The defiant attitude of the Left towards Dalits may result in large scale protest against this government, which could obviously be a game changer in Kerala politics
The posture which the Communist Parties of India has been carrying on for a long time is that of the protector of the Dalits in India. But, it proved totally wrong in those states where they control the government. Be it Bengal, Tripura or Kerala, the CPM led coalition has become an anti-Dalit political outfit as the latter started alienating from the shackles of the left politics.
While the CPM central committee and Polit bureau were busy in tarnishing the Modi Govt for the unfortunate atrocities against Dalits in States which were ruled by non BJP parties, way back in Kerala, where the left won the recent assembly elections, they were unleashing racial as well as physical abuse to the Dalit community. The realisation of the CPM that the Dalits in Kerala were no longer a vote bank of the left, made the leadership to spread terror amongst them. The face of the Adivasi struggle in the state, CK Janu’s induction to the BJP led NDA fold was non-digestive to them. So they started the alienation programme in party dominated areas of Kerala, particularly in Northern districts.
Although their prime targets were the BJP and RSS, the attacks spread towards the Dalits. In Kannur Dist, the CPM runs party villages, where no other political party is allowed to function. In such a village, Kuttimakkool, two Dalit sisters were verbally abused by the local party members by calling caste jibe to them. The crime: their father contested as a Congress candidate for the local pachayath election held in November last year. The party members went to local police and filed a complaint that the two sisters attacked them with an intention of murder. They were asked to come to the police station, arrested and sent to the jail in judicial custody along with a one year old baby girl.
When the incident sparked controversy, the CPM started malicious campaign against the two sisters through DYFI, party’s youth wing. DYFI leader P P Divya, who is notorious for the use of abusive words towards the Prime Minister of India, pioneered the attack towards the Dalit sisters, terming them as a menace to the society in a TV debate. Another DYFI leader and first time MLA, AM Shamseer joined the chorus through the media. Traumatised by the accusations made by CPM leaders, one of the sisters made a suicide attempt. Her life has been saved as she was immediately rushed to the Hospital.
As the party tries to grab undue credit for the betterment of the Dalit community in Kerala, it will never realise the works done by the various Hindu organisations in this regard. The CPM tries to get credit for the social reformation that happened years before the birth of Communist parties in the state. Even after getting elected to the government of maiden assembly of Kerala state, CPI/CPM never did anything significant to revive the scheduled castes and tribes of the country. Otherwise there would not have been a single Dalit family in Kerala which does not have a proper house for their own.
The CPM led left govt was the first one in Kerala which implemented the controversial Sachar Committee Report which recommended special recruitment for the Muslims in Govt jobs. The decision came down largely to the backward classes particularly the SC/ST and the Vanavasis, as the special recruitment seats in to their share of reservation. However they started realising the real face of the left politics in Kerala, and organising themselves. They became pressure group, often a threat to the CPM.
Instead of taking them into confidence, the CPM tries to suppress the Dalits in Kerala. The hypocrazy of the left politics wide opened when their young MPs went hiding when the same Dalit atrocities against which they fought inside and outside the parliament happened in their own state. They had time to sit on Dharna in front of Hyderabad Central University but they ignored the suicide attempt by a Dalit girl student in Kochi after being harassed by the SFI, the student wing of the CPM.
The betrayal of Dalit community in Kerala for six decades by the successive governments has now come to a cross road. The sharp repercussions are just only a tip of an ice berg. The defiant attitude of the Left towards Dalit may result in large scale protest against this government, which could obviously be a political game changer in Kerala.
(The writer is a journalist)