Kerala is in the southern part of India, it’s a state where the parliamentary opportunist CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) is ruling in the entire country, it’s a place where beef fry with porotta is quite a sought-after dish cutting across religious affiliations and it’s the only state where, despite having a strong organisational presence, the RSS is not able to translate its rabid Hindutva hate mongering and Brahmanical supremacy into votes for the BJP. These are the reasons, which have forced not only the paid baboons of the RSS dominating the social media and tv newsrooms to spew venom against Kerala when it’s affected by the worst flood in 100 years, which has killed nearly 324 people and rendered one million homeless till now, but it has also made the Modi government to unapologetically deny the rightful claim of Kerala on a part of the money that it had paid New Delhi in the form of different type of taxes, for disaster relief and to provide rehabilitation to the flood-affected people. The Kerala flood has politicised disaster relief at an unprecedented level.
The Kerala flood has washed away houses, shops, livestock and sank 190 people in the last few weeks, forcing the government to open all the dam gates to reduce the rising water levels. Farms and factories, cities and villages are equally affected in the flood and of course, the poor are the worst affected. When the country, in an unprecedented show of solidarity towards the people of Kerala, came forward to join the relief effort, the RSS-led Hindutva camp and the Modi regime started playing a murky role to vilify Kerala and disrupt the relief work egregiously. They proved that much before the Kerala flood, their conscience and their morality were washed away by a flood of money and a fascist ideology that only focuses on splitting people into religious and sectarian lines.
When initially the magnitude of the Kerala flood devastation was estimated to be ₹83 billion by the state government, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan asked for an allocation of ₹12.20 billion from the Modi regime to fund the immediate relief measures of the government. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh arrived in Kerala last week to do an aerial survey of the state’s flood situation and then he announced a relief package of only ₹1 billion for the state, which was rebuked by the state government and opposition parties, who called the amount too less for properly carrying-out relief work. Comparisons were drawn with 2017 Gujarat flood, before the crucial assembly election in the state, where Narendra Modi announced a relief package of ₹5 billion immediately. The discrimination showed to Kerala was clearly due to its allegiance to non-Hindutva political equations and the denial of the majority of the Malayali people to accept the Hindutva fascist ideology.
Cornered by a barrage of criticism, the Modi regime raised the allocation to ₹3.20 billion after 15 August, as the Prime Minister mentioned about Kerala flood during his annual Independence Day speech. This amount was also far less than what the state asked for to carry out the relief work; this meagre amount didn’t go well with the LDF Government of Kerala and there was a protest that thundered throughout the nation asking the Modi regime to pay Kerala its rightful due and declare the Kerala flood as a “national calamity”. These demands were continuously raised to compel the Modi regime to act according to the needs of Kerala. However, the RSS and the BJP remained unmoved and they continued their apartheid policy against the people of Kerala.
Unhindered by the incessant criticism of the heinous partisan role played by his Hindutva fascist regime regarding Kerala, where the BJP couldn’t even go above the NOTA votes in some constituencies, Narendra Modi visited Kerala in the evening of 16 August. Modi’s meeting with the Kerala Government and Chief Minister Vijayan didn’t make the situation any better as firstly, his visit disrupted relief work as more people had to be deployed for his security, and secondly, Modi didn’t fulfil the demands of the Kerala Government. Rejecting the new demand of ₹20 billion to meet the losses, which Modi himself estimated at all-time-high ₹190 billion, he only raised the allocation to ₹5 billion, leaving the state to cover the deficit itself using its meagre resources.
This inhuman denial of Kerala its rightful due is a crime against humanity and an unconstitutional act by the Hindutva fascist Modi regime, which now aims to annex Kerala with its juggernaut of communalism and hatred. Kerala, like other South Indian states, contributes a huge amount of direct and indirect taxes to the Union Government, for which it only gets a return of ₹0.25 per rupee paid, while at the same time, Uttar Pradesh gets a return of ₹1.79 per rupee it pays to the Union Government. This disparity has been normalised for years and the state governments didn’t raise their voice against this discrimination against South Indian states, to avoid the accusation of secession levelled against them by New Delhi. This is how North India, from where the rulers of India generally come from, have usurped the money that South India and other regions have paid to the Union Government as taxes. It’s a sheer loot of people’s money to benefit a handful of rulers of a particular part of the country. At a time when ₹30 billion is spent on statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, ₹36 billion is spent on Shivaji statue and more than ₹48 billion is spent on propaganda of the Modi regime from the public exchequer, denying money to the people in distress is a criminal offence.
It’s not only money that the Modi regime is denying to the Kerala Government, it’s also the much-required support that’s denied to Kerala. The Modi regime didn’t send adequate Navy and Army personnel, helicopters and boats to carry out the rescue operation in the flood-affected areas of Kerala. It’s the fisherman community of Kerala, who, using their fishing boats, rescued thousands of stranded and trapped people from the flood-affected areas. Their sacrifice and struggle aren’t highlighted by the Hindutva-inclined corporate media, whose major focus was on glorifying the military establishment for playing a role for which it’s paid salary from the taxes, direct and indirect, paid by the people using their hard-earned money. The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and volunteers from local political organisations also played a crucial role in evacuating people to safety and despite being under-equipped.
The Narendra Modi-led regime is determined to punish the people of Kerala for not voting for its agenda of hate and it also wants to capitalise the situation of the calamity to fuel large-scale communal violence in Kerala against the minority Muslims and Christians. The RSS men, from the grassroots to the top guns, started firing a salvo against those individuals and organisations who are organising events and collecting relief material and donations to assist the victims of Kerala flood. They vilified these organisations and individuals, who mostly have an anti-fascist credential, as stooges of “anti-national” forces and “anti-Hindu” forces to ensure that the majority of North Indian people don’t assist the people of Kerala through these organisations. An unwritten diktat is issued to all Sangh-affiliated comprador and crony capitalists to not spend much on Kerala and if they desire to do so, go through an RSS-affiliated organisation.
Not only the RSS men are spewing venom and threatening those who are proactively collecting relief materials and money to help the flood-affected people of Kerala on social media, in the offline space too, they are also threatening them with dire consequences. Threats are issued with innuendos to the women activists who are trying to help the victims of Kerala. In Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Jaipur and Indore, places where the RSS is very strong, the collection of funds and relief material by the democratic and anti-fascist forces now face a stringent opposition from the dominant saffron lobby.
People like S Gurumurthy, a director of the RBI and a crucial figure in deciding India’s monetary policy, Rajiv Malhotra, an American-Indian author who occasionally helps the CIA to build-up pro-Hindutva campaigns for India, and other stalwarts of the Indian Hindutva fascist camp’s intellectual clique started their communal rhetoric mongering over the agony of the people of Kerala. Gurumurthy asked the Supreme Court to investigate any link between the Kerala flood and the case of Sabarimala Temple, in which women are fighting for their right to enter the temple’s sanctorium during their pre-menopause years. Rajiv Malhotra asked the Hindus to help only the Hindus by claiming that the Muslims and Christians of Kerala will be helped by their communities respectively. Such indifference and bias shown to the people of Kerala by those perched on higher seats manifest how bigoted the entire system has become in Modified India.
RSS men are disrupting the transport of relief on one hand, while on the other hand, by using photographs of RSS’ relief work during 2017 Gujarat flood, where it selectively helped the upper-caste Hindu victims, they are trying to show how its cadres are selflessly serving the people of Kerala despite facing attacks and opposition. Though in certain pockets, the RSS men are doing little charity selectively among Hindus, their work, like Narendra Modi’s, is more of showbiz than of really helping the people, even the Hindus, in dire need. They are doing more damage to Kerala’s unique social fabric and their men are trying to incite one section of the poor against another to divide the class.
When almost all non-BJP states like Punjab, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu (partially under the dominance of the BJP), Odisha, etc. have donated money for Kerala flood relief, no BJP-ruled states came out to support the people of Kerala apart from Maharashtra. It was only after a nationwide condemnation that the RSS headquarters asked the BJP-ruled states to help Kerala in their own ways but with a half heart to hoodwink the people. Even a state like West Bengal, which is ruled by a vocal critic of the BJP like Mamata Banerjee, didn’t donate a single penny to assist the people of Kerala out of the sheer hatred against the CPI(M), which happens to be a bete-noire of Banerjee, who, her opponents allege, is hand-in-glove with the RSS and the BJP to secure her rule in West Bengal.
Apart from the support of the states, when the entire relief work of Kerala is dependent on personal contribution of the people from other parts in an act of solidarity, the RSS’ propaganda and vitriol is affecting help from reaching the people who are trapped in water or are living in one of the many relief camps. Except for a banal “Pray for Kerala” campaign, the upper-caste Hindu elites of North and West India and the comprador and crony capitalists have taken no concrete steps to help the people of Kerala. The AAP MPs and MLAs have donated their one month’s salary for Kerala relief work, the Congress members have donated their share for Kerala, numerous other political parties and NGOs have done their part to help the victims of Kerala flood, only the inhuman, mass murderer RSS and its parliamentary unit, the BJP, showed their true colours by refraining from doing anything for the people of Kerala and use the agony of the people to gain political mileage.
Kerala is a state exemplified by its rich history of class struggle; it’s a land that has a heroic history of anti-colonial and anti-feudal struggles waged by its people. Today, the dirty electoral arithmetic between the parliamentary opportunist and revisionist CPI(M) and the Hindutva fascist RSS is creating trouble for the people of the state. By denying Kerala flood the status of a “national calamity”, the Modi regime is exposing its tyrant and absolutely anti-Constitutional fascist character even before the politically-backward section of the Malayali society. Denial of the due fund for the Kerala flood relief by the Modi regime isn’t the end of the road for the people of Kerala, rather, as a brave people with a rich legacy, the people of the state can collectively battle the Kerala flood with absolute vigour and bring the situation under control.
The massive struggle of the fishermen and other common people who are selflessly working to provide all forms of assistance to the flood-affected people prove that despite hatred, vitriol and propaganda by the RSS and the BJP, despite the discriminatory behaviour of the Modi regime towards the victims of Kerala flood, the people of Kerala would fight and survive collectively and thereby found an unity, which will transform into a rock-solid people’s unity in the future that the RSS won’t be able to crack through its vicious campaigning. The Kerala flood has washed away many things, it probably washed away the political scopes of the Hindutva fascist RSS, the BJP and Narendra Modi from the land of God.
An avid reader and a merciless political analyst. When not writing then either reading something, debating something or sipping espresso with a dash of cream. Street photographer. Tweets as @la_muckraker