in Supreme Court and the Corporation filing an objection to it are all part of the plot to derail the agitation,” he said.
But he refuted the allegation that SUCI was trying to gain political mileage. ”A lone Vilappilsala incident is not enough to alter the political frame of reference of the public. To the maximum, this can bring the major parties back to populist measures,’’ he said.
The same opinion was expressed by Vishnupuram Chandrasekharan, chairman of VSDP, who said that being part of the agitation means being part of the public conscience. ”We have decided to defend any unwanted action from the part of police or CRPF against the people. For this, 3,000 VSDP volunteers would be pressed into action, if required. But the agitation would be in a democratic manner,” he said.
SDPI, the political arm of the Popular Front of India, has been a part of the agitation. Kunnil Shajahan, district president of SDPI, said that over-politicisation would take the wind out of the struggle. ”In the local as well as the district-level, we intervened. But the main initiative should come from the Government. A blame-game on who is participating and who is not, wouldn’t help the cause,” he said.
Vilappilsala Samara Samithi leader S Burhan too expressed his displeasure at the way key political players are treating the issue. ”They are trying to torpedo the agitation. Visibly, they are supporting us. But, actually, they want to derail it. Now, the struggle is being carried out by the people of Vilappilsala and adjacent areas, that too without any political benevolence,” he said.