It’s not surprising that in a highly politicised society, such as Kerala’s, almost any activity, whether good or bad, is seen through the prism of politics. But there is no way the last word on arguments that go awry, between practitioners of politics of different hues, should be a blood-curdling war cry. In other words, the days of vendetta politics cannot co-exist in modern society. But nothing can be farther from the truth than this when the universe of action is Kannur, the red bastion of the south that carries a rich legacy of uprising by the working class, along with many a stain of political killings.
It is claimed that since the 1970s, about 200 people have been killed in the CPM-RSS clashes in the killing fields of Kannur. Of this, over 40 have lost their lives in the past decade, 2008 being the bloodiest year, with a death toll of 14. As per the police records, 102 political murders were recorded in Kannur between 1991 and 2015, with a bulk of the dead from the RSS and CPM ranks. While there are no authentic statistics that give the correct number of lives lost vis-a-vis their political affiliations, one report suggests that in the last five years, Kerala witnessed 31 political killings, with the CPM cadre losing 17 lives and the RSS-BJP combine accounting for nine lives. Unfortunately, the party bosses, instead of reining in the culprits, are going all out to justify the acts of commission — both by the apparatchiks and pracharaks.
Early this week, a BJP worker was waylaid and attacked allegedly by six CPM workers, again in Kannur district, in the presence of five school children who he was plying in his autorickshaw. This was a clear and uncanny throwback to the gory killing of BJP Yuva Morcha state vice-president K T Jayakrishnan in 1999 inside a classroom in front of terrified 11-year-old school children, again by the CPM workers. The sub-text is that those at the receiving end were once critical players in the CPM party machinery. As was the case of T P Chandrasekharan who dared to challenge his erstwhile party in Onchiyam and paid the price with his life in 2012. When life-time loyalty, even to one’s spouse, is getting to be a rarity, parting ways with partners, either individual or political, can’t be seen as a terminal disease.