Brutal killings of Swayamsevaks in Kerala are manifestations of neglect and complicity of the powers that be with radical outfits
Sanjith, RSS Mandal Boudhik Pramukh, was stabbed 20 times by his assailants, Islamic terrorists belonging to the Popular Front of India’s (PFI’s) political front SDPI in Palakkad. Sanjith was stabbed in front of his wife. He was an active Swayamsevak who was popular in his area and was also on the hit list of Islamists. Less than a fortnight before Sanjith was brutally hacked to death, another Swayamsevak, Biju, from Guruvayoor was killed. The SDPI’s armed and radicalised platoons have been selectively targeting Swayamsevaks across the state. Earlier this week, three operatives — Salam, Isahak and Subair — all affiliated to the SDPI, have been arrested from Palakkad in connection with Sanjith’s murder.
Sanjith and Biju’s death will not be discussed in the Saturday clubs of the national capital, nor will they be issues of discussion among the intelligentsia, vocal activist groups and the rent-a-cause troopers who populate prime markets, malls and cafes across the country. The sole reason being that these murders expose the Left’s and the Congress’s complete acquiescence to Islamic radicalism in Kerala and point at their political compromise with it. These parties have become dependent for political survival on radical outfits run by Islamists. This is something which the Left-patronised and externally supported intelligentsia in India do not want to discuss, it is their liberal privilege not to do so. Discussing such a crucial failing will only expose their ideological and political nexus with forces and platforms of instability and disruption which both the SDPI and the PFI represent.
It is no secret that Kerala has seen rapid radicalisation over the last few years. What has also set Kerala apart is that radicalised groups push their recruits to join jihad abroad and participate in the creation of the caliphate. Nexus between powerful drug and gold smuggling cartels, increasing incidents of ‘narco-jihad’ and ‘love-jihad’, all with the aim of converting Kerala into a stronghold of radical Islamist outfits, point to a very disturbing trend in the state. Soft political patronage of Islamists fronts has also led to their increasing assertion and mobility.
In January 2020, the Synod of the Syro Malabar Church had expressed grave apprehension on rising incidents of Christian girls being made victims of love jihad and being killed. The Synod had rung the alarm bell when it said that ‘It is a fact that Christian girls are being targeted by the Love Jihad in the state.’ The Synod had pointed out how several reports indicated that the love jihad network was focusing on targeting Christian girls, and despite reports and inputs by multiple agencies such as the CBI, IB and NIA on increasing incidents of love jihad in the state, no satisfactory steps had been taken by the state government to tackle the threat.
When Bishop Joseph Kallarangatt, of the Palai diocese of the Syro-Malabar Church spoke of college going women in the state becoming victims of ‘narco-jihad’, there was an uproar.
Kallarangatt had argued that instead of keeping silent on social evils in the name of secularism, society had to take these head on. Instead of his views leading to a wider and a more informed debate on the whole issue, Kerala’s communist Chief Minister Vijayan feigned ignorance and said he had not heard of such a thing, and attempted to trivialise it by casting aspersions on the motive of those who had highlighted this dangerous and subversive trend. That the drug and Islamist nexus in Kerala is growing by the day, is no secret to the powers that be, and yet they have maintained silence on the issue or have attempted to brush it aside and suppress it. Not only women from the Christian community, Hindu women are also falling victims to ‘narco-jihad’ in the state. Former Kerala DGP Loknath Behera had also cautioned on growing radicalisation in the state.
While the communist government of Pinarayi Vijayan feigns ignorance about the deteriorating situation, the Congress is no better. Both the Congress and the communists have often forged alliances with Islamist outfits and have therefore consistently looked the other way as regions of Kerala witnessed increasing radicalisation. Indian communists have had a past in which they had aligned with and acted as spokespersons and theoreticians of Islamic separatism, leading to the creation of Pakistan. While Jinnah had called for ‘direct action’, communists theorised his call and the demand for the vivisection of India.
Vijayan’s government has also allowed the SDPI and PFI to occupy public political space and to undertake a sustained and vicious campaign against the RSS and the BJP. From several videos that have emerged from SDPI processions, calls for beheading, chaining and mauling RSS functionaries and BJP leaders seem to be common utterances. Christian youth have also been included as target — a soft approach which will ensure a gradual but irreversible ensnarement through ‘narco-jihad.’
Earlier this week, Kerala BJP president K Surendran and Minister of State for External Affairs and senior BJP leader from Kerala V Muraleedharan pointed at how there was a blanket of silence among the CPIM and the Congress leaders on the rapid radicalisation of the state.
Muraleedharan said Kerala was going the Syria way. The clueless Congress ‘heavyweight’ member of Parliament from Wayanad has kept silent on the situation. Both these parties have not displayed a basic decency to condemn the murderers of Sanjith and Biju. Expressing condolences would have meant perhaps the acceptance of their own failure or would lead the exposure of where their real sympathies lay.
It is high time that the CPIM leadership in Kerala and its Politburo at the centre come clean on its stand vis-à-vis growing Islamic radicalism in a state which they have politically dominated for decades. Failure to contain and condemn it will only point at their complicity with forces of subversion.
The writer is a member of National Executive Committee (NEC), BJP, and the Director of Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation. Views expressed are personal.