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When rulers join hands against the children of the sea

The ruling parties at the Centre and Kerala have come together to smother the protest against the Vizhinjam International Port led by the Latin Catholic Church. Regardless of their differences on other issues, when it comes to support for billionaire Gautam Adani's Vizhinjam port project, the BJP and the CPM are birds of the same feather. Both groups are organising various public programs clamouring that the port project should be implemented urgently and accusing the protesters of mobilising anger to turn the area into a riot zone. In addition, the groups are organising joint programs also on behalf of various associations. CPM Thiruvananthapuram district secretary Anavoor Nagappan also confirmed his position on the matter saying he will participate in such programs regardless of political differences. The peculiar sight of CPM and BJP coming together as one for Adani's port was also in display also come up in Thiruvananthapuram Secretariat. This happened at a time when the anti-port protest is past 100 days and the tears and protests of the fishermen are gaining more attention. The event was inaugurated by NSS Taluk Union President and chaired by Vaikuntha Swami Dharma Pracharsabha (VSDP) leader. BJP District President V.V. Rajesh and CPM District Secretary Anavoor Nagappan demanded the immediate implementation of the port project. The similarity in their discourses is as surprising as their participation in the struggle. When V.V. Rajesh said there is a serious possibility of conflict in the Vizhinjam area, Anavur Nagappan raised a serious accusation that protesters were interested not in the welfare of the fishermen but in a riot.

The CPM and the BJP are not usually united in strikes, even if they have the same opinion on particular issues. Hence, the leftist party needs to explain its interest in joining hands with Sangh Parivar affiliates to come out violently to back the private port project of Adani, known for being a crony tycoon of the Modi government. In the future, the party will also have to answer the question why such a platform was chosen to demonise the Vizhinjam struggle, label the priests of the Latin Church as rioters, and accuse them of conspiracy. The Sangh Parivar perceives the Vizhinjam strike as a golden opportunity for Hindutva polarisation politics as the Latin Catholic Church is on the other side and the areas that would form the coast after port construction are of special interest to them.. Are the CPM leaders taking a stance that they will still participate in the march organised by the Sangh Parivar oblivious of this political agenda? Sadly, CPM will not be the only one to pay the price for 'forgetting' that Thiruvananthapuram is the terrain chosen by the Sangh Parivar as a corridor of power in Kerala for its temporary power pursuit. Entire secular Kerala will have to pay for it.

Minister V. Sivankutty's statement that the Vizhinjam Samara Samithi is leading people to a riot as also the High Court's interventions are making the coastal region more restless and strife prone. The minister's statement and Anavoor's speech give an indication that the government is abandoning compromise efforts and is resorting to violent means after the protest has passed 100 days. Thiruvananthapuram Latin Archdiocese has called to strengthen the protest by including the problems people in the coastal region are facing. A pastoral letter on the issue was circulated and read publicly in churches. Power strategies to neutralise the anxieties and struggles for survival of those who have been pushed to the outskirts of development through intimidation of a violent environment can sometimes get out of hand and cause great damage. The state and the party in power should never forget that history of that region has elements of embers of riot as much as fountains of friendship.

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TAGS:Vizhinjam port Vizhinjam Adani Vizhinjam protest Vizhinjam strike 
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