Thursday, June 14, 2007

Munnar land grabbing: Kerala's schadenfreude

By John Cheeran
Instead of raising a ruckus over V. S. Achuthanandan’s space grabbing statement that exonerated politicians and religious organizations on Wednesday, media in Kerala, as is their wont, have pussyfooted.
Now, what did Kerala’s so called People’s Chief Minister say in his press conference at Thiruvananthapuram?
The land grabbed by political parties as well as temples, mosques and churches built on such encroached lands but belong to the government will not be taken back by his special officers.
Why is it that LDF’s honest chief minister has suddenly decided to act as a deity who is eager to please vote banks and the rank and file of CPI and CPI (M)?
And why are the leading media organizations and journalists shying away from pointing out the untenable position taken by Achuthanandan?
Land grabbing is land grabbing. It cannot be couched in red rag to justify an illegal position.Why should one condone crime, if religious organizations or political parties commit them?
Achuthanandan has been forced to flee from his moral high ground once it has been come to the light that his party CPI (M) has benefited from Ravindran Pattayams just as the CPI, if not more. Pattayams are given ostensibly to farmers, and Communist parties have no right to get it until it has been done in the name of one of their humble farmer members of the party. In Munnar, Achuthanandan’s and Veliyam Bharagavan’s parties have given their land, grabbed through pattayams, to corporates who run resorts there now.
Is this revolution? I have heard that revolutions eat their own children. In Kerala, Communist babies have eaten their own revolution.
And why JCBS are stopping short of demolishing these offensive structures?
Because such a move will hurt both the CPI and CPI (M). Communist cadres, after all, cannot march on empty stomachs.
You can demolish anything, unless it belongs to you. Those who were rejoicing in Munnar and elsewhere in Kerala when JCBS pounded the resorts and other sundry structures constructed on lands, as hotly disputed as the demolished structure in Ayodhya, were happy only because it did not belong to them.
Nothing spurs men and women on a moral track as much as jealousy. What we witnessed in Kerala in recent times is nothing but a classic example of Schadenfreude.
Long live revolution!

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