July 06, 2005

News and Views

After leaving Kerala to pursue my career outside the state, the key link between me and the state have been the Malayalam TV channels. Operators in Hyderabad and Chennai broadcast Asianet, Surya and Kairali, though Kairali is not available with all the networks here in Hyderabad. My cable operator has stopped giving Kairali TV for last one month or so, a great disappoint for me who is not interested in the soap serials broadcasted by Asianet and Surya. So nowadays, the only program that make me glued to TV during the evenings are the news telecasts. And I try not to miss the five minute tele-strip Munshi, which discusses current affairs in a humorous way.

Yesterday's news reports were very disturbing to watch. The headlines were the Ayodhya temple attack by militants, the DYFI/SFI strike and the associated mishaps in Kerala and the resigning of 9 MLAs from state assembly who have become part of the new Indira Congress Party formed by Karunakaran and his son. All these incidents have no or little precedence but can make deep impacts on political India/Kerala.

Another strike.

The DYFI/SFI strike was rated by Munshi as the "best" which Kerala has seen to date, "better" than what they themselves had presented in the past. The news reporters must have had an experience akin to war correspondence, for the clash between police and strikers involved lots of teargas shells, water pouring tanks and petrol bombs. As usual the strikers managed to set fire or damage many Government vehicles, the notable difference this time being that police made a counter attack on AKG centre using grenades, as if they were attacking a fort of an enemy, and managed to damage some of the vehicles of communist comrades parked inside the compound.

I could never and do not think can in the future, agree to this "art" of destructive strikes (irrespective of the name they call it-Bandh or Hartal). Not that I am a follower of Gandhi model satyagraha or something, but that there are definitely better ways to express your discontent. The Communist parties always used this kind of methods to invigorate their cadres, especially youth wings such as SFI and DYFI, when they are in the opposition thuis having less opportunities to lure them on lucrative posts in government bodies. I have lost interest in finding out the very cause of these turmoil, after watching and experiencing them for years and finding that there may not be a solid reason to create these chaos other than uniting the cadres confused on intra party problems. I have got used to the vsuals of these wars shown in TV channels, the fight between police and strikers using teargas grenades and petrol bombs, the burning government vehicles, the broken glasses of vehicles parked and the buildings by the roadside and lately people being thrown away by the water sprayed by water tanks. This time so many girls were seen at the forefront of the marches, and getting injured in the clashes.

I had a hint that this strike was against the high fees charged by private professional institutions in state. The strike was called off after a meeting between state educational minister and Leftist Students Unions. The resolution based on which it was called off was stated as "decision to charge lesser fees in the government controlled co-operative colleges". I doubt if some body told "private colleges", and the entire drama reiterated the rumour that the strike was "organised" to avert the attention of masses from the intra-party clashes in CPM, popularly known as vettinirathal.

Ayodhya on fire.

The attack in Ayodhya by militants was successfully foiled by the CRPF. For me, this gave new information, that there is a make-shift temple that is being protected by a dedicated police station and a battalion of CRPF. But the true drama was yet to begin when the BJP demanded the resignation of PM and Home Minister for the mishap and declared that they are going for countrywide strikes on the issue. Narendra Modi compared it to 9/11 and BJP made it "an attack on Hindus". The Prime Minister later issued a statement such events could hamper the India-Pakistan peace talks. I am doubtful now, have the militants become successful finally? Two days after, BJP has decided to stop talking about the issue, which was an alter attempt to unite the conflicting party cadre, which has finally turned out to be a boomerang with very less people responding to the call for a hartal.

Indira Congress gets 9 ex-MLAs

At this moment, I believe majority of Keralites, like me, do not know what will be the future of Indira Congress would be? And there is not much waiting period to know, as the panchayat elections are on the cards. The same holds true for the future of nine MLAs who resigned their post and quit the Congress to join Indira Congress. Let us wait and see, and meanwhile pray for the people in the ten constituencies that do not have an MLA at present (including Cherthala from where Antony resigned to graduate to MP).

We see all the parties, irrespective of the color of their flags, taking due advantage on any incident that happens, when they are supposed to unite and condemn such threats on national security. They try to make life a hell for the people of their country when they are supposed to make them better. They play petty politics and resign their posts when they are supposed to serve the people who elected them for their good for the next five years. As I write this, Kerala is going through another strike called by all the trade unions together, one of the many hartals and strikes they ought to see this year. No, do not ask me what for this one is, for I really do not know, and as said before, am not interested in finding out! But I seriously doubt if this is what politics in democracy is?

Godspeed my polity, may God save You from these politicos!

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