Let me ask you a question. Who do you think is the first Chief Minister in India to speak out against love jihad? The media would have you believe it has to be Yogi Adityanath. And they keep dismissing it as a “Hindutva conspiracy theory.” Along with a handful of instances where the woman claims to have converted “voluntarily,” without any pressure, direct or otherwise. It does not occur to them that the ones who refused might not be around to tell the story.
Anyway, let us find out who is this person pushing a “Hindutva conspiracy theory”:
“Youngsters are being given money and are being lured to convert to Islam — marry Muslim women and then give birth to Muslim children so that they can multiply.”
Before some liberal reporter rushes to profile this person as a Hindutva bigot and/or fascist in the New York Times, let me warn them. These are words of V S Achutanandan in 2010, then the sitting Communist CM of Kerala.
The question is this. How bad is the situation in Kerala that the Communist CM is speaking up against “secularism”? And V S Achutanandan is not alone. Get this:
“Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday seized on the Congress poll debacle in the recent civic polls,saying the Muslim League (IUML) was making decisions for it, a claim rebutted by the United Democratic Front which alleged the CM was playing the communal card.
Mr Vijayan, in a Facebook post, said the “deplorable state of affairs” of the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) was due to the “shamelessness of the Congress” to do anything for a few votes.“
That’s Pinarayi Vijayan, the sitting Communist CM of Kerala. Again, blowing the whistle on Indian “secularism.”
Of all things, nobody would accuse either V S Achutanandan or Pinarayi Vijayan of being either Hindu right wingers or hyper-nationalists. Remember V S Achutanandan is the man who told the grieving father of Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan that not even a dog would go near his house. This, just days after Major Sandeep had laid down his life fighting terrorists during the 26/11 attacks. On his part, Pinarayi Vijayan is an outspoken supporter of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.
So why would these men cross the red lines (pun intended) of Indian secularism and say all those things which liberals consider sacrilege? Because these men, whatever their feelings about Hindus or India, have one compulsion. It sets them apart from their shiny, more media savvy party leaders in Delhi. They have stakes in elections. And when you are fighting elections on the ground, you can’t cut yourself off completely from ground realities.
The Communist Parties in India have a rather unique structure. Their national leaders are folks who would never contest nor win elections. These leaders hobnob with the power elite in Delhi. They appear in society parties and NGO gatherings. You can describe them perhaps as facilitators in the endless snakes and ladders game of shifting political alliances, media and intellectual circuses. And they often have Rajya Sabha seats tossed at them for no apparent reason. Have you ever seen them address an actual political rally?
For the national leaders, it is therefore easy to remain in good standing with Indian “secularism.” But away from the Delhi nexus, the Communists have electoral stakes in just one state: Kerala. Can you blame these state leaders for speaking up when they see everything they have slipping away? Here is what V S Achutanandan said, in full:
” In 20 years India and Kerala will become a Muslim-dominated world. Youngsters are being given money and are being lured to convert to Islam — marry Muslim women and then give birth to Muslim children so that they can multiply,” said Achuthanandan last week in Delhi.
He knows his voters and their demography. He understands what is happening to the demography of Kerala. And with it, the future of his party in the state. The same goes for Pinarayi Vijayan. He has just won elections in local bodies across Kerala. For this, he had to go up against the Congress policy of taking orders from the Muslim League. Elections are due in Kerala in six months. If Vijayan loses, he will forfeit his chair. I suspect there is no free Rajya Sabha seat waiting for him. His incentives are therefore different from those of his “national” leaders who never leave Delhi.
And that’s why Pinarayi Vijayan, like his Communist predecessor in Kerala, is blowing the whistle on Indian secularism.
For the rest of us, the question is this. Are we listening? Do we realize how bad things are getting in Kerala that the Communists are screaming from the rooftops about the problem of secularism? What does this indicate for India’s future? Are we still going to sit tight in our thought bubbles and argue over “secularism” and how this or that is a “Hindutva conspiracy theory”? How do we sleep at night?