Begin typing your search above and press return to search.
Homechevron_rightKeralachevron_rightRight Wing groups'...

Right Wing groups' communal charge against Muslim groups' protests

Right Wing groups communal charge against Muslim groups protests

The recent online campaign against the call for removing IAS officer Sriram Venkitaraman, who was appointed as Alappuzha District Collector made by a section of the Muslim community, is one of the examples of how communally intolerant and vicious certain sections in Kerala society are

They could not even stand with justice for the only reason that it was the Muslim community that protested for the removal of a Collector, who is accused of ramming his vehicle into a journalist allegedly in an inebriated state.

Basheer was working with a newspaper called 'Siraj' run by the All India Sunni Jamiyathul Ulama. Much furore had happened then, following the death of Basheer when the IAS officer, who was at the wheel on that fateful night, refused to undergo a blood test for hours to avoid it showing him as drunk and tried to save himself by blaming the other person, a lady friend, who was with him in the car.

Ever since the case has been heard in court. Besides, the IAS officer, who was under suspension after the incident, has been reinstated amid protests.

What triggered the recent protest was related to Sriram Venkitaraman's appointment as the District Collector. The Muslim groups that have allegiance with the Sunni fraction of the Muslim community had organised state-wide protests. They took out marches at the state capital and held dharnas at district headquarters, urging the government to ditch its plan to place the accused IAS officer in a key administrative post.

But the entire course of objections to the protest was targeted from a communal angle by extremist groups belonging to both Hindu and Christian community bodies. Though the state government took a cavalier stand against the demand by the Muslim groups initially, the continuous protests not only from the Muslim groups but also from the journalists' fraternity, to which Basheer belonged, forced the government to remove Sriram from the District Collector post.

The social media campaign thereafter by the extremist groups produced a new narrative about the officer's removal as they portrayed it as the government's inability to stand firm against the pressure exerted by the Muslim community against a Hindu Brahmin.

Divisive posts being widely spread on social media in a tune that the government came under pressure from the Muslim community to remove a Hindu officer are not just a threat to Venkitaraman but for bureaucracy and the government. The right-wing groups and the extremist groups like the Democratic Christian Federation Kerala and the CASA spread warning posts on social media which said the Muslims have shown their clout in the state so much that the government turned out to be apologetic to their demands.

One of the Facebook posts by the CASA read "what does concern them is that the killed belonged to them but not the drink and drive of Sriram Venkataraman."

Meanwhile, a right-wing group Twitter handle wrote "In Allepy Kerala yesterday, (sic) Muslims opposing the new Brahmin IAS collector, took out a procession, MSM cunningly avoided this and highlighted ABVP in Karnataka. Listen to the slogans."

Arjun Sampath, who identifies himself as a member of Hindu Makkal Kachi, also posted a video of the protests, in which the protestors can be heard demanding the removal of the collector, as a drunkard and a killer. But nowhere in Muslim groups' protests was anyone heard raising slogans against any community.

Right-wing campaigners against the demand for the Collector's removal, however, were silent about the fact that it was not just the Muslim community who protested against Sriram's appointment but the journalists' fraternity and some political parties too who raised similar protests, ever since the reports of his appointment as the Alapuzha District Collector began to surface.

Youth Congress workers had raised black flags when the accused IAS officer came to take charge on July 26. Similar protests were held by the Congress in the state apart from statements from their leaders condemning the appointment. The Congress leaders KC Venugopal MP and Haripad MLA and Congress veteran Ramesh Chennithala had urged the government to remove the tainted IAS officer.

On July 27, the Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) held a protest march in Alappuzha outside the collectorate. Protests were also held in different districts of Kerala by journalists.

What prompted a certain section of the Muslim community to take to the street protesting against Sriram's appointment was that the newspaper, Siraj, in which the deceased Basheer worked is run by the All India Sunni Jamiyathul Ulama, an umbrella group of Sunni groups and not because of Sriram's religion, a fact deliberately hidden by the social media campaigners against his removal.

Show Full Article
TAGS:Basheer Sriram Venkitaraman Sunni Groups Right Wing Groups 
Next Story