Tag Archives: CPM Kerala

Don’t let the Magic Fade: Thoughts on Kudumbashree’s Sixteenth Anniversary

I do not write on Kafila as frequently as I used to because I don’t want to be writing stories of impending doom all the time. These are times in which we appear doomed, but it does not help to get obsessed with it; in fact, the obsession may actually hasten the downfall.

But these days, we also hear stories which may be told either way. For example, I can tell the story of the mining going on at Mookunnimala in Trivandrum as yet another episode in the continuing story of the destruction of our natural environment and its impending collapse. But I can also tell it another way, foregrounding the resistance that has shaped up there despite the formation of a deadly nexus of Kerala’s political parties, bureaucracy, predatory capitalists and other criminals against local people. Or, I can tell the story of the ‘development’ of the government school at Attakkulangara in the heart of Trivandrum city as another incident that proves the unrelenting march of ‘urban development’ which is nothing but shorthand for the steady takeover of prime urban space by corrupt officials and venal politicians. But it is also a David-and-Goliath tale of how a few dedicated members of the school’s old students’ association, and nature-lovers and environmental activists who go by the name Tree Walk  managed to draw the attention of others, alert authorities, and arrest the steady pace of these forces. Continue reading Don’t let the Magic Fade: Thoughts on Kudumbashree’s Sixteenth Anniversary

The Anti-Politics of Murder

No, this post is not mainly about the ghastly murder of the rebel communist leader T P Chandrasekharan at Vatakara in Kerala early this month. It appears clear now that irrespective of whether the CPM leadership was directly involved or not, local CPM cadre were involved in the conspiracy. Certainly, it is an act gruesome enough to feed nightmares through many nights. And the way the gory details of the planning and execution of the murder continue to appear in the print and visual media, the Malayalee public is almost on its knees, holding on to their stomachs, racked by seemingly never-ending bouts of nausea. But I have my reasons for not wanting to focus on this incident here, reasons more than the sheer irritation felt with sections of the media that demand shrilly that ‘cultural leaders’ have not condemned the murder sufficiently. Continue reading The Anti-Politics of Murder

Vaikom Viswan and Little Bo-Peep

If I weren’t aware of Kerala’s more vibrant political past,I’d have died laughing this elections. The election campaign in Kerala was impossibly funny. Just to give you an example  — in Thiruvananthapuram, in the middle of the campaign, we were treated to the spectacle of all the three major contenders — of the CPI, the Congress, and BJP — don the costume of the chivalrous knight — indeed, pushing and shoving each other quite unchivalrously– determined to rescue the damsel in distress. However, there was no damsel waiting to be rescued! Continue reading Vaikom Viswan and Little Bo-Peep