Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar once said 'communist exploit the labourers for their political ends', CPM proves that in Kerala. There are economic dimensions to the hegemony of communists. In 1958, the Mangalore Ganesh Beedi factory was forced to shut down due to a crisis created by Communist trade unions. Several workers rendered jobless. To overcome this impasse, the Swayamsevaks in the region decided to rehabilitate the workers including communists. They started a Beedi marketing agency called Mahalakshmi Agencies. Shri Chandrasekharan, a swayamsevak popularly known as Chandrettan, was employed to build up the beedi factory as the General Manager He took up the task after leaving his high profile job in Indian Railway. Small manufacturing units organised the unemployed workers.
Alarmed by the phenomenal growth of RSS in the region, Communist Party perpetrated attacks to sabotage the project. They started the Dinesh Beedi Company to counter this initiative. With Government and financial support, they tactically made roots among workers and expanded their rank and file. Eventually, it ended up in the shutdown of Mahalakshmi agencies due to the lack of external support. Now workers have no option but to toe the CPM line.
In the later 1990s, swayamsevaks along the coastal area of Kannur, predominantly in Azheekkal, faced a dilemma as CPM started a fund raising programme which was meant for the court expenses for the murderers of the BJP's youth wing leader KT Jayakrishnan Master. Many RSS sympathisers engaged in fishing were the labourers in ‘Che Guevara’, a boat belongs to CPM funded company. CPM demanded Rs 2,000 from all labourers as contribution to liberate murders. It was suicidal and outrageous for a group They were already suffering from exploitation from the owners and brokers. So, they decided to quit the company. Later, the swayamsevals in Kannur collected around 30 lakh as bank loans and donations and bought a new boat for the fishermen. Through their hard work and perseverance, they paid off the loans and made good profit. With seven big fishing boats, the initiative has grown manifold and become an employer for hundreds of people. This made them self-sufficient.
It was in the same period, Kamadhenu, a micro finance initiative was started in Kannur District to empower women in the region who were often the worst sufferers of CPM’s persistent attacks. At the same time communist government in the State introduced Kudumasree, a State funded micro finance programme. It was used to make inroad among women and households in the various parts of the State. Kamdhenu was a stage to organise women in the district and empower them through various programmes. It has turned out to be a mass culture. Later, it merged into several other government sponsored programmes and some similar initiatives of Sahakar Bharti.
As Rakshabandan is widely
celebrated in the State, Swayamsevaks in Kannur District have taken over the responsibility of the production of Rakhis for the entire State. It offers employment and a fair income to a group of
families throughout a year. n