People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
April 22, 2001
What The Recent Nadapuram Attack Shows
C P Aboobacker
ON the evening of Wednesday, April 11, masked activists of the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), armed with daggers, choppers, pickaxes, sickles etc, made surprise and barbarous assaults on a number of CPI(M) workers and sympathisers at Chekkiad panchayat in Nadapuram, near Kozhikode, a stronghold of the IUML. They attacked children, old men and women indiscriminately. They stole ornaments and jewellery, chopped off the ears of young women for their ear studs, and burnt the houses after thoroughly burgling them. The assailants all wore similar uniforms so that they could easily identify one another.
Three CPI(M) members --- K K Kunhiraman, K Pokkam and T D Sanjeevan --- were admittted to Calicut Medical College hospital with serious injuries, their bodies hacked and cut with these weapons. A number of others were admitted to Badagara Taluk hospital and the Tellicherry hospital.
Last month Nadapuram had also been the scene of attacks by IUML workers on CPI(M) workers, and peace was established only after a number of official conferences of representatives of political parties; the chief minister himself had attended a peace conference.
As we had apprehended in these columns of this paper earlier, all the partners of the UDF, together with IUML and BJP, are conniving to create trouble and violence in different areas prior to the elections, to stave off any possible defeat. Nadapuram presents the evidence of the UDF attempt to harvest political gains through bloodshed, violence and riots.
The leaders of the IUML and Congress have come out openly to kill their political opponents. These anti-social elements were caught red-handed by the police, who booked them along with an array of weapons in the early hours of the morning of Thursday, April 12, from the house of IUMLs Kottarathul Mammoo (the baron of Chekkiad) who had arranged not only shelter but also food and weapons and other secret shelters to the plotters to connive and conspire. Thus the Congressmen, prophets of non-violence, were not averse to cohabiting with PDP, NDF and the BJP. Why else, otherwise, did Congress leader Raju Puthssery, vice president of the Chekkiad panchayat, visit the house in the early hours of April 12? Why was Soopy Narikkateri, president of the Nadapuram panchayat, living in the palatial residence of the IUML baron at the same time? And why did these leaders try unsuccessfully to run away from the police, when the latter reached there on the 12th?
They were leading the operations and were caught red-handed by the police with weapons in their hands for distribution among their activists. Had they not been arrested at the time, Thursday (April 12) would have been a day of bloodshed and massacre. The UDF leadership has still not condemned the attack and the conspiracy.
DIVISIONS WITHIN CONGRESS
The Congress is rent with divisions due to the internal feud between its power hungry leaders. This has shocked the UDF and its present allies, the BJP and the PDP. The Machiavellian leadership wants to deviate the peoples attention through incidents as in Nadapuram, and the clamour that the CPI(M) is baiting the minorities. It was this attempt to sow the seed of anti-Marxist politics in the mind of the minorities that again came to light with the arrests in Nadapuram. The UDF knows that the Nadapuram issue can be easily ignited because there has been a spark already preserved by them for further use. If the ignition takes place, a few more human beings may perish, a number of men and women may lose their houses and belongings. But what if such calamities happen if it results in the victory of the UDF-BJP-PDP combine?
The Kerala election scene presents peculiar features at this juncture. The IUML has a share of 23 seats in the UDF seat-sharing exercise. In one constituency, Kazhakoottam, the IUML has fielded a PDP worker as its candidate. At Kunnamangalam, a reserve constituency, the IUML has fielded one Raman, who is an elected Congress leader in the recent local body elections held in Kerala. It is also known to everybody that this Raman is quite acceptable to the BJP. In one seat, Meppayur, the IUML has not so far put up any candidate, but is in search of a candidate acceptable to the anti-Marxist parties outside the UDF. They want a candidate there acceptable to the SNDP, BJP, PDP and whoever else is interested in defeating the LDF. The LDF candidate in this constituency has been increasing his margin in the last three elections: 3,000 in 1987, 9,000 in 1991, and 16,000 in the 1996 election. They think that this was because he belongs to a particular caste. They do not understand the simple political arithmetic of development and political struggles for the rights of the downtrodden. What will be the likely result even if they discover such an all-acceptable candidate? It is a certainty that the LDF candidate will win in this constituency with a greater margin. But if it is not able to score at least one seat in the Nadapuram belt, the UDF leadership will find it difficult to face this defeat. The latest Nadapuram riot was a fresh attempt to overcome this fear.
Neither the Congress nor the IUML nor the Kerala Congress(M), have any qualms of conscience in putting up BJP or PDP-oriented candidates either at Kazhakoottam or at Meppayur. All that they are worried about is their own candidates. In one thing they are in the earnest, they want power. What is their plan or agenda for capturing power? They also know that the LDF is far ahead of them in the election campaign, they also know the track record of the LDF in different fronts.
The LDF is completing its five-year tenure with great achievements for the people and the state through various schemes and through the Peoples Plan. It is their tangible achievements which add to the credulity of their manifesto. On the contrary, the UDFs track record is very poor; it is one of corruption and malpractices, theft and nepotism. A former UDF minister has just come out of prison on bail, not for any struggle in the cause of the people, but for theft, for selling the electricity granted from the central pool to the state, at a time when Kerala was in a state of acute power shortage. The man was caught. He went to court after court to avert the punishment that awaited him. Finally, he was jailed.
The assailants stole not only ornaments and money in their burglaries, but also the identity cards of the voters. A number of identity cards were recovered from the palace of Kottarathil Mammoo. The police exhibited these cards to the media persons on April 12. If it was the RSS that sowed havoc in Kannur district, it is the IUML, and their brethren, the NDF, that are creating trouble in Nadapuram. The Congress leaders bless this in all possible ways. From these it is evident that the UDF-PDP-BJP alliance is afraid of the election results and are conspiring to torpedo the election in all possible means in a statewide conspiracy.
If the palace of the Mammoo had not been raided and the culprits booked, this conspiracy would not have come out. But a section of the media is still hiding facts from the people. The Malayala Manorama reported on Thursday that there had been clashes between CPI(M) and IUML workers in the area. But the truth is that there was no clash anywhere. All the assaults were one-sided, and it was the CPI(M) activists who were subjected to atrocious assaults and humiliation. The CPI(M) strongly warned its cadre not to retaliate in any way. The party wants peace and calm to prevail, not only because of the elections, but also because social harmony is necessary for development. The restraint shown by the CPI(M) cadres has put the UDF in a crisis. It was hoping widespread tension in Nadapuram area, which they could then extend throughout the state.
The real question these incidents pose is: How the UDF is going to face this election? The internal feud of the Congress has come out on to the streets and is being solved on the streets. This has shattered the hopes of the UDF regarding the ensuing election. It must increasingly rely on money, the media, and muscle-power.
The present development is critical because the Congress and IUML leaders have mobilised their men to implement their plot against the LDF. It is, in a way, the continuation of the RSS hooliganism at Thiruvananthapuram on July 13, 2000. The latter was much helped by the Congress. One should remember that the Congress leaders did not utter a word in protest against the RSS hooliganism in which a young man was killed. In the present context, the IUML and the Congress are in the forefront; the PDP and the BJP are helping from behind.
Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty; it is also the price of democracy and peace. People must remain vigilant, and all peace-loving people should join together to expose the deceitful leadership of the IUML and the Congress, who speak for peace in public and work in collaboration with killers and burglars and hooligans under the veil of darkness.