A joint statement issued by NSS General Secretary G Sukumaran Nair and SNDP general secretary Vellappally Natesan on plight of Hindus in Kerala has evoked angry reactions from political parties in Kerala, especially CPM and Muslim League.
While CPM leader V.S. Achuthanandan commented that the effort of NSS and SNDP leaders was to help the growth of communalism in the state, Muslim League general secretary E T Muhammad Basheer said the statement of NSS and SNDP leaders would adversely affect communal harmony. According to Basheer, the statement of Sukumaran Nair was of low standard and he asked NSS to withdraw from such references. Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala and chief minister Oommen Chandy however refused to comment on the statement of Nair and Vellappally.
It seems that political parties in Kerala sees red in the emerging Nair-Ezhava unity in Kerala and are wary of Hindu unity moves. Hindu unity in Kerala means political equations will change and propaganda being unleashed by a section of political parties in Kerala aimed to split Hindu castes won’t work anymore.
According to Achuthanandan, NSS-SNDP unity is aimed to help the rich. Achuthanandan commented that leaders of both organizations are trying to threaten those in administration and get things done for them.
KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala who came under vehement attack from NSS leadership for allegedly failing to stand by the demands of Hindu community in Kerala said he will not reply to leaders of social organizations. He said he would not dilute the secular ideals followed by Congress.
However, a different voice was heard from a leader of Mar Thoma Christian Church in Kerala. Metropolitan of the Church Mar Chrisostam is reported to have said that if leaders of majority community have grievances, it should be discussed. I am also ready to discuss the issue, he said.
What political leaders fail to see
Even as political leaders accused NSS and SNDP of helping growth of communalism, they did not explain how a demand for justice could harm communal harmony. In fact, lack of justice could result in disharmony. It is common in the state for leaders of Muslim Community to publicly speak that their community is being neglected and minorities are being discriminated. But no political party has ever called it a communal campaign.
While the constitution of India envisages reservation in jobs for socially and educationally backward communities, all those adhering to Islam religion in Kerala get reservation. In the history of Kerala, Muslims have never been discriminated against. Majority of MLAs of ruling front in Kerala-UDF- belong to minority communities. Muslim League, a party which split India on the basis of religion has five members in Kerala cabinet and controls powerful ministries. Studies of Kerala government’s Centre for Development Studies has revealed that the major part of money flowing to Kerala from foreign countries belong to minority communities proving that they are affluent in Kerala.
While students of minority communites get different types of financial aid, forward castes in Hindu society who are financially backward do not get any help. Similarly widows belonging to minorities are eligible for different types of financial aid. Forward castes in Hindus are finding it very tough to exist in Kerala at present as they are helpless socially and economically.
It seems that political parties in Kerala have smelled danger at the progress of Nair-Ezhava unity. Of the 56 per cent Hindus in Kerala Nair-Ezhava communities in Kerala constitute more than 40 per cent. If at least a third of these communities decide to vote by the new equations developing in the state, a third political front different from UDF and LDF would become crucial in state politics. It seems that the ploy of Political parties dividing Hindus raising the false propaganda that forward castes have brutally tortured backward castes hundreds of years ago won’t work anymore. Hindus have realized who the real exploiters are. If Hindu unity becomes real it would give a new orientation to government policies in Kerala.