I am a bit late in writing about this incident because I was waiting to see if it’s outcome turns out to be as I was expecting. Kerala was in the news on June 6 (surprisingly) for discrimination, intolerance and bigotry. S. N. Krishnakumar Nair, a Keralite working in Abu Dhabi in a construction company, went on a ranting spree against the CM of Kerala on Facebook Live. He claimed in the video that he was a member of the RSS cadre and he was going to return to Kerala to kill the CM. He also abused another minister before targeting the CM’s caste and making abusive remarks in that context. Unsurprisingly, before the enormity of what he had done dawned upon him, the video had gone viral. Taking heed to the advice of his friends, he posted another video in which he appealed to the CM for his forgiveness claiming that he had made the first video in the heat of the moment in an inebriated state. But what he had done was too big to let go off lightly. As soon as heat built up around the video, his employers terminated his work contract. I was thinking that he would get deported immediately but no new updates followed. Finally, on June 19, the Delhi police acted on a lookout notice issued by the Kerala police and arrested him from the Delhi airport as soon as he landed there.
It is true that sometimes we have to repeat the same mistake again and again to learn something, like walking, but that’s in our childhood. When we grow up, the most important aspect we learn about making mistakes is never to repeat them. The worst type of mistake I believe we can make is to have a precedent or example before us, and we still end up making the same mistake. In April 2017, a Dubai-based company had terminated the employment contract of a Keralite employee for abusing Rana Ayyub, a well known Indian investigative journalist on social media and also for making offensive comments against Islam. In spite of knowing about this incident and it’s fallout, Krishnakumar Nair chose to go ahead with his abuses and that too against a person occupying a chair empowered by the Constitution of the country. He has also stated that he tried calling BJP leaders in Kerala for help after the incident, but none of them bothered. This is the difference between true leaders and political leaders. True leaders sacrifice themselves in the interests of the people. Political leaders sacrifice people in the pursuit of their own agenda. He made himself an outcast in the society with what he had done, and no political leader would ever want to be associated with him even remotely.
There are two major outcomes to the incidents. Both Keralites were in a foreign country to make a living to support their families back in Kerala. It is not at all easy to get jobs in the Middle East, and now it is even tougher to hold on to the jobs people have in hand. In this circumstance, losing jobs that too over such incidents is beyond common sense and comprehension. Abuse against prominent people or people in authority will evoke a swift response, and they will look to make an example out of such people and incidents so that no one ever dares to abuse or go against them again. This is why Krishnakumar was waited upon and hunted down from Delhi. Moreover, it is a known fact that Kerala government has excellent relationships with all Middle East countries. Even worse would be hurling abuses in the name of religion. Making abusive comments about a particular religion while residing in a foreign country where that religion happens to be the most prominent one is nothing short of insanity.
I believe the biggest mistake Krishnakumar made was to attribute his actions and choice of words to his inebriated state and tried to deflect the blame on to alcohol. People who turn abusive under the influence of alcohol are those who do not have the mental makeup and confidence to be themselves and do not have the courage to express their feelings and emotions in the sober state. The added advantage of this is, society largely tends to forgive or ignore what transpires under the influence of alcohol. I believe he had a better chance of deflating the situation if he had taken the onus to inform his employer immediately about what he had done, came back to Kerala the very next day, met the CM in person and begged for his apology. I do not understand why he chose to stay back, get his employment terminated and then return.
But the biggest fallout is what the families of these two will have to suffer for their respective moments of madness. The stigma that must have got attached to them in the society will stick to them for a very long time. The financial setback will be the added salt to their wounds. In the case of Krishnakumar, the police will definitely hound his family and friends as is the case with how all criminals are treated. How bizarre is the logic of abusing Islam and espousing Hindutva ideology from an Islamic country which was providing them bread and butter? I never expected Keralites to go down the road of intolerance and bigotry. I fervently hope all Keralites abroad have learned their lessons from these two incidents.