The north Indians including those from the northeast believe that the geographical part of India further down Andra Pradesh is called Madras and that all the people down south are Madrasis. It’s difficult for them differentiate the south Indians based on their states.
Even the very ordinary villagers from the rural hamlets in Bengal, Bihar, Assam and Chhattisgarh are familiar with the state of Kerala. Over hundreds of labourers from these regions arrive in Aluva, Chengannur and Kozhikode every day. For many hapless families that endure poverty and hunger due to exploitation and decline in agriculture, Kerala is a place of hope that provided them with employment and a dignified life. It’s them who are preferred by the people of the state to the Keralites. Kerala is therefore not only the homeland of Keralites, but also that of the people from different corners of India. The fact that it is still seen as a rival state by a few, is pitiful.
Even when almost all areas became crammed in the clutches of the patrons of hate aided by communalism and fake promises, the state that resisted their moves will surely be an opponent. Their initial tactic was to rubbish the models we built driven by the hard work, expatriation and popular movements. It began by likening Kerala to Somalia. When the unparalleled insult was answered with the public verdict, the animosity escalated. Next step was to aggressively campaign against the state across the nation by unilaterally overstating the murders that took place during the political conflicts. Even the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh infamous for communalism, casteism, unrestrained violence and infant deaths made an attempt to shower advices on Kerala. However, when the national media based on the data cited that Kerala was much ahead than UP in all areas of development, the false claims subsided.
Of late, a dangerous rumour surfaced that the migrant workers were unsafe in Kerala. It should be remembered that it’s the successors of the forces that drove away south Indians and Biharis from Maharashtra by raising the slogan of Sons of the Land who are behind the smear campaigns against Kerala of the state being unsafe for the people of other states. A decade ago during the initial days of north-northeast immigration, many migrant workers had to face ruthless behaviour by the employers, police and agents. However, such attitudes changed due to the vigilance of popular and civil rights society in the state. Even the state government have been implementing health and housing schemes for the welfare of the migrant workers. The children of the migrant workers are given special consideration in the government schools in Kandanthara in Perumbavoor and Tanur in Malappuram.
The people of UP and Rajasthan, where it is unsafe even to draw drinking water from the same wells due to caste-based differences, make Kerala their home by earning a livelihood and living with a sense of security than in their homeland. It’s needless to say that those who make efforts to create fissures in the society by sparking communal tension and leading to the murders of people by frequently trying to establish false claims including Love Jihad and the lies as truths, deploying the same strategy to get even with Kerala, is dangerous. It’s the duty of every Keralite to foil the tactics unleashed by those who attempt to create another Muzaffarnagar and Gujarat in Kerala. We by our way of life and approaches should constantly prove that Kerala is a soil where every man, woman and transgender can live happily and peacefully.