- The Communist government led by Vijayan acknowledges the presence of hardline Islamic radicals in Kerala
- The fight between churches and mosques is out in the open now
- It will be difficult for the Vijayan government as they are the ones who nurtured Islamic radicals in the state
The Muslim appeasement has never worked for any political party. Against the run of play, the policy always tends to backfire. The communist government of Kerala, led by Pinarayi Vijayan, is now acknowledging this reality.
Kerala government expresses worry about rising pro-Taliban sentiments
Recently, a document accessed by the India Today group has revealed the rising concern about the pro-Taliban sentiments in Kerala. The document is an internal party memo of CPI (M) led by Vijayan government, which has been distributed among its party cadre. The document specifically blames Jamaat-e-Islami Hind for advocating radicalism and communalism. It also mentions how Jamaat is using modern-day communication techniques to propagate its agenda. One document read– “Jamaat-e-Islami, whose goal is to establish an Islamic state, is now trying to spread their ideas in the Muslim community as well in Kerala society. They are using not only their publications but also the social media platforms to spread their ideas, “.
The document confirms the rising division between Christians and Muslims in the state. It then proceeds to express concern over pro-Taliban sentiments in the state and also mentions how women on college campuses are getting lured into this ideology. The note regarding the Taliban read- “It is a matter of serious concern that discussion supporting the Taliban is happening in Kerala while it is being condemned by the believers of democracy across the world, including the Muslim community at large,”. The CPI requested its student outfits, cultural organisations, cultural platforms, and libraries to galvanise against this radicalisation.
Kerala’s history of radicalism
Kerala has been the hotbed for fundamental Islamic radicalism in India for a long time. Radicalism not just impacts the Hindu community of the state, but it has long been affecting other non-Muslim communities in the region as well. Recently, the Christian church came out in open against the Love-Jihad and Narcotics Jihad practised by Muslims in their community. Pala Bishop Mar Joseph Kallarangatt speaking on the eighth day of lent of St Mary at Kuravilangad warned the Christian youths about the menace. He described how narcotic and love jihadists are luring girls and youths at such an early age by the means of drugs.
Kerala has been a recruiting ground for fundamental elements like ISIS. It has been responsible for the highest number of India based ISIS fighters. Recently, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan briefed the media about the ISIS sympathisers in the state. According to Kerala government estimates, more than 94 per cent of those who left the country to join ISIS belonged to the Muslim community. 72 per cent of them had gone abroad for professional studies and got attracted by the ideology to join ISIS, while 28 per cent of them went with the specific purpose of joining ISIS. 5 of them joined ISIS after converting from other religions.
Atheist promoted radicals in the state
Kerala is a communist-ruled state for a long time. Though the communist philosophy preaches atheism, Kerala politics has been based on the appeasement of Muslims and Christians in the name of minority appeasement by the CPI (M). Currently, Muslims comprise more than 26 per cent of Kerala’s population with Kasargod district having the highest (37.24 per cent) proportion of the Muslim population. The government runs several schemes for the welfare of the Muslim community. Muslim festivals get special tacit support from the state machinery. Recently, at the time when covid-19 was at its peak, the Kerala government relaxed the covid norms for Eid celebrations, but when it was time for Onam, a prominent Hindu festival of the state; the government strictly applied the covid restriction rule in its entirety.
The leaked letter does underline the fact that the Vijayan government is worried about the ruckus created by their Muslim appeasement politics in Kerala, but it was them who nurtured such radicals and extremists. Now, when the Vijayan government is forced to choose between Muslims and Christians, they tend to lean towards the latter.