CPM is always the envy, of all political parties in Kerala, in organising mammoth rallies and marches. It took some time before the common people came to know the secret of this ‘show of strength’. There are several sources. Most of them are Government-funded organisations that float when they get power. The poor members are bound to obey the political masters when they dictate the terms, whether rally, march, protest, or violence. Otherwise, the loss will be too heavy to bear.
Now, headload workers led by CITU (Centre of Indian Trade Unions, labour wing of CPM) are the latest victims in this connection. The audio message of the Kainakari Local Committee Secretary of CPM, Alappuzha district, is being telecast by electronic media. It says the headload workers should participate in the rally in connection with the much-publicised “Janakeeya Prathirodha Yathra” of CPM state secretary M V Govindan tomorrow, March 12, 2023.
The message threatens the workers that they should participate in the rally at any cost; otherwise, they will lose their job. The message says there are 178 headload workers in the locality, and all of them should take part in the rally. But, incidentally, many of them do not belong to any trade union or political outfit.
Later on, news spread that CPM leaders stopped harvest activities in Kaniyampadan paddy fields and asked the labourers to go to attend the public meeting in connection with Govindan’s Yathra.
Kudumbashree is another victim. It is the poverty eradication and women empowerment programme implemented by the State Poverty Eradication Mission (SPEM) of the Government of Kerala. The name Kudumbashree in the Malayalam language means ‘prosperity of the family’. The name represents ‘Kudumbashree Mission’ or SPEM, as well as the Kudumbashree Community Network. It was launched in 1998 when the Left Democratic Front (LDF) regime, led by Chief Minister (late) E K Nayanar, was in power.
On March 12, an audio message of Shreeja, Anadu Panchayath member belonging to CPI, the second largest partner of the ruling LDF, was published by electronic and online media. The matter is the mobilisation of women for the inauguration of a small bridge in Shreeja’s ward. Pazhamkkutty Bridge is going to be inaugurated, on March 12, by PWD minister Mohammed Riaz, who is also the son-in-law of Pinarayi Vijayan, the CM and CPM supremo.
The message asks the Kudumbashree women to participate in the inauguration programme which will also be graced by G R Anil, Food & Civil Supplies Minister. Those who fail to turn up will invite a penalty of Rs 100 !!! Their weekly meeting should be either preponed or postponed. All members should reach the venue at 4.30 pm. The message was on the WhatsApp group of the Kudumbashree members. When the message turned talk of the State, Shreeja tried to escape with a lame and banal excuse that she did not mean the penalty seriously and her intention was to ensure attendance.
The funny thing is, the bridge is not fully operational, the opposition party workers in the area allege. They say that even the acquisition of lands for the approach roads is yet to complete. But, M V Govindan’s Yathra is expected to cross this bridge hence the hurried inauguration. CPI woman leader tries to appease CPM, the “Big Brother” in the LDF apparatus.
The other day we carried a story of the CPM threat to the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee (MGNREGA) labour force. A WhatsApp voice message of a CPM (woman) panchayat ward member had been leaked to the media. The member belongs to Mayyil Panchayat, Kannur district. The message had been sent to the WhatsApp group of MGNREGA labourers in her (panchayat member’s) ward. It asked the labourers to participate in the public meeting in Thalipparambu, Kannur district, in connection with Govindan’s Yatra. In other places, labourers participate in the programme even after abandoning one day’s work:” If you do not comply, hereafter your work under MGNREGA will be at my pleasure”.
Now, once again, the “real strength” of CPM rallies is exposed.