(Note: The above photo is a blend of the flags of Muslim League (green) and CPI(M) (the sickle & hammer) for illustration purpose only)
– Mujeeb Jaihoon
It was with glorious and enormous expectations that world’s first democratically elected Communist government was enthroned in Kerala in 1957. Led by the Communist think tank, E. M. S. Namboodiripad, the comrades & co. were set to change the face of Kerala’s social and political landscape forever, or at least for next few decades as they did in the land of tiger and Tagore.
It was not a smooth ride to power. The revolutionary fraternity had to suffer the brutality of bullets, lathis and police boots in their struggle to reach the power corridor. With the introduction of revolutionary legislation, such as Land Reform Bill and Education Bill, they had all the horsepower to keep the chariot of power rolling, on and on. And on. For a moment, Malayalees may have thought even God was with this godless tribe.
Alas! Politics is the theater of cinematic suspense and climax. All’s, need not be, well which ends well. History tells us the Marxist honeymoon did not last well. The populist EMS regime was removed from power after 848 days (2.3 years). To the non-partisan observer’s shock and surprise, the very people, who loyally lend their ears to the song of communist slogans, treacherously voted to power the ‘feudal-friendly’ and ‘missionary-maligned’ Congress-led coalition in the next election. Nothing could be far from justice and gratitude, or so would cry a passionate political analyst.
However, the alternative regime changes in the subsequent elections until the present 2016 showed that Keralites have no permanent love or hate to either sides of the political spectrum. Left or Right, people are always right in their votes. Democracy legitimizes people’s electoral promiscuity, at least in Kerala, devoutly called God’s own land. The only exception to these alternative victories was in early 1980s when Congress and cousins captured power consistently twice.
The 2016 elections was, however, notable for many reasons. Contrary to several previous elections, the 2016 electoral race saw many celebrities from films and sports with zero political or social acquaintance. Also noticeable was the lacking of en electoral fight based on manifestos. Neither of the Fronts had a wish list to offer the electorate. While the neighboring ‘Nadu’ election was a shopping bonanza with prizes of laptops, garments, bicycles, color TV and bank deposits for female children, Kerala’s parties had only empty talk and communalism to offer. And the predicable victory of the Leftists, strictly in line with the ‘alternative arrangement’ verdict of history, was celebrated in unusual ways, especially on the Malayalee’s social media.
There were at least three ‘independent’ Muslim candidates who contributed to the numeric victory of the Leftists, especially in the Muslim heartland. All the three formerly belonged to the Indian Union Muslim League, the only mainstream Muslim political since the inception of Kerala. While there are other Muslim outfits operating on the soil, some of them almost as old as the League itself, most of them exist only as mere ‘divergent’ or ‘deviant’ voices, whose only success so far has been to split or reduce League’s vote bank.
The ‘independent’ candidates, celebrated by League’s critics as puritans and revolutionaries, left the ranks of Malabar’s oldest Muslim political platform by choice which they attributed to the ‘chance’ of moral corruption and arrogance of the Party’s present leadership.
While it is almost a regular happening in Kerala for young and old leaders to criticize, defect, cross platforms, repeat the cycle and then rejoin the earlier political party, the case of these ‘independent’ defectors are strange, though. While they remained in their parent organization, they were only known for average morality. Once they defect, they turned overnight to superheroes. While in League, they were anonymous cats. When exit, portrayed as roaring lions.
What is even stranger about Muslim Kerala’s ‘communist apostles’ is that despite offering all kinds of support and positions, the Communist Party does not have the simple courage to enroll them, officially, among their comrades. Is it because the Party does not trust their loyalty? If not, how could they entrust him with ministerial positions?
During elections, the Left activists struggle with all their might, sweat and even blood at times, to ensure every vote in their constituency goes for their apostles. Then why does the Party or even its workers don’t insist these ‘soft-communists’ join the men in red?
Or is it that the apostles, who commit their oratory and social skills to defend and promote the Communist stand across Muslim heartland, don’t have the confidence to accept the membership of the Communist tribe? After all, were they not the devout preachers who carved a niche in Malabar for ‘Shaykh Marx’ and ‘Hazrat Lenin’?
Or do the apostles fear for themselves the ‘sambar fate’ of the likes of those who were sliced and chopped for their defection from the Communist ranks? Is that why they keep choosing random and embarrassing home appliances and automotive symbols, instead of the dignified sickle and hammer, in their electoral battle against their parent organization?
The Muslim voters wonder what stops these apostles from forming a united platform against the League instead of fighting under the shadow of the Sickle?
Are they pure communists? Or are they community well-wishers? Or are they the Muslim apostles with the scriptures of godless Communism? Do they believe in any specific political ideology or are they merely driven by personal ambition and blind hatred of their ex-party?
And then of course there are the honorable ‘saintly turbanheads’ who bless the Community with their divisive prayers on the eve of elections causing further joy in the hearts of godless comrades.
I am curious. We all are.
God be with the people of his country.
May 27 2016.