People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 10

March 09, 2014


Kerala Raksha Yatra Scores Unprecedented Success


Pinarayi Vijayan


THE state of Kerala recently witnessed an unprecedented and unparalleled political upsurge in all the 140 assembly segments, during the course of the Kerala Raksha March which started from Vayalar on February 1 and culminated in a rally on the Kozhikode beach on February 26. “Secular India and Developed Kerala” was the slogan of the yatra.


As per a rough calculation, the yatra communicated with more than 1.5 crore people who attended the receptions in various centres or who participated in its preparatory and campaigning stages. Lakhs of people showered flower petals along the roads through which the yatra proceeded. The experience of this yatra, which stimulated a new political awakening in the state, underscores the fact that various sections of the people of Kerala undauntedly support the Left movement, especially the CPI(M). This reflects the strong mass base of the CPI(M) in the state.  


The yatra, which covered 140 assembly constituencies and received mass receptions in 126 centres in all the 14 districts of Kerala, sought to highlight and press for five main demands --- control over price rise, strengthening of the public distribution system (PDS), curb on communalism, resignation of the Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy who is tainted in the multi-crore solar panel scam, and curb on corruption.


A Vijayaraghavan, E P Jayarajan, P K Sreemathi, A K Balan, M V Govindan, Elamaram Karim and Baby John were the permanent participants of the yatra while A K Balan functioned as the manager.


The concluding programme in Kozhikode happened to take place on the very next day of New Delhi meeting in which several non-Congress and non-BJP parties vowed to fight against and defeat the communalism of the BJP and neo-liberal policies of the Congress. Thus the yatra organised by the CPI(M), a party which took the initiative to form a platform of the non-Congress and non-BJP parties at the national level, assumed a national importance. In the backdrop of the CPI(M)’s consistent effort to form a viable alternative to the Congress and the BJP, the message of the yatra spread over a much wider area.


Over the last two decades or more, the neo-liberal policies have crushed the agriculture sector hard in the state. Price rise, unemployment, fall in production and economic crisis have made the life of the people miserable. Quite naturally, these issues will be raised during the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections and, quite inevitably, the governments --- central and state --- will have to face criticism.


The number of women who came out to greet the march all along was encouraging. Housewives with their children, working women, girl students and the like from all sections of society came. What we witnessed in the northern districts was that Muslim women came out in lots to greet the march. Women were found enthusiastically coming forward to greet the march all through its route in other districts too. This massive participation of women is a reflection of the interventions which the CPI(M) has made in regard to their problems in a correct political perspective. It would do well to remember that women are the worst affected by the neo-liberal policies which are anti-people in nature.  


The hearty welcome and warm reception received by the yatra shows that the people of Kerala are by no means deceived by the witchcraft of the Congress led United Democratic Front and the so-called mainstream media. Thousands to tens of thousands of people, or even more, gathered in each of the 126 centres to receive the yatra. Apart from the workers of the CPI(M), people from various other social, religious and political organisations also attended these gatherings in large numbers. Bishops, padres and Muslim clerics were also there along with the common masses. Farmers, labourers, students, youth, writers, cultural workers, singers and artists enthusiastically attended these meetings. The areas where the CPI(M) or other Left parties are not strong, passionately extended vigorous and dynamic signals to the yatra organisers. This showed the deep-rooted organisational strength of the CPI(M) among the people in every walk of life.


This has a story to tell. The Congress as well as the right wing forces tried their best but have miserably failed in their attempts to finish off the communist movement so far, including their most concerted attempts during 1947-49, 1963-65 and 1975-77. However, in this era of globalisation, the same forces have been repeating their attempts with the help of the corporate houses, as they see the CPI(M) as an impediment to their goal of unabated capital accumulation. The electoral defeat of the Left in Kerala and West Bengal in the Lok Sabha elections in 2009 and the assembly elections in 2011 made them delighted no end. But now the CPI(M)’s initiative to rally the secular and democratic forces in the country has once again irritated these right wing forces. The CPI(M) and other Left parties are poised to be the centre of attention in national politics. The unprecedented success of the Kerala Raksha Yatra has once again proved that attempts to weaken the CPI(M) are not going to succeed.


As for Kerala, the UDF government of the state is unable to face the all-round criticism and it resorted to the trick of using the T P Chandrashekharan case in a bid to restrict the election campaign to this issue alone. The so-called mainstream media in the state too follow the same strategy of the UDF. For the last 12 years, the media have engaged in witch-hunting in the name of the Lavalin case, and have been hoping to get help from the CBI. The same media also highlighted the Chandrashekharan case, thus tactfully veiling the barbaric acts of the Congress. As a matter of fact, Kerala has the blood stained history of killings resorted to by Congress goons. The Congress is guilty of the killing of hundreds of communist leaders like Moyarth Sankaran, Sardar Gopalakrishnan, Kunjali, Azheekkoden and Abdul Khader, to name only a few. Several SFI leaders also became martyrs. Five CPI(M) workers were burnt alive in Cheemeni by Congress goons. But the media suppressed all these incidents. And now they go on attacking the CPI(M) on the pretext of the Chandrasekharan case even after the trial court has acquitted the CPI(M) leaders implicated in this case. 


However, giving a lie to all these purveyors of falsehood, a sea of people thronged the sea beach of Kozhikode on February 26, the concluding day of the yatra. It was indeed a sea besides a sea. The CPI(M) can proudly claim that no other political programme was organised on such a massive scale in the history of Kerala. Nor any other programme communicated with such a huge number of people in the state. The receptions were organised by the assembly segment level organising committees. Family members of the martyrs and important personalities were honoured at these programmes. Those who have broken their links with the other political parties, like the BJP, the Congress and the Muslim League, were also received with utmost cordiality. 


Along with its pursuit of the anti-people policies, the Congress has always been appeasing the communal forces in order to quench its thirst of power. The current threat from communalism is an offshoot of that very appeasement. In view of this reality, the CPI(M)’s appeal is that the people of Kerala have to reject the Congress and defeat the BJP in the next Lok Sabha elections, and the party has placed before the people its own views through the slogans raised during the Kerala Raksha March. It has now been proved beyond doubt that the people of Kerala wholeheartedly support the slogans raised by the CPI(M), which is evident from their enthusiasm and their unprecedented massive participation in the programmes to greet the march. The historic success of the march is also a suitable reply to the unholy alliance that has been attacking the consistent policies of the CPI(M) with false allegations and conspiracy. The people who enthusiastically assembled in lakhs to greet the march throughout its route declared that Kerala is with the red flag and not with the false allegations labelled by the reactionary forces. The success of this march is the success of the people of Kerala. Thanks to all those who participated in this great march forward, the experience of this march has given us fresh energy and enthusiasm for the future struggles of the CPI(M) in Kerala.