Thursday, December 07, 2006

Election lilas in Thiruvambadi: Marxists’ Delight

By John Cheeran
The Left Front’s political managers in Kerala can be proud that they retained the Thiruvambadi Assembly seat though by a slender margin of 246 votes.
As much as in cricket matches, wicket matters a lot in election results. The by-election was necessitated by the death of the sitting Communist Party of India (Marxist) MLA Mathai Chacko. In that respect, LDF has only retained the seat they had won six months ago. Not just that, their margin of victory has alarmingly come down from 5000 to 240s. These two factors should be cause for joy for the defeated party Muslim League and the Congress-led United Democratic Front.
But now consider the wicket. Thiruvamabadi constituency has a majority of the minorities, Christians and Muslims taken together. Traditionally it has been a stronghold of Muslim League and Congress. That UDF castle was stormed only in the last Assembly election with the redoubtable Mathai Chacko in the vanguard.
The LDF’s and Mathai Chacko’s earlier win was an aberration not a tradition. CPI (M) would like to treat Geroge Thomas’s victory by a slender margin as a beginning of a Left-leaning tradition in Thiruvambadi.
To be honest, I was expecting a verdict in favour of Muslim League and Congress. That would have been a warning for Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan who is known for his cussedness than leadership qualities.
Whatever LDF cronies would like to say, it is no secret that a large segment of Christians are displeased with the government’s new education policy. At the core at the disenchantment has been the definition of minority status in Kerala. The church establishment may have its own reasons to be apprehensive. The point is that such thoughts get reflected in election arena. And it was a golden opportunity for a shaken and stirred Muslim League to tell the allies in the UDF and Muslim community in Kerala that they are still the voice of Muslims in the state.
The phenomenal 84 per cent voting witnessed in Thiruvambadi shows how vigorous the campaign conducted both by the CPI (M) and Muslim League has been.
CPI (M), taking a leaf out of a legendary character created by Vaikom Mohammad Bashir, who switches his religious leanings depending on his prospective victims’ preferences, has used the identities of Saddam Hussain and George Thomas to woo Muslims and Christians, respectively.
It is a pity that Marxists again teamed up with not just K. Karunakaran and his son, but continued their illicit love affair with such fundamentalist outfits as Jamaat Islami and PDP.
Whose victory the denizens of Thiruvambadi are celebrating at this hour?
A victory for Saddam?
A victory for Marx and Lenin?
Or a victory of people?

1 comment:

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