Voice Of The People

NHRC gives notice on Kannur Violence

Meenakshi Lekhi, the BJP MLA, spoke to the Founder of Jan Ki Baat, Pradip Bhandari, in an attempt to bring to the forefront the violence against BJP workers in Kannur. The state of Kerala is usually applauded for its literacy rate, its sex ratio and other socially progressive factors. What is often not taken into account is the violent attacks on certain members because of their ideological orientation, since the 1960s. A total of 300 RSS and BJP workers have been killed in the past. Is this merely a case of failure of law and order? Beheadings, mutilations, rapes, murders, burnings- there are more than 400 complaints filed, now. And yet, the condition hasn’t improved. Lekhi calls it a “sinister ploy of political maiming” where gauging of eyes and hacking a person to death are just seen as a game. The recent death of a daily wage labourer, Santosh, who is survived by his daughter and wife, has found no mention in the mainstream media. This silence on part of the media houses can be considered their complacency, or at the very least, their incapability to perform their duties as objective, responsible journalists. Democratic principles are the foundation of India, says Lekhi, and yet these repeated violations have not gathered enough scrutiny. Ideological disagreements are part of the democratic functioning but they are not the justifiable enough for such heinous acts. The governor of Kerala, too, has been silent; Lekhi claims that since the Governor is a former judge, his work-format is quite different, a possible reason why he chooses to be legally cautious. However, within the system, with the authority of the Home ministry, this communication between the State and Centre could and should be extended to reach towards a reconciliation. About the CPI leadership’s comments, Lekhi said that their comments reflect their panic: the CPI leaders are quick to dissociate themselves with perpetrators claiming that these are examples of isolated incidences. Lekhi points out the obvious loophole in their rhetoric: parties are built by workers and the discontented ones should be held accountable for their actions. Absence of any compensation, failure to respond to formal complaints, amounts to the victimization of the victim.

With the 2014 Win of the BJP government, Kerala and the Centre’s relations got a new political backdrop: the State’s CPI(M) government and the Centre’s BJP one are politically diametrical. Political clashes in the State began a decade after the RSS set up their base in the 1940s. Kannur became the geographical space that witnessed the ideological clash between the BJP-RSS and CPI(M) since the late 1900s and shows no sign of being resolved.

Kerala is now on the watch-map, which has shook its previous image of a developed state. A protest march that has been organized that has seen vocal as well as physical support from all the concerned. This heightened alertness amongst people would certainly be able to develop into a strong resistance to constitutional violations of this kind. Lekhi hopes to build up more pressure around the issue.


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