KOZHIKODE: Aligning with the RMPI (Revolutionary Marxist Party of India), a Left splinter party, is not the biggest change to have occurred in the nearly four-decade-long political life of Muhammad Suhaib, former CPM branch secretary.
Rewind to the 1980s: A youth from a wealthy family at Kuttichira became a Communist. “I was the first and the only Communist in my big family. My father’s elder brother BV Abdulla Koya, was a widely respected state general secretary of IUML who had been a Rajya Sabha member for three decades. I didn’t go the IUML way but identified myself with the warm humanism of the Left, against the aristocracy and the preaching of ustad (madrasa teacher). That was the major change,” says Suhaib, who is the father of Alan Suhaib, the student arrested under UAPA in the Pantheerankavu Maoist case. After becoming a Communist, the second big change is his candidature now.
From art to Communism
Suhaib had been with the CPM for 25 long years, including a stint as the party’s branch secretary at Kuttichira Thangals Road.
His association with theatre and acting wooed him to the party. He was one among the many behind avant-garde filmmaker John Abraham’s cult movie, ‘Amma Ariyaan’.
"LDF is not a three-letter word. It is the quintessential side of humanity. When comrades failed to gauge the thoughts and aspirations of fellow travellers and martyrs, rottenness crept in. Since then, I ceased to be a CPM fellow traveller and had remained a political recluse for a decade," he explained.
Still, a 60-year old Suhaib took part in LDF protests which he could identify with, like the recent one against the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA). After snapping ties with CPM, he returned to cultural world, mainly acting.
The story comes full circle for Muhammad Suhaib
Muhammad Suhaib is reluctant to connect his candidature with the arrest of Alan, who too was a CPM member. It was during the Assembly polls of 1987 that Suhaib, then 33, hit the campaign trail for the first time, when he canvassed votes for the CPM candidate in Valiyangady.
Thirty-three years later, the story has perhaps come full circle and he is traversing the same streets seeking votes for himself. Suhaib is contesting in Valiyangady ward of Kozhikode corporation on an RMPI ticket sans UDF support. The UDF is going solo in the seat, which is a sitting seat of the LJD.