Intro : In Kerala, the Hindu population has been reduced to 48 per cent whereas the minorities have risen to 52 per cent. Now CPI Kerala State secretary Kanam Rajendran confesses that secular politics of the Left parties in Kerala seems to be very much minority appeasing and that the majority
communities’ apprehensions should be taken care of.
Like in any part of the country, communists have always been wielding pseudo-secularism when they are debating the majority-minority conundrum. But, now the Communist Party of India (CPI), Kerala State secretary Kanam Rajendran appears to be shedding their obsolete cocoon. Recently he stirred a hornets’ nest while talking to the media. He said that secular politics of the Left parties in Kerala seemed to be very much minority appeasing. He opined that the minorities have turned into the majority in Kerala. The Hindu community has been reduced to 48 per cent in the state whereas the minority population has risen to 52 per cent. This warrants a discussion on the changing social equations. Even though he did not mention the CPI (M)’s name for the alleged minority appeasement, he said that majority communities’ apprehensions should be taken care of.
As expected, Kanam’s statement has triggered a storm in the State, especially within CPI (M), the big brother in the Left Democratic Front (LDF), as the LDF has been failing in all by-polls since the last assembly polls held in May, 2001. The latest episode is the Aruvikkara by-election held last month. The matter is important in the wake of significant vote share which the BJP’s senior leader O Rajagopal has bagged. The election took place in Aruvikkara constituency followed by the death of Assembly Speaker and Congress veteran G. Karthikeyan. When the counting took place on June 30, Rajagopal got five times more than what the BJP candidate scored in the 2011 elections to the assembly. Last time BJP’s tally was 7,694 whereas it increased to 34,145 this time, from 6 per cent to 24 per cent. Aruvikkara assembly constituency belongs to Attingal parliamentary constituency. In the 2014 Parliament elections, BJP candidate’s vote share from this assembly segment was about 14,500.
The CPI (M) State secretary countered Kanam by saying that LDF’s minority appeasement is an RSS propaganda. If a Left party supports it, it will be a major set back to the whole Left movement. The CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said, politics and religion should not be mixed together. He claimed that his party was committed to safeguard secularism. The former State secretary of the CPI (M) and Polit Bureau member Pinarayi Vijayan opposed Kanam’s confession too.
Meanwhile, the CPI (M) Thiruvananthapuram distirct committee agreed that the party lost Aruvikkara by-election due to BJP’s upsurge. They failed to forecast the BJP’s inroads into the Left vote bank. The CPI (M) believes that the BJP got at least 12,000 votes from the LDF vote bank.
The BJP State president V Muraleedharan said that the minorities have become majority in Kerala hence Kerala has lost its idea and identity. Now, party is going to campaign in all district centres and constituencies raising the slogan “Save Kerala, Maintain Kerala’s Idea”. The minorities constituted 44 per cent of the total population in 2001, but after ten years they have touched 52 per cent. On the other hand, the Hindu population has dropped from 56 per cent to 48 per cent. The Muslim community alone now constitutes 32 per cent of the total population of Kerala. If this phase continues, they will be the majority community in Kerala in the next 25 years, Muraleedharan said.
Explicitly, the Left has started to realise the realities which the Sangh Parivar has been trying to highlight for the last several decades. But they needed an “Aruvikkara by-election” to make out the social and political realities. —T Satisan, Kerala