The Spectre of Fascism
- Sivaram Srikandath
Story Dated: Wednesday, August 8, 2012 12:11 hrs IST
The recent public censure of V.S. Achuthanandan by the CPM Central Committee, and the suspension of the party's former Idukki district secretary M.M. Mani, marks yet another turning point in the affairs of the Red Brigade in Kerala.. Surely, the CPM high command would never have imagined that the murders of Muhamad Fazal, Abdul Shukoor and T.P. Chandrasekharan would come to haunt them in such a manner.
Muhamad Fazal, Abdul Shukoor, and T.P. Chandrasekharan. Who were these three men, and what did they have in common? They were all from Kannur district; they were committed workers of three different political parties; and now they are dead. All killed violently.
Fazal, an agent of the National Democratic Front newspaper, Thejas was hacked to death on October 22, 2006 in the Marxist heartland of Thalasserry. The murder took place just days after the victim had defected from the CPM and joined the NDF. The police investigation in the case was not going anywhere till Fazal's widow, Mariyu, approached the High Court with a plea that the case be handed over to the CBI for resolution. Now the CBI is investigating the case.
Abdul Shukoor was a 21 year Youth League activist whose crime was that he was allegedly part of a group of Muslim League workers that pelted stones at the car carrying CPM Kannur District Secretary P. Jayarajan and legislator, T V Rajesh. Retribution came immediately and Shukoor was brutally murdered in broad daylight on February 20 of this year, in a paddy field at Keezhara village, a CPM stronghold in Kannur district. According to the police reports, the "execution" was meticulously carried out in a two hour operation in full view of a large group of people.
The manner in which T.P. Chandrasekharan's political execution was carried out requires no re-telling. Described as a "fearless Communist" by V.S. Achuthanandan, the victim was a a firebrand leader; a blue-eyed boy of of the CPM till a few years ago, when he was expelled from the party for standing up to the party honchos. Subsequently, Chandrasekharan became a thorn in the CPM's side - a charismatic leader who could potentially serve as a lightning rod for the Left movement in Northern Kerala, particularly in mobilizing the support of Marxist sympathizers who, while disagreeing with the "decadent" ways of the current CPM leadership of the state, believe strongly in Left democratic processes.
So, he too was "terminated with extreme prejudice."
TP's murder has since unleashed the dogs of war within the CPM party. Skeletons are tumbling out of the party closet like never before, and indeed, the stories only seem to get murkier and seamier with every new revelation, and every new confession. And wily old Achumama has pounced on this opportunity to once again challenge Commissar Vijayan's stranglehold on the party machinery.
The CPM, for once, seems to have their back against the wall and the party is blinking in dazed confusion like a deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming freight truck. The state leadership hasn't been able to do anything to dispel the growing notion amongst the public that the thread connecting all three deaths seems to be the hidden (or is it open?) hand of the party.
Finally, there is incontrovertible proof that something is indeed rotten in the state of Denmark ! Or to put it more accurately, in the northern Kerala district of Kannur, which the CPM considers its fiefdom. This part of Kerala has long been under Marxist control and there are many villages which virtually function as "communist republics" ruled by party strongmen. The writ of law does not operate here. Instead, it is the "party court" that decides and arbitrates on most matters, particularly on the sensitive issue of how to deal with class enemies. And as seen in the case of Chandrasekharan, Shukoor and Fazal, these decisions can be pretty lethal.
It was in 1948 that the Communist Manifesto was published with these darkly ominous opening words: "There is a spectre haunting Europe - the spectre of Communism." Well, it looks like in 2012, there is a spectre haunting Gods own Country - the spectre of fascism. Under its current leadership, the CPM in Kerala is fast turning into a true Fascist organization - centralization of authority under one powerful leader; and suppression of the opposition through censorship, dictatorial control, and intimidation. An organization that brooks no dissent and condones no intransigence.
So, better beware. For, if left unchecked and unchallenged, these Red Shirts could soon turn into Black Shirts, and we may have to live our lives according to the diktats of these storm troopers of the Fascist ideology.
Should we allow matters to come to such a pass ?