Kerala, perhaps, has the unique distinction of being the only place in the world where burning issues of the state rarely make headlines. The Government, media, intellectuals and even the general public are oblivious of crucial issues around them which have a direct impact on their life, and focus their attention on what is happening in Utopia.
Public discourse in Kerala is always on certain pre-determined topics like ‘dangers posed by the rise of BJP, Donald Trump’s rise in the US, importance of eating beef, etc. The background could be any place on earth except Kerala.
This is no exaggeration. Those who have listened to the speeches of present chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan will agree. Comrade starts his speech thundering against the dictatorial traits of US president-elect Donald Trump and the sufferings of North African migrants in Europe. (It doesn’t matter for comrade Vijayan that his words do not have any significance for Trump, Americans or migrants to Europe) Then, he lashes out at the “ pro-capitalist moorings of Narendra Modi and the danger posed by BJP to the secular structure of India.” To wind up, he will murmur a few words on developments in Kerala. By the time, majority of audience would have dispersed. Afterwards, at the tea shops and barber shops in Kannur and Kollam loyal comrades will discuss about the need to make Kerala society aware of the ill effects of the rise of right wing in the US.
However, they are blissfully ignorant about the health hazards posed by the piling up garbage in front of their homes or shops. The common response will be who cares!
Prime time discussions in news channels focus on what is happening in Washington and Gujarat. Kasaragod and Neyyattinkara (small towns in Kerala) are Neptune and Pluto to them. While Rohit Vemoola’s fate was discussed by channels for months, they took up the issue of unnatural death of Jishnu Pranoy an engineering student at Nehru College at Pampady in Kerala, allegedly after torture by college authorities, was taken up after social media forced them.
The pseudo-left hold the sway over the public intellect and has brainwashed the public to think that it is important to ignore local issues and focus on what is happening elsewhere. Here is an example.
Once, I met a Keralite chef at a coffe shop in one of the cities in Gulf. He had completed more than 20 years in the same shop. He started as a cleaning boy and became a shawarma maker in course. As I became a regular customer, he began to talk to me and I found that he believed in a peculiar mix of ideology based on CPM brand Communism and aggressive Islamism preached by extremist groups in Kerala. He was living in very poor conditions and was paid a meagre salary. But he seemed never bothered about his own conditions. He always talked about the need to defeat BJP and Narendra Modi and the dangers posed by them and wanted his customers also to follow his line.
One day, I found him very disturbed and asked him about it. He said his mother had become very ill and had been hosptialized. He wanted to visit her but the shop owner who was also a comrade from his own village was denying him leave. The shop owner comrade had taken possession of his passport and had not allowed him to go home for the last five years. Moreover, he was never paid the salary promised in his contract. I helped him to file a complaint with the labour department and embassy and later his problem was solved partly. They allowed him to go home but he lost his job and major part of money due to him. Before leaving he thankfully told me, that the incident had opened his eyes. “I cannot understand why I obeyed the commands of those who never allowed me to think about my plight. They misguided me and forced me to focus on issues that don’t affect me while exploiting me,” he said.
Every Kerala migrant in Gulf will have similar stories to tell. Even in the Gulf they live thinking and reading about issues that matter little to them and opposing imaginary exploitations that are taking place in some remote African land. They never think about exploitations by their own Malayali business owner and Arab sheikh. Every year politicians from Kerala, especially Left politicians, come to Gulf and snatch away part of their hard earned money as donations to party fund. They never ask any questions to those who made them exile to hot Arabian deserts and spend their whole lives there separated from their families at home.
Unemployment doesn’t lead to social unrest
The same applies to migrants from Kerala to other countries like Australia, US and Europe. The lesser fortunate migrants rush to Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi and other Indian cities. The high rate of unemployment resulting from total destruction of agricultural sector ( food grain and coconut) and lack of industries would have resulted in social unrest in any other part of the world and would have turned the youth against ruling class (Communists in Kerala context). But that didn’t happen in Kerala. The propaganda machinery of the left has been very successful in Kerala to divert the ire of unemployed against imaginary enemies who are often imperialists, capitalists and communalists operating in unknown territories or BJP.
The left creates the impression that Kerala is the most developed land in India and it is the left rule that brought about this. Even non resident Keralities in GCC, who sweat it out in the sweltering Arabian deserts to feed their dear and near in Kerala nod in agreement. Pseudo-Left economists like Amartya Sen write thesis on Kerala Model Development and proclaim that Left rule has made Kerala God’s own Country when the truth is migrants from Kerala who shed their blood and sweat in unknown deserts of Gulf and sacrifice their lives in the icy cold lands of Europe should be given the credit for the development of Kerala.
It might be true that communists have drafted land reforms in kerala and Congress had implemented it. It might have helped the society at a certain stage. But those political parties were unable to take it forward. They opposed mechanised farming which ended agriculture sector, especially cultivation of food grains and coconut. They opposed computerisation. The result was while Bangalore progressed to become the silicon valley of India, Though Thiruvananthapuram Technopark was one of the first major IT initiatives in India, Kerala is lagging way behind Bangalore. While Chennai rose to become the Detroit of Asia, Kerala has nothing to boast. Even the less developed north Indian states have made giant leaps in development in the last decade. But Kerala is relying more and more on NRK deposits. Once, roads in Kerala were models to other states. Now even Lucknow’s roads will make Kerala envious.
But Kerala’s outdated left political leadership will dismiss all these realities and will cite Kerala’s Human Development to point out that the state has invested in human development which is the real development. But this is actually belittling the hard working Malayali who works outside the state and invests in developing his children so that they will also get a job outside. It is the NRK who invests in human development not the state. Left politicians deny him even the credit of developing his children.
The peculiar propaganda unleashed by the left has actually widened the divisions in the society. Keralities don’t have a feeling of oneness. MPs from the state never stand united above politics to fight for the rights of the state.
In the light of above facts Keralites need to do a reality check. Rather than thinking and fighting for things that don’t affect them, Keralities need to think about their own needs and fight for a solution. Otherwise they will lose many things in the coming days.