In Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan is the REAL Syndicate!

via Ajith Gopal published on April 19, 2007

              In Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan is the REAL Syndicate!

By Ajith Gopal

A few days ago, a veteran CPM leader, also a former minister, was speaking “off-the record” to a small group of journalists on the sidelines of a usual get-together in Thiruvananthapuram.

Disturbed by the emerging trends and new power politics within the CPI (M), the man said ruefully,” Our party secretary (Pinarayi Vijayan) today reminds me of Indira Gandhi of the Emergency days.” It was obvious that he was deeply disturbed and the observation came from the bottom of his heart.

The seasoned journalists present had known the man for years. And all were shocked. The old man did not go further to explain this comparison. Perhaps he suddenly became cautious of the surroundings that had become oblivious to him for a moment when powerful emotions erupting inside hijacked his thoughts!

Though the matter ended there, the man had made his point. He was right too. During Emergency, Indira, sparing her few trusted cronies, viewed everyone suspiciously. She had no advisers but just ‘chamchas’ around her. Wherever she went, she was made to feel that public was with her and approved of her autocratic ways. Heads that rose in revolt, rolled out; some with bloodstains, some not. And the cronies even coined a slogan that surpassed all limits of political slavery & sycophancy in our post independence history- “India is Indira and Indira is India”.

Today when you hear Kerala’s honorable Devasom Minister G Sudhakaran say that Pinarayi is the Party and Party is Pinarayi ( since he is party secretary..goes the explanation!); doesn’t that ring a bell??  G Sudhakaran has to say that for survival..…and thousands will parrot it…. again for survival. Well that is the culture Pinarayi has introduced in CPM… since he became the state secretary.

Like Indira Gandhi of Emergency days, Pinarayi too is suspicious of even his surroundings. His body language and threatening speeches betray his innermost insecurity. If Indira saw ‘foreign hands’ at every nook and corner, trying to finish her off along with her family, Pinarayi sees syndicates everywhere, conspiring to defame him and finish off his political career. First it was the media syndicate, then he spoke about a political syndicate…but above all this, there is another syndicate about which he seldom speaks publicly. This syndicate, that troubles the party secretary most, works overtime against him and has its sponsors within the party itself!

If Indira Gandhi took over the reigns of Congress after trouncing a group of veterans in a sharp and well-planned political game, Pinarayi is adopting the same strategy and working on his wily designs, since CPM’s Malappuram party meet. He suffered a setback only when Achutanandan riding on a wave of public support and media sympathy emerged form nowhere to hijack the party machinery to become Chief Minister. Pinarayi, at that moment, seemed to have lost all the momentum that he had accumulated through his infamous ‘Kerala Yatra’. CPM state secretary’s Yatra was unparalleled in Kerala’s communist history. The crores that party spent lavishly on banners, billboards and corner meetings will even make stalwarts of political gimmicks like K M Mani and other Kerala Congress group leaders hang their heads in shame.

And the state secretary, wherever he stayed during this tour, mingled and dined with high and mighty of that town. The message was clear- here comes the new ruler of Kerala’s destiny. Support him or perish…But this well orchestrated road show had an anti-climax with Achutanandan’s last minute entry into election scene and subsequent ascendancy to power.

But Pinarayi took less than three months to overcome this blow. Today thanks to Pinarayi caucus, Oommen Chandy can relax at home. Pinarayi’s henchmen have donned the mantle of silent Opposition in the state. Something that reminds us of Karunakaran’s pranks during the previous UDF government.

Pinarayi’s comparison with Indira Gandhi doesn’t end there. Indira, who was an avowed autocrat by nature despite her public posturing to the contrary, always nurtured hatred against the media. And that abhorrence blossomed into full-blown action during Emergency.

Indira and her son Sanjay ruthlessly tried to arm-twist media barons and journalists forcing them to sing their tunes. Some willingly and some half-heartedly obliged, while others like legendary Ramnath Goenka, who revolted, were hunted and traumatized…. brutally.

Look what Pinarayi Vijayan is doing today. Pinarayi’s hate campaign against the media is gaining momentum day by day. First he said about a media syndicate working against the party (read Pinarayi) in the state. Then he identified Trivandrum as its epic center. After a few days came another revelation. This time Pinarayi gave out the names of the newspapers and channels where the members of so called syndicate were working. And at last he started giving hints about the identity of these so-called syndicate members. (It goes without saying that most of them are pro- Left and known Achutanandan sympathizers.)

As this well thought and designed game plan progresses, the CPM state secretary, on the other hand, has been also successful in using Deshabhimani newspaper and Kairali- People channels against Achutanandan and his other rivals. The matter doesn’t end there. Deepika, one of the oldest Malayalam newspapers, once owned completely by the Catholic Church, is today competing with Deshabhimani in singing to Pinarayi’s tunes!

Apart from the media, the CPM state secretary has been also trying to blackmail Indian Judicial system with his sharp criticism of certain verdicts that he and his coterie could not digest. Pinarayi today accuses the judiciary of being “corrupt, pro-rich and pro-neo-liberal”, while his buddy and state Local Self-Government Minister Paloli Mohammed Kutty lambastes the judiciary saying, “Verdicts are delivered depending on the weight of the currency notes”.  (Look at the irony. The government led by the ‘party of the downtrodden’ is today giving a red carpet welcome to ADB, while its leaders from public platforms accuse the judiciary of being “agents of globalization and pro-rich!”)

So first it was the rivals within the party, then it was the media and now the target is the judiciary. If not a replica of the infamous Indira action plan of the seventies, what else is this? CPM state secretary’s cronies may call it ‘Pinarayi magic’. Well… it is sort of magic…a feel of supremacy that one gets when money power blends with muzzle power as well as muscle power. The same kick that Indira Gandhi had during Emergency days.

So who is the real Syndicate in Kerala today?  It is undoubtedly Pinarayi & Co. Pinarayi’s juggernaut may run another few miles. But it is clear that the party state secretary is today presiding over his party’s doom in Kerala.

A party run in a Corporate style, owning anything and everything from entertainment channels to amusement park, cannot deceive people for long with its pro-poor tag.  All these chest beating and acts of fighting invented and invisible enemies cannot divert public attention for long.

Just wait and watch how this drama of deceit and treachery progress into its much-awaited climax!



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