Will Kannur explode again ?

I’m not a soothsayer nor am I sitting on top of Kerala’s state intelligence to say this. Its just a few news reports across the last few weeks and some conversations here and there. There have been reports of a gradual build up of ammunition and bomb making in the north malabar district of Kannur. There are reported incidents of accidental explosions and some real steel bomb testing being done. Anyone who follows Kerala’s immediate political history will know the color of Kannur and the history of violence in the district.

Most of us in Kerala would remember the december 1999 and december 2000 incidents in Kannur which had a total death toll of around fifty and caused near stand-still in the state. I fear another build up this time as the ‘martyr’s month’ approaches. It might be a wild guess of sorts but it needs to be read in the overall climate created by the release of the ‘Marad riots’ report last week. The hindu fundamentalist sangh could turn this to their advantage by inciting fresh violence in malabar as the Marad report squarely blames the NDF and elements within the Muslim league for the killings. We need to be careful ,very careful.

The clashes between the RSS and the communists had subsided after both parties agreed on a ceasefire and after the leadership of both parties realized the unacceptability of damages. The RSS must realize that they have nothing to gain politically from these violent acts – in the last elections BJP polled a pathetic 0.5% of the total votes in Kannur. The clout they have among the Bharatiya Masdoor Sangh could be put to better use than building bombs.

The CPIM should realize that retaliatory attacks from its side will not improve the situation any further. Moreover the wounds of Nadapuram and the muslim fundamentalist elements waiting there could use Kannur as a new ploy. As the governing party, I hope CPIM will show more maturity in case something bad happens. Kannur is the citadel of Communism in Kerala and let it not be a wound in our psyche. Revolution comes through disciplined, peaceful party building, and not through tit-for-tat acts of violence.

Peace prevails in Kannur today only because of the maturity of our political leadership – both CPIM and the BJP. Some credit also goes to A K Antony’s police policy that reined in the IUML and NDF elements in Malabar. Let peace prevail but let us be aware of the ides of December. Let us be very aware.

Good Night and Good Luck !

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