The people of Kerala are voting today in Neyattinkara. What should have been a referendum of the Congress led United Democratic Front (UDF) has also turned out to be a referendum of the Communist Party of India Marxist (CPI(M)) led Left Democratic Front (LDF) . The Revolutionary Marxist Party (RMP) leader T.P. Chandrasekharan was hacked to death in the most brutal fashion last month. The UDF has got into fast mode and is investigating the case with great vigour.
It is also note worthy that the UDF has its own set of woes. The government has been alleged with building up a communal front and instigating the majority Hindus by giving an additional ministerial berth to the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML). Along with this the slow pace of development also due to coalition compulsions and the rising prices of essential commodities and the latest humongous rise in petrol prices has also made the ruling front very unpopular with the people.
This election is thus an election which has so many issues that one does not know which one to concentrate on. Should it be the shifting of sides of Mr. Selvaraj, the present UDF candidate, the rising prices, the culture of murders and quotations given to sniff out precious lives, the regrouping of majority groups who find themselves at the receiving end of certain minorities, the loss of lives of two local fishermen to an Italian ship, the ever increasing problem of waste disposal or other local issues of Neyattingara? Too many issues have resulted in no particular focus on what should be the issue which should be discussed.
The CPI (M) has not been favoured by one of its own members who vigorously spoke about how murders are common among them in Kerala. But should issues be issues and dealt with only during election time or should they be dealt with in the same manner at all times? Take a look at all the above mentioned issues. Selvaraj tries to neutralise the CPI (M) allegation of being a traitor by positioning himself as the suffering one, the UDF has been trying its best to tell the Central government to stall the increase in prices till after the election, the murder of the RMP leader has been already called a political murder before the investigation is over, the M.M. Mani speech has led to the reopening of atleast three murder cases, the loss of lives of the fishermen keeps going both ways suggesting many forces being at play and the waste disposal also suddenly picks up pace during election time. Simply speaking, most of these cases should be handled in a just way whichever party rules and should not just be election issues.
The church also wonders whom to support and what to say. Are we politically correct, aren’t we Congress supporters even though we know they may be in the wrong, can we support the CPI (M) because they are helpful and should therefore keep quiet even if there is a culture of killing? This suggests that the church does not want to be on the wrong end of political parties. But politicians are meant to serve just as Christian leaders are meant to. It is understood and there need not be support given for this purpose. The main objective of any government is to stand for justice. If we expect various political parties to do something apart from the truth, it means we want something which is not acceptable lawfully.
The culture of murders and doing away with human life is not a new thing. If we accuse the CPI(M) today, we have to be aware that the Congress has done it yesterday and every political party worth its weight has been in the business of doing away with opponents to build their own empires. The church and people from various backgrounds have given their silent acceptance to this because they have been bothered about their own agendas. It is indeed time to step up for what we are worth. What does it benefit me in the kingdom of heaven to be a silent acceptor of violence, corruption, falsehood and injustice? The message on the one who dies and departs is “Innu jnan, nale nee”, meaning “today its me and tomorrow you.” Time to step up people. It is time to step up against murders in the state, price rise, communalisation, lack of development and rising corruption. It does not matter which party does it. Wrong is wrong. This is the only path a Christian can follow in this country and it could be the uniqueness that being a Christian could offer to India.