The BJP's much-hyped statewide march in Kerala against the alleged violence perpetrated by the CPM and jihadi groups is meant to bring peace and ensure everyone's right to live, the party leaders claim. However, if the slogans shouted at the march are anything to go by, the tall claims and the well-orchestrated march prove to be anything but a sham.
The march, named Jana Raksha Yatra, was launched from Kannur, a stronghold of the CPM and the ground zero of the never-ending battle in which both the parties have lost many heads, is being attended by several central leaders of the saffron party. The peace march, a de facto show of strength, was being widely covered by the national media which highlight the RSS-BJP's claim that their cadres were being victimized by the CPM.
The sloganeering in the march which name and target CPM leaders, but prove that the saffron party is not much concerned about their proclaimed aim -- peace. A live video, posted by none other than a former BJP state president, shows his party workers resorting to provocative sloganeering which blurt out threats to CPM leaders in Kannur.
In the video, which shows the rally pass by Koothuparamba, some BJP workers are heard shouting abusive words against CPM activists and threatening party district secretary P. Jayarajan.
Jayarajan, who lost one of his hands in an attack by BJP-RSS activists 18 years ago, is threatened with losing the remaining hand as well.
All this happens in the presence of top leaders of the party, clearly indicating that they have not passed the proclaimed message of peace down to the party cadre.
The video has also evoked strong response from CPM supporters, some of them even challenging the BJP men to try putting their hands on CPM leaders.
Peace meets and rallies are not new to Kerala. All the leading parties have held many in the past, often after political activism turned bloodbath. Nevertheless, there has been no dearth of chest-thumping by party leaders also. Both the BJP and the CPM leaders have challenged each other, fueling animosity.
Now, at a time when the BJP is playing the victim card too hard, the party should have been careful to rein in the followers if it wanted the call for peace to sound genuine.