Islamists and Communists are both driven by radical ideologies that have the potential to divide even decent citizens in a democratic nation. Communism has killed at least 90 million people in the last century. In the same manner, Islamists have the blood of millions on their hands. A disaster may unfold when Islamists and Communists cross paths and something of the same sort may happen soon in Karnataka.
Vijayan forced to back-peddle thrice within two weeks
Although, majority of the time both Islamists and Communists are found hand in glove with each other, as both the ideologies work approximately on parallel lines but the scenario from Kerala is entirely different. In Kerala, the Communist Vijayan government is being forced to retract its decisions according to the dictation of Islamists.
The Communist Vijayan government of Kerala is on the target of Islamists due to some of their recent decisions on three contentious issues. And due to backlash, the CPI(M) led Left Democratic Front government has been forced to reverse its decisions.
Gender neutral uniforms
The Pinarayi Vijayan government had introduced gender-neutral uniforms and had allowed both girls and boys to sit on the same benches to promote gender equality. The new unisex school uniform was introduced in classes 10th and onwards.
However, the decision met sheer criticism from the Muslim community. Several Muslim groups came out to protest against the same, like the Muslim Students Federation, the youth wing of the Muslim League and threatened the Vijayan government that the protest will be expanded to other parts of the state. Even rallies were held in Kozhikode under the aegis of the Muslim Coordination Committee. The groups claimed that it was an attempt to impose liberal ideology upon Muslim girls.
While many women groups lauded the change, the Vijayan government has retracted its decision. Education Minister V Sivankutty of the CPI(M), on Wednesday, announced that the government had no plans of introducing gender-neutral uniforms in schools.
The Vijayan government has seldom revoked its political decisions, as he puts singular focus on maintaining the public image that every decision by his government is taken after extensive brainstorming and weighing the pros and cons. However, the bubble bursted, as Vijayan unceremoniously dropped IAS officer Sriram Venkitaraman as Alappuzha District Collector, barely after a week of his appointment.
Reason being the widespread protests in the region by Muslims as Venkitaraman is an accused of drunk driving in the case of journalist KM Basheer, 2019. Basheer was a reporter with the “Siraj” daily, a newspaper of the Sunni Muslim community led by Kanthapuram Aboobacker Musaliyar.
As soon as Venkitaraman was appointed, Muslim organisations mounted protests demanding his sacking. Pro-CPI (M) Kerala Muslim Jamath also held a massive protest in the matter, and two days after the rally, the government removed the officer.
On Thursday, in an article in party daily “Deshabhimani”, CPI(M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan justified the decision to remove Venkitaraman. He wrote, “Venkitaraman was removed as the district collector considering the public sentiments. The LDF gives consideration to such democratic protests.”
Handing over Waqf Board appointments to PSC
Muslim organisations along with IUML have gone all guns blazing over Communist Vijayan and his government over the decision to entrust the appointments made to the state Waqf Board to the Public Service Commission. However, after the Muslim community opened its arsenal against the government, the Vijayan government backtracked and said a “new system” would be introduced for the recruitment of deserved job aspirants. Vijayan changed his mind on the issue only after he managed to win the confidence of pro-IUML scholars’ body Samastha Kerala Jem-iyyathul Ulama, which led the protest.
Vijayan succumbs under the Islamists’ pressure and the reason is political
The ones following the politics of the state understand, unlike the common equation, the Communists in Kerala don’t enjoy the support of Muslims entirely and Vijayan’s moves can be seen as an attempt to woo the Muslims in the state.
The Muslims have traditionally backed the Congress led United Democratic Front (UDF), as Congress had the support of organisations like Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) and Vijayan has been seeking a cut in the Muslim votebank from IUML and Congress. He did the same with Christians, with each passing day he enhanced his rapport with the church leaders by taking up their grievances. However, this is just toeing the Congress’ line, compromising on public welfare and pushing India back for the sake of temporary political benefits.
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