Missing Hindus of Malabar

via VR Jayaraj | Malappuram - Daily Pioneer published on March 25, 2009




Parties
in Kerala are confused about handling the new kind of Hindu
consolidation taking place, especially in the north of the State. The
Hindu consolidation is seen a compulsive reaction to the utter neglect
of the religion by political parties.

This consolidation is
spreading out from the socially backward Ponnani Lok Sabha
constituency. To wrest this seat from the Muslim League, the CPI(M) has
got into a poll partnership with the PDP of Islamist Abdul Nasser
Madani, who figures in several police reports on terrorism cases.

Madani
got CPI(M)’s Kerala secretary Pinarayi Vijayan into this trap with his
claim that the PDP in the past five years had been able to eat into the
Muslim League vote bank and had taken the number of votes to more than
1,00,000 from its proven share of 45,720 votes in the 2004 poll in
Ponnani, where the electorate is more than 1,100,000-strong. He also
impressed the CPI(M) with his argument that the PDP could determine the
outcome in at least five other constituencies in the 20-seat State.

Madani
himself proposed the name of Hussein Randathani, an ideologue of the
Sunni Muslim sect of known conservative Kanthapuram AP Aboobacker
Musliar, who would not even hesitate to wage a jehad if the Kerala
Government approved the recommendation of the Law Commission to put
control on polygamy among the Muslims.

Fearing a drubbing in
the election on account of a strong anti-incumbency wave and
allegations of corruption against himself, Vijayan was left with no
choice but to agree with Madani. The seat belonged to the CPI quota,
but Vijayan told them that Randathani would be the (independent)
candidate no matter what the CPI thought. The CPI protested, but in the
end surrendered to Pinarayi.

Madani’s premises are simple but
attractive. The PDP commanded more than 1,00,000 votes in Ponnani. The
Sunnis were a big force in Ponnani and Madani’s theory is that the very
fact that Randathani, a close aid of the Musliar, could earn all those
votes. Madani is also confident of bringing in a big chunk of votes
controlled by Islamist NDF (Popular Front).

This calculation
is based on the unsaid understanding that the Hindu votes would remain
static and would be polled in favour of the CPI(M).

Naturally,
the Hindus are offended over being taken for granted and for keeping
them outside all the considerations while the parties are worried only
about the Muslim votes.

Ponnani is a Muslim-majority
constituency, but the Hindus are a big force and constitute 42 per cent
of the electorate. Of this, more than 50 per cent are from the working
class and about 25 per cent from the backward and Dalit sections. Even
then, the political leaders have to date not cared to even acknowledge
the existence of the Hindus. “It is as though we simply did not exist.
They will find out after May 16 that we are capable of changing
things,” said Rajanarayanan, a Dalit.

Hindus agree that a new
consolidation is taking place among them, but the form or direction of
this development could not be ascertained immediately. “It is
unavoidable. The majority community in the country and the State, which
is also not a weak minority here (they are 42 per cent strong here),
would not allow anyone to treat them like this. They won’t allow the
politicians to take us for granted,” said Soman Achari, a sociologist.

However, he said the BJP would not be able to cash in on this new development due to its inherent troubles, he added.

This
new thinking among the Hindus is fast spreading to other areas of
Malabar where the Opposition UDF and the ruling LDF have never cared to
acknowledge their existence in their eagerness to ensure and enlist the
support of Muslims, Achari points out.

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