Kannur, a district wedged between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea has always been an attraction for tourists. Apart from being a tourist attraction, this Kerala district is turning into a battlefield between the BJP-RSS and the incumbent CPI(M) government.
Both parties are victims of the political violence in Kerala. On one hand, the CPI(M) led Left Democratic Front (LDF) is trying to restrict the BJP from setting up a presence in Kerala politics. On the other hand, the CPI(M) has said that the RSS is resorting to violence to create a political space in Kerala.
In this fight for political mileage, both parties have lost their volunteers and members.
As per police records, 91 murders in political cases occurred in the period from 1983 to September 2009. Thirty-one times, RSS workers became the victim and CPI(M) workers were accused. Similarly, 33 CPI(M) workers were killed during this period and RSS-BJP workers were accused of this.
Both parties are blaming each other for this political violence. The BJP and RSS are saying that the CPI(M) is creating an environment of fear and insecurity in Kerala. Adding to this, BJP also blamed the CPI(M) for promoting killings in the state.
In a recent visit to Kerala by Union Minister Arun Jaitley, he vociferously said, “Every time the LDF comes to power, the incidents of violence increase. The political opponents are killed in a most brutal and barbaric manner.”
In retaliation to this, the CPI(M) held the Central government responsible for the political killings.
But the truth is far from these politically-motivated statements. Both sides are equally responsible for this unstable law and order situation. Both parties provide weapons. Mostly, lower caste and low-income persons are selected for such tasks. This helps both parties in playing their caste and pro-poor politics in the state.
For some years now, Kannur, which is also the home of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, has witnessed this pattern of political killings. One reason for this is that the BJP is trying to set up a base in Payyannur. Three cases of political killings were recorded there last year.
As of now, Kannur is turning into the new battleground between the BJP-RSS and the CPI(M). It will be a point of concern for the LDF government. BJP, riding furiously on the Modi-Shah juggernaut, will not leave a single opportunity to set up its presence in the southern or non-Hindi belt.
It will be hard to say whether the parties will show some sense of morality and end this bloody war or the collapsed law and order situation in ‘God’s own country’ (Kerala) will remain the same.