2 May, 9 years ago stood witness to one of the most brutal chapters in Kerala history, nay in the chapters of Indian history, when an armed Muslim mob hacked to death 8 people of the Hindu community. The gruesome episode that took place in Marad, Kozhikode district of Kerala was carved in blood as ‘Marad Massacre’. If you thought that Marad Massacre stands as an isolated case of communal violence in Kerala, here is more to what lies largely unreported by mainstream media in ‘God’s Own Country’.
For any human who has made a visit to Kerala even once, the very mention of the state’s name floods the mind with a fleet of pleasantries. Unadulterated greenery and tourism, serene temples, Adi Shankaracharya and Adwaitha, highly educated people, meandering fresh water rivers, coconut based cuisines- the list seems endless when you visualize ‘God’s Own Country’. However, over years there has been a shift in scene. What seemed as a slow change now seems to be taking drastic proportions. Kerala is fast rising on the path of notoriety, thanks to heightened religious intolerance, political murders and apparent communal violence.
Let us begin with issues that are nothing short of reality, but which hardly see the light of day. Districts where Hindus live in majority, denigration of temples are a usual happening. There is a steady attack on members of the Hindu community as well. If we are to look at a place based on political affiliations, things again are extremely dismal. For instance, areas that are a stronghold of the Communist Party, sees frequent fights between members of LDF and UDF, LDF and RSS/BJP. Murders have become a norm of the day in these areas.
The question that arises is inevitable: why are Hindus in ‘God’s Own Country’ living in fear? In areas like Kasargode, Malappuram, Kozhikode, etc why is it that parents of the Hindu community have a preference for their children living outside the state?
As we proceed to discern the answers, let us look at certain stark facts first. Districts of Kasargode, Malappuram and Kozhikode have Muslim majority. In the districts of Pathanamthitta, Idukki, Kottayam and Ernakulam members of the Christian community dominate. It is a hard and bitter fact that Hindus here live in siege.
Situation in Kasargode, Malappuram and Kozhikode surpass all specified criteria of safety- in plain terms, they exceed the danger mark. In fact former Chief Minister of Kerala, EMS Namboothiripad carved the district of Mallapuram on 16 June 1969. Hence the first Kerala district with Muslim majority was born.
Here is a list of incidents that have been etched in the minds of most Hindus when they speak of insecurity and fear owing to communal attacks.
- The gruesome Marad massacre that happened on 2 may 2003, witnessed the murder of 8 Hindus by a violent mob of armed Muslims. They were hacked to death on the beach of Marad in the District of Kozhikode. It is evidently apparent that the Indian Union Muslim League conspired and executed the deed directly. The attackers had country bombs, which did not explode thankfully. Investigations that followed the massacre led to police making a massive haul of arms and ammunition in neighbouring Masjids. It is therefore evident that more massacres were in the offing.
- The years between 1998 to 2008 has witnessed 56 political murders solely in the District of Kannur. The data has been revealed by district police of Kannu, in response to a request made under the RTI.
- In January 2012, Hindu activist Sharon, resident of Mullassery area was brutally murdered on 19 January 2012. An RSS Karyavaha, he belonged to Manaloor area of Thrissur District.
- In February 2012, Manoj C C, a prominent BMS and BJP leader was hacked to death in front of his house by a group of 15 armed activists. He was a resident of Payyoli.
- Last 3 years alone have witnessed the murder of over 100 Hindu activists belonging to Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh, Hindu Munnani, Hindu Aikyavedi etc. The murder has been committed by Muslim Christian or Communist Party goons.
Apart from these are instances of murder, Kerala has stood witness to a number of sacrilegious activities, which have shaken the Hindu society.
- In January 2012, a pregnant cow was slaughtered by three Muslim butchers in front of the Dharma Shasta temple at Perumbavoor, Ernakulam District. The heinous deed was committed during the Mandal season.
- In February 2012, a temple near Kasaragod was desecrated by placing the skull of dead buffalo right on the Kalvilakku(stone lamp). The incident led to widespread protests resulting in imposing of section 144 for a week.
In Kerala, Islamophobia is real
- Over the last few years, Kerala has become a hub of terror activities. Statistics revealed by Gujarat police revealed that 37 hardcore SIMI activists took part in a training camp in Vagamon in 2007. The camp imparted information related to bomb making and tough-terrain training. Places like Aluva, Paravoor, Perumbavoor, Erattupetta, Kannur etc are being used by operatives of IM and LeT.
- CAM Basheer, an aeronautical engineer was arrested for being a key SIMI-IM operator. He was former President of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). Peediyekkal Shibili, Shaduli, Ansar Maulavi, Sarfraz Nawaz are leading activists of SIMI, who have been arrested. They hail from Kerala.
- In March 2011, Nizar Ibrahim a SIMI activist was arrested in Kerala from a place named Alwaye. He is alleged to have been conducting a secret SIMI training camp. A large cache of arms and ammunition is also said to have been seized from his possession.
- Thadiyantevide Naseer, a LeT operative and recruiter is from Kerala. He is connected with Abdul Nasar MAudany. The latter himself is known to have played key roles in blasts in Coimbatore, Kozhikode and Bangalore. Both of them are in prison.
- In Jul 2010: Police raided a building in Edakad owned by a mosque in Kerala’s Kannur district and found country bombs, knives and an axe besides leaflets of the Popular Front.
- SDPI, the political wing of Popular Front of India has started the practise of appointing Hindu people to work for them and carry out their operations. These people are also used to pronounce attacks other Hindus. Unfortunately, the people who are used thus are picked from poor families. They are paid handsomely for the work they do.
- ‘Kerala Religious Police” is a newly formed radical wing. They owe allegiance to the banned SIMI, Islamic Sevak Sangh (ISS), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). These parties are floated by the Islamists of Kerala, all of them equally active.
- Keralian Jehadi road maps or the reorganized National Democratic Front (NDF) have recently emerged as stronger alternatives to ISS and SIMI and have allegedly masterminded communal violence in recent years.
- Perumbavoor, the same place which witnessed the episode of cow slaughter in front of a temple by Jihadi Islamic fanatics stand in close proximity to Muvattupuzha. The place staged a violent drama in 2010, where activists of Popular Front of India chopped of the right hand of a college professor. Interestingly, the professor belongs to the Christian Catholic community. He was innocent of the alleged crime. But instead of coming to his aid, members of the Catholic community, including the Church washed their hands off the hapless professor.
- Muslim organizations have launched the practise of giving public speeches and staging their protests near Hindu temples. These speeches are said to insult Hindu Dharma publically. A recent instance was the staging of a protest session by Indian Union Muslim League near the Vadakkumnathan temple, Trissur.
- In Malabar region, discrimination against Hindus get seemingly apparent, during times of Noyambu, the fasting season. Hindus are denied buying bottles of water during the day, when the fasting season is on, as most shops and stores are owned by Muslims. There are even areas where Hindus are charged higher rates that Muslims when it comes to making purchases.
Love Jihad: a devouring tentacle of Islam
Over 2000 Hindu girls were enticed by Muslim bike Romeos in the name of ‘Love Jihad’. Girls belonging to affluent families were targeted and wooed. This led to relationships, where the Muslim youths offered to marry the hapless girls on condition of religious conversion. The resulting off springs, numbering 4 or 5 all grew up in the Islamic faith.
In connection with love Jihad, a series of reports have been published by Vadayar Sunil, reporter of Kerala Kaumudi. He is stated to have received the information from authentic sources, ie, the police officials themselves. The articles published by him speak of ‘youngsters belonging to a specific Middle Eastern religion converting girls of other religions, mainly Hindus.” The enticed girls find themselves helplessly ensnared in rackets dealing in human trafficking, flesh trade, and other immoral activities. They are also forced to act as agents in terror networks.
According to a report published in the Malayalam daily Mangalam, 6000 cases of religious conversion, from Malappuram District alone has been reported between 2006 and 2010. The conversions were into a particular religion, with absolutely no instance of reconversion.
Encroachment on temple property and lands of Hindus
- In areas having Hindu population in minority saw temples and Devaswom boards being forcefully held in custody through the notorious anti-Hindu legislation. The elected “secular” Government of Kerala began their tricks of enforcing the notorious legislative Bill in 2010, with a view to take over only Hindu temples, trusts, their assets and all related property. The nototrious Act included ururping revenue from Hindu devotees, the donations they made and endowments they have. The plan was to entrust ownership, management and control to specially constituted statutory bodies like Travancore Devaswom Board, Cochin Devaswom Board, Guruvayoor Temple Committee, etc. However, the bill was successfully restrained by a series of vehement and powerful protests launched all over the state, spearheaded by Hindu organizations.
- An instance of temple land grabbing case became conspicuous in Kerala. Acres of land that belonged to Sree Panthalloor Dharmasastha Temple was encroached upon illegally. The culprits were the rich and influential Thayyil Family and Malayalam weekly giant Manorama Group. They stated a lease agreement as reason, which they supposedly held with their rightful owners. Using this as a tool, they wormed their way into the property and later acquired the same using their influence in the bureaucratic system.
- Areas that have a majority of Christians and Muslims have been issued circulars by Mosques and Churches, directing them to buy lands belonging to Hindus at low costs. However, they have been directed not to sell land to Hindus at any cost.
- Kerala, in the recent times, has seen a spate of temple property getting stolen. The alankaras and tiruvabharanam that are known for their antique value are estimated priceless. These get stolen, with police showing very luke warm responses to the cases that are filed. Scores of such cases remain untouched. One such case is the disappearance of an ancient emerald Shiva linga from Shankara Temple, Kalady, Aluva.
According to recent details published by Department of Economics and statistics, Kerala, one more district Kottayam has also became a Hindu minority district now. District has a population of 19,53,646 people, the people who belong to the so called minority community stand at 9,88,057, while the Hindu population stands at a lesser 9,63,497. (Also read: http://www.hindu.com/2004/09/23/stories/2004092306010500.htm) Inspite of a cache of facts and figures, presented with proof, religious policing continues in Kerala, with Hindus being the targeted victims. The issue stands glaring on every single face: Kerala, the new emerging hub of communal violence.
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