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BJP’s Latest Antibiotic Tablet For Kerala

By B.F. Firos

04 October, 2015

Pic Credit: The Hindu

If there is one place which has kept the Hindu right at a safe distance for such an annoyingly long time period, it is Kerala. The RSS and its political face BJP has not yet been able to make any ripples in the placid social waters of the state, though its power-hungry leaders have been salivating at the prospect of penetrating into this constituency for the past so many years.

All attempts by the Hindu right to convert the state into a place reeking of high-level of communal toxicity have effectively been thwarted thanks to the existence of renaissance-induced social indices in the state. These fundamentals have till date acted as a strong deterrent, like a moat that protects a fortress from its destructive enemies, against the purveyors of hate politics.

But ironically now, attempts are being done to turn the tides of this renaissance. Standing at the vanguard of this regressive bid is Vellappally Nateshan, the general secretary of SNDP Yogam – a socio-cultural movement founded by the 20th century social reformer Sree Narayana Guru – which endeavored to emancipate the Ezhava community from the abyss of the oppressive Hindu caste hierarchy.

Guru tried to give some semblance of dignity and self-worth to the Ezhavas, derided by the so-called upper-caste groups as dirt; untouchables at the bottom of the Hindu caste system, they were barred from even touching their feet on public roads where dogs strolled happily with their head high.

Now, Vellappally has joined hands with the same dark forces that once oppressed and persecuted the same people, whom he claims to represent now. He appeared to have found the perfect bedfellow in Modi as they met for a SNDP-BJP political alliance in New Delhi. Both are shysters with a hopelessly high level of self-aggrandizement and dictatorial hormones to boot.

Through this incestuous intercourse with the BJP, Vellappally is mocking at the Ezhava community’s epic struggles in the past to restore their dignity; he is taking the community to a moribund and mephitic future, from where redemption will be hard to achieve.
Part of social engineering experiment by the crafty Amit Shah, the BJP state unit is trying to woo other Hindu groups as well to gain political entry in Kerala.

In fact, the stage has been set for communal polarization in the state quite some time now with the state BJP leadership and Vellappally peddling the absurd theory of Hindu marginalization in the state: the ludicrous hypothesis that Hindus are being marginalized economically by successive government policies. Vellappally and Company, along with his newly minted bedmates in the state BJP, has been parroting this theory on primetime news hours like the mysterious incantations of a shaman.

In this frenzied bid by the BJP, ably abetted by the SNDP, to polarize communities on religious lines exists the elitist Muslim League with its motley of self-serving professional politicians and wholesale religion sellers, whose outlandishly self-centered political histrionics have been causing irritants even among the moderate-thinking, secular Hindus of the state for quite some time now. The very existence of communal parties like Muslim League, which sticks out a sore thumb in Kerala’s secular polity, gives the Hindu right a much-needed weapon to spread its poisonous if-they-can-why-not-us theory among the secular Hindus in the state.

NSS (Nair Service Society), an organization of supposedly upper-caste Nairs – who once stood above the Ezhava community in the Hindu caste pyramid – has distanced itself from this new-found ‘Hindu unity’. For NSS and its general secretary G Sukumaran Nair, Vellappally and SNDP are still untouchables. Earlier efforts to forge an SNDP-NSS alliance met with little success.

And Vellappally’s Hindu unity (Nair-Ezhava unity) dream will continue to remain a pipe dream, at least in the foreseeable future. Part of the reason for this is the fact that underneath SNDP’s lofty talks of Hindu unity lies the stark reality of the strong undercurrents of mutual, deep-seated hatred between the majority of Nairs and Ezhavas. In spite of the renaissance, old racial prejudices and caste consciousness refuse to die down and still linger on in a very subtle level even today, one of the prime reasons why the so-called Hindu unity remains an unattainable proposition for the BJP. In fact, no political pranks by the BJP so far has worked as an antibiotic potent enough to eradicate the caste scourge still lurking inside the minds of the majority of these two communities. While a majority of the Nairs still consider superior to the Ezhavas (and, of course, rest of the supposedly low cast groups) without readying to let go of the untouchability past, the latter harbor the wounds of subjugation their forefathers were subjected to at the hands of the former.

The fact is that the fundamental values that make Kerala unique are still intact and strong. The Ezhavas (majority Left supporters) are unlikely to succumb to the whims and political fancies of Vellappally. Except for a bunch of sidekicks and yes-men who swarm him, majority of Ezhavas are perceptive enough to see through his real intentions. What the state’s political pundits watch with great keenness is whether the largely secular and Left-oriented Ezhava community will fall for Vellappally’s devious political games for ephemeral gains at the altar of hate politics.

(The writer is a UAE-based journalist. [email protected])




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