The terrorism of taking lives in the name of political vengeance is repeating. Two workers, one each from Marxist Party and RSS, were killed in Mahe with a gap of hours between them.
CPM's local leader, and a former municipal councillor, was stabbed to death on his way home. Closely after that, an RSS worker and auto-driver, was admitted to hospital with lethal wounds and died there. After the murder of Shuhaib, a Congress worker in the district, there was a feeling that the region was moving towards peace when in Mahe within the same region, the politics of killing seems to be spreading again.
The latest incident ratifies the theory that although after every murder, peace meetings and leaders' call for restraint keep happening with regularity, the embers of vengeance still simmer lower down the hierarchy. What happens in Kannur region is the race to remain invincible in political violence by assassinating or maiming adversaries. As has been pointed out countless times by humanists, there is no deviation from the norm that the poor followers are meant to be the victim of killings and the leaders for high-pitched calls either against opponents or for peace. And there is no shortage of mercenaries who stab and tear the enemy to pieces. This game of vengeance with lives, which throws hundreds of families to perpetual orphan-hood and privation, makes the debates on which side starts it and which resists meaningless.
As per government statistics, since the Left government came to power, political attacks have shown a decrease. From 2016 to 2017, the number of cases of political attacks registered a fall by 230, as was revealed at the end of last year. The figures also tell that the count of cases of political violence in Kannur was 363 in 2016 which came down to 271 in 2017. The perception was that this was thanks to determined and uncompromising effort from the part of the government, and that peace talks under the leadership of the Chief Minister did go a long way in this. Thus, when a feeling was gaining ground that the problems of Kannur were dying out, it transpires from the repeating series of cold-blooded murders that practitioners of slaughter politics were sharpening daggers for the next assassination.
The all-party peace meet held twice last year both ended as make-up exercise before the people. At one meeting presided over by the Chief Minister himself, a realistic review of the head-chopping politics of Kannur region was made at the initiative of both CPM and RSS, and police and authorities were given strict directions to end it. Decisions were also taken that party leaderships would disown the culprits, and they would end the undesirable practice of providing a list of accused volunteering to be arrested. But with the murder of Shuhaib, the relief that came following the meeting of last December also proved to be short-lived. Shuhaib's murder, which nullified even the customary justification of tit-for-tat, had put CPM on the defensive. It was even before its reverberations ended that first the RSS and then CPM ventured to slit throats.
The spectacle in the area is that those who vie with one another in denouncing violence and denying responsibility soon after each incident, themselves feed and foster assailants. The figures of clashes would only vary depending on the financial capacity and hold over authority. In the political terrorism of Kannur started by CPM and adopted later by RSS, they both, and the Congress in their time of glory, had been playing a role in line with the rise and fall of money and power. Killer squads have their own package for their operation. If one gets caught as culprit, he will be guaranteed a fixed amount as monthly salary, medical treatment for parents, schooling expenses of children, and jobs in co-operative societies or schools controlled by the party. The weird sight in Kannur and surrounding areas is that such gangs fed in this manner, decide the longevity and health of party politics.
Men of young age are moulded as 'quotation' gangs there. There will not be a solution to the problem unless parties to it regain the humanity to put an end to this savage killing. It is the sangh parivar itself, which always clamours for the Centre's intervention citing the law and order issue of the region, that has turned again to outright murder. Also, Kerala expects a little more sense of responsibility from the CPM, as the party ruling the state. These are the two sideswho can do something about the head-chopping politics. The Chief Minister's statement that he wishes that there shall not be another political murder, gives some hope. One can only wish that the parties show the magnanimity to implement it, at least in deference to the families of the parties' scapegoats who set out of their homes, being dipped in ocean of tears, and show a little bit of humanity.