Media of Kerala, by and large, filled with the Left sympathisers and supporters, surprisingly supported the peace initiative by Organiser and gave wide coverage in a positive shade much to the bemusement of the left chatterati led by the CPM
The Conclave held in Kozhikode on July 1, 2017 by Organiser “In Search of Peace” an initiative to end the political violence in Kannur District of Kerala was a tremendous success. The participants and the dais were equally majestic and serious on the deliberations and discussions.
The generally hostile media of Kerala, by and large, comprising left sympathisers and supporters, however, were surprisingly supporting the initiative and gave wide coverage in a positive shade much to the bemusement of the left chatterati led by the CPM. The CPM, whose state secretary was
personally invited by the Editor of the Organiser Shri Prafulla Ketkar, shied away from the conclave and deliberations citing flimsy reasons as upholding the secular credentials and the general CPM approach to issues taken up by the Nationalist forces. The Congress whose state president M M Hassan was again invited personally by the Editor, had confirmed participation and in the last moment, withdrew citing similar flimsy reasons.
However, except for the left supporting media, including the CPM mouthpiece Deshabhimani and The Hindu, the conclave was well supported by the media which is fed up with the unabated political killings in Kannur district of which CPM has always been a part and parcel.
The media was well represented and the Times of India carried the conclave in all its seriousness including curtain raisers and covering the event with the seriousness of a national newspaper sending its senior reporters to the press conference announcing the conclave as well as reporting it. The Indian Express, Deccan Chronicle and the news agencies including PTI, UNI and IANS also reported the conclave in a befitting manner.
The Vernacular press was also in its full stream and covered the event in all sessions with the senior reporters and specific political beat reporters covering the programme.This showed that the local press was also seriously interested in giving the best of reportage for an initiative which was generally perceived to be supported by RSS. This showed how serious RSS and its affiliate organisations are for achieving peace. However, by not attending the programme as such and also writing negative reports in its mouthpiece and its affiliated news paper, The Hindu, the CPM showed and proved clearly that they are not interested in peace in Kannur district and that the message given by the party was loud and clear. This seems to be a message by the party and its state leadership that it will continue to vitiate and violate any peace initiative in Kannur district and that it will go scot free with whatever it is adept at.
The party mouthpiece articles seemed to be aimed at the Islamists and the CPM with its actions and methods had cut a sorry figure among the public of Kerala, as there were more expectations from the party which is ruling the state. As the saying goes, the leopard cannot change its spots, the CPM is fully associated with crime and criminal gangs in Kannur District and the party which is trying to export frictions and killings in other parts of the state, can never have the guts or the wisdom to attend a peace conference called by the nationalist organisation, the RSS. It may be noted that the CPM has been trying to foment trouble in the State capital, Thiruvananthapuram and the presence of the notorious former Thalassery area secretary of the party, Karayi Rajan, being given a job in the party’s printing division in Thiruvananthapuram is in itself a move by the party which is worrisome for the ordinary people of the Thiruvananthapuram as there are possibilities of political violence reaching its shores as it’s here that the BJP won its lone Assembly seat.
The CPM and its media have been on the receiving end after the conclave, as the positive reports which appeared in almost all the newspapers on the initiative taken by Organiser and RSS to arrive at peace, gave the CPM goose bumps. Highly placed sources told this writer that there was an opinion in the party to attend the conclave and to express and air its views. However abstaining from the meeting and propagating lies about the programme has not gone down well even with the party sympathisers, sources revealed.
The Kerala media which was generally considered to be totally antagonistic to the RSS and its affiliates, however, praised this initiative and the large presence of the media in itself shows that the people of the State had taken up the idea behind the conclave which truly shows that there is a positivity in this and the move.
The programme, which had a media session and a political session was well attended and the BJP Senior national vice president Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, while delivering the key note address, declared that our country is moving ahead as it has “Spiritual Democracy” and that the spirit and ethos of democracy should be maintained in the state. The media person and former Deputy Editor of Mathrubhumi, NP Rajendran also called upon the people to strive for peace and not to fight on the street on petty political issues. The BJP Intellectual convener and media critic TG Mohandas also spoke and lashed out against the culture of political violence and killings in the state.
The Editor of Kaumudi Teleivion M C Rejil spoke on the necessity to abhor violence and to fight for upholding the values of democracy and democratic ethos in the political firmament.
Former Union Minister and Chairman of Kerala Congress (Thomas), PC Thomas called upon political parties for a dialogue and not to indulge in violence as violence cannot be done away with violence. The RSS Saha Prant Karyavah who is also the Managing Director of Janmabhoomi, said that the RSS has never been involved in any issues which abort peace and that the organisation has always been on the forefront to abhor violence and violent means in a democratic society. CMP leader Narayanankutty also spoke on the occasion and detailed in length how he and his fellow CMP men (It’s a breakaway group of the CPM) were tormented and tortured by the CPM and its cadres.
(The writer is a senior journalist)