Getting Away With Murder: Can Social Media Stop The Communist Killing Spree In Kerala?

“The ordinary response to atrocities is to banish them from consciousness. Certain violations of the social compact are too terrible to utter aloud: this is the meaning of the word unspeakable” – Judith Lewis Herman

It is said that, when a parent dies, you lose your past; when a child dies, you lose your future.

A certain kind of disbelief, anger and then a numbness overtakes. Over a period, it diminishes to a faint memory and then you lock it up in a corner faraway in the deep recesses of your heart.

The brutal killings of swayamsevaks by communist goons for over the last five decades in Kerala’s Kannur, has had this numbing effect on me. Hailing from this town, it pained me in the past when I heard of unprovoked maiming and murdering at will. But now, a certain impassiveness has overcome it. These killings have gone for far too long and there does not seem to be a willingness from any front to put an end to it.

The women in rural Kannur have become immune to these frequent occurrences. A lost father, husband, brother or son has made them unresponsive to these brutalities, which are colluded by the communist party irrespective of being in power or not. Hundreds have lost their lives because they believed in a different ideology.

Last year, during the Kerala election campaign, I visited the mother of Jayakrishnan, a school teacher, who was murdered in front of his primary school students. I felt a sense of desolation. She came out and sat on the porch of her ancestral house frozen in time. An ageing lady, had lost her young, promising son to the machinations of a party, which believes in violence as the only response to dissent. Many people visit the small memorial in their yard to pay their respects to the departed soul. She was oblivious of people around her, years of grieving had made her outwardly numb, but in her calm eyes I was aware of her enduring pain. The only response I could muster was helplessness.

I also visited a few other houses where families had lost sons. One poor father, who could barely control his tears, rushed inside the house and wiped his tears with the corner of a towel. His son had died of injuries sustained in an explosion, when bombs were thrown at protesters peacefully challenging a probe into an environmental issue.

The video is on record, but the Kerala government has till date refused to acknowledge it, and the family has become destitute with no compensation of any kind. These incidents and numbers are far too many that they have lost significance. To recount these tales is disconcerting and I am not up to the task. But one thing needs to be mentioned, every one of these killings have been carried out clinically with no remorse.

The visceral alacrity with which the communist party murders, is disquieting. When questioned, or condemned, their standard response is with ‘whataboutery’. It does not take a fool to grasp the fact that these political killings happen only in places where communists have a strong backing. This is obvious from the statistics; it is common in the states of Kerala, West Bengal and even certain parts of Tamil Nadu, where people who do not conform to their ideology are eliminated ruthlessly. Has anyone questioned why such killings do not happen in other states of India?

Since May 2016, after CPIM assumed power, Kerala has witnessed multiple political murders of its adversaries. Each time the ruling party surpasses itself in the mechanism it adopts; be it bombing, forcefully entering households or burning houses. Just in the past week, members of a whole family succumbed to burns in Palakkad, and another young daughter in Kannur has been orphaned. But life continues in full glory in God’s own country. The Anoops, Sujiths Pramods, Vishals, Vimalas etc. only linger as memories in the hearts of their loved ones. The perpetrators of these crimes do not seem to be afraid to carry them out as they have no fear of the consequences. They are comfortable in the knowledge that their party will back them and no harm will come their way.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and his party now drunk with power has been continuously turning a blind eye to these killings. They perhaps feel it is in their best interest to remain quiet and carry on with the administration. But they have overlooked one key fact. The arrival of social media has now become a potent weapon. And that will lead to the downfall of his party. Most in India have heard or read of communist atrocities only in Russia, China, South America etc. But this has been happening in our very backyard and all this while we have remained ignorant. A booklet Aahuti was compiled to document the nationalists who died opposing this violent Marxist ideology. The vulnerability and pain with which the team compiled thisdocument, as it was needed to be done, is a harrowing tale.

The state government, opposition and Centre, have all reacted to these killings with sheer posturing. The BJP, neither at the state nor the Centre, has come up with a viable solution to these needless killings. The BJP workers who have been mostly at the receiving end have been unable to bring an end to all this violence and bloodshed and are paying a huge price. Throughout these years, they have continued to remain as mere targets for people who have a taste for murder.

The rest of the country has been largely unaware of killings happening at this scale. But slowly and steadily voices are being raised across the country on social media. The silence of local people, media and other groups in the past has strengthened their authority. These atrocities may continue for a while, but a day of reckoning is sure to come. And when it comes, these deaths won’t just entries in a roster. Till then, those who remain, await justice for their loved ones.

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