Abdullakkutty: It’s payback time for League against CPM

via Pioneer News Service | Malappuram published on October 8, 2008

The CPI(M) in Kerala is resilient enough to solve almost any problem that affects it and has proved this resilience when firebrands like MV Raghavan and KR Gowri quit the party and formed their own political outfits. But for the time being AP Abdullakkutty, whose confessions of a Communist through the media have created a political storm, is causing big headache to the party.

The party is all the more unsettled by the efforts of the Indian Union Muslim League which is going all out to cash in on the cool revolution declared by Abdullakkutty against the CPI(M). Grasping the opportunity for settling old scores with the Marxists in a sweet-revenge manner, the League, especially of the Muslim-majority Malappuram district, has embarked on a poster campaign against the CPI(M) using Abdullakkutty’s confessions that appeared in newspapers and magazines.

Abdullakkutty has stirred a hornets’ nest in the CPI(M) by confessing that he has hitherto been acting as a materialist out of fears about how his hard and fast religious beliefs would be looked upon in the party. He openly declared in a recent newspaper interview that he was a believer in Allah, and openly performed Namaz at an Idgah in Kannur on October 1, the Id-ul Fitr day.

In the Communist heartland of Kannur, where CPI(M)’s manners are unwritten Constitution, such an act by a partyman, that too an MP, is not only a matter of shame to the party but also a matter of concern that emulation by others of the same practice could prove hazardous. The CPI(M), therefore, will act severely against Abdullakkutty through the maximum extent it can go to, but till then it is advantage Muslim League.

The Muslim League campaign follows the most popular and effective publicity techniques which the Marxists have always adopted for political work – posters. At every street corner, bus stop, important town centre etc in Malappuram what welcomes one these days is a huge blow-up of the newspaper page carrying the interview with Abdullakkutty in which he asks, ‘Who’s afraid of my religious beliefs?’

The common people of Malappuram are not very much interested in political gossips or US economic meltdown or Medvedev’s war on Georgia, but Abdullakkutty’s posters are instant hit. The controversial interview created interests, sparks off instant discussions and leads to the verdict: Onu aa party vittoode (why can’t he leave that party).

What is troubling the CPI(M) in Malappuram is not merely Abdullakkutty. They are also worried about the capacity of the Muslim League to pay back in their own coin. The CPI(M), some years back, wrapped up the entire Malappuram in posters with the pictures of KT Jaleel, the young Muslim League firebrand who declared war on his party. Jaleel was ultimately out of the Muslim League, and it was a big catch for the CPI(M), which used him against League strongman PK Kunhalikkutty. In the last Assembly elections, Jaleel as a Marxist Independent humiliated Kunhalikkutty, an unimaginable event till then, in the Kuttippuram constituency.

It is time for reversal of this history for the Muslim League. Indications are that the CPI(M) would expel Abdullakkutty or he could leave it before that. If that happens, the only logical thing for him is to walk into the Muslim League where he would be welcomed like a king. If Muslim League sources are to be believed, such developments would not be far off.

Two-time Marxist MP Abdullakkutty had first embarrassed the CPI(M) by performing Umrah at Mecca without taking permission from the party. The party waited for the right moment to punish him for this, and when he said once that bandhs and hartals were not beneficial for the Marxists, he was reprimanded like in the case of Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.

But his biggest confessions came when he said he did not perform Mayyathu Namaskaram (paying homage to the dead) when his mother died because of sheer fear about the repercussions it would make in the party. But, he said, he later understood he was an idiot to think so because the same people who had prevented him from doing that had performed Mayyathu Namaskaram when their relatives died.

Abdullakkutty went further ahead in the interview saying that he had married as per Muslim stipulations, performed Sunnat on his son and was giving Quranic education to his children. Above all this, he secretly met Union Minister of State for External Affairs E Ahmed when he came home for the first time after being elected League’s national president. Both leaders admitted to nothing, but they also denied nothing.

The CPI(M) will surely find a way out of the Abdullakkutty issue, but it will have to do it in a very clever way. But till such thing happens, the party workers in Muslim majority areas will continue to live in perpetual embarrassment as the League is determined to go ahead with the offensive.

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