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Kerala CM heaped praise on a convicted murderer – nobody noticed

Was Kim Jong Un also invited to the wedding? It would not surprise me. A visit from Uncle Kim would have made it so much more special. But there’s the Coronavirus and people can’t travel. Blame Modi.

Let me sketch a hypothetical scenario for you. Suppose a senior BJP leader commits a terrible crime: a murder of a political opponent. The BJP leader is arrested, found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment. However, suppose the state government is run by the BJP and the convicted murderer hardly spends any actual time in jail – because he keeps getting parole.

Then, one day, the murderer dies (of natural causes). The sitting BJP CM, his top Cabinet Ministers, the state party chief, pay rich tributes to him. They call him a martyr and a hero and an example to follow.

Imagine if something so shocking ever happened. At each step of that, imagine the howls from so called civil society. From the murder to the conviction to the parole to the praise, at every step the BJP and its supporters would be crucified in media criticism. They would be called terrorists, Nazis, ISIS and what not. Every newspaper, Indian and foreign, would report obsessively on it. Historians would record the incident so that it could be referenced even decades later.

The Communists just pulled this off. With barely a mention anywhere, nor a whiff of criticism.

CPI(M) member PK Kunjananthan died earlier this week.

CPIM leader P K Kunjanathan had been convicted in 2014 for a political murder and was serving life imprisonment. He had already enjoyed 400 days of parole in the last five years or so. During that time, he freely took part in activities of the party and even became an office bearer.

Here is what sitting Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan had to say about him:

He had won the acceptance as a social worker, and affection of all sections of people in Panur.”

Here is what Kerala’s state CPIM chief had to say about him.

“….He was very dear to the people and a relentless worker who was instrumental in setting up the party in the area. He was dear and acceptable even among the political rivals, too….”

In case you forgot, he is describing a convicted murderer here. Popular even among political rivals? He was convicted for murdering a political opponent.

And here is (now celebrity) Health Minister K K Shailaja of Kerala.

Comrade was the source of energy of the party. He was Kunajanthettan (ettan is an elder brother) to all, cutting across party lines, “

This should have been a media storm. It wasn’t. It didn’t even cause outrage on social media.

It’s not like Kerala gets no coverage. Search for “Kerala model” and Google will give you ten pages of results raving about Kerala’s supposedly amazing governance. In fact, propaganda about Kerala model is at its peak right now. In the last 3 months, Kerala has decisively defeated the Coronavirus at least 3-4 times. Yet, new cases keep propping up, possibly due to a CIA conspiracy.

It’s like the Communists wear some kind of magic armor. The Communist government slips in and out of global consciousness effortlessly. In the morning, K K Shailaja is the icon of good governance who saved the world. In the evening, she is praising a murderer. There is no attempt to hide, no dog whistle, no innuendo. Just straight talk praising a murderer. Her straight talk falls on our ears but we cannot hear it.

The Communist Party carries out murders in broad daylight and celebrates those murders in broad daylight. But we cannot see it. It’s hidden in plain sight.

This magic armor is called “ecosystem.” And it is a sad commentary on the right wing that they cannot extract a political price even when the left does something so outrageous and so openly.

In fact, it appears that Kerala CM makes no effort to exclude murder convicts from his personal social circle. Even as I write this, I discover that another convicted murderer is in the news surrounding the Kerala CM.

Mohamed Hashim was convicted in RSS karyakarta’s murder.

This time it is one Mohamad Hashim. He was sentenced to seven years imprisonment by the Supreme Court in 2017.

Well, if he was sentenced in 2017, why is he outside? Because he is on parole – of course he is! How could he not be on parole?

Do you get this now? In practice, the Indian legal system has long ceased to exist in Communist ruled Kerala. The Communists get to make the rules. The Communists have absolute power over life and death. They don’t even worry about getting convicted. They just laugh at the Supreme Court, get parole and walk out of jail in broad daylight.

There were barely 30 people at this wedding ceremony. I suppose that means they only invited close friends and family. And a murder convict still made it to the list.

But when you have BBC eating out of your hands and when everyone loves the Kerala model, who cares about a few murder convictions? Oh and Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan is also a fan of mass murderers like North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. He said it publicly. And yes, he was CM at the time. And speaking at an official party event. And this is from 2018. That is just two years ago. And still nobody noticed. Let that sink in.

I am curious. Was Kim Jong Un also invited to the wedding? It would not surprise me. A visit from Uncle Kim would have made it so much more special. But there’s the Coronavirus and people can’t travel. Blame Modi.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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Abhishek Banerjee
Abhishek Banerjee
Abhishek Banerjee is a columnist and author.  

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