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Muslim fundamentalists walked into Parivar trap
By ARIF ZAIN, Malappuram

The hartal called by People's Democratic Party (PDP), a Muslim political party and National Development Front (NDF), another Muslim outfit to observe 9th anniversary of the demolition of the Babri Masjid, turned violent in many places in Kerala. 

Activists of the organisations took to streets and put roadblocks. The hartal was near total, shops and business establishments remained closed. The unruly mob did not spare even the patients in serious condition who were being taken to hospital and one of them had died after hartal supporters blocked the vehicle that was carrying him to hospital. Despite their assurance given to the pilgrims to Shabarimala that they would be safe to travel, the organisers could not keep their promise. The pilgrims were blocked and attacked in Pathanamtitta in south Kerala.

Taking the opportunity the Sangh Parivar has started campaign holding entire Muslim community responsible for the untoward incidents, which has contributed much to vitiate the peaceful communal atmosphere prevailing in the state. Despite a strong indication as to any fault or stupidity on the part of Muslims would be misused by Sangh Parivar to get political mileage form the troubled water of communal discord, the organisers failed to prevent the hartal from slipping into the hands of miscreants and anti social element.

The entire mainstream Muslim cultural, religious and political spectrum in the state condemned the violence that occurred in the wake of Dec.6 hartal and appealed to all hues of society to join hands to defeat evil forces that try to destroy communal harmony. The media lauded the stand adopted by the Muslim leaders, who in no time came out against violence. 

Sangh Parivar knows well that the main obstacle in their way to have a say in the state politics is the religious harmony for which Kerala is known for centuries, it is natural on the part of Sangh Parivar to use any means to translate its long cherished dream into reality. The Sanghis had started making statement much ahead of the hartal predicting widespread violence on Dec.6. So the organisers should have foreseen the situation, and had to take all the measures to prevent arson and violence.

Seizing the advantage a tense situation, leaders of the RSS and the BJP ranging from the Union Minister O Rajagopal to the otherwise moderate State president of the BJP CK Padmanabhan issued statements with the clear communal intentions. Both the leaders said that Hindus were not safe under the Antony (read a Christian) Government in the State in which Muslim League occupies a major position. 

The counter hartal on Dec.10, sponsored by the Sangh Parivar frontal organisations in protest against the violence that occurred in December 6 hartal was also marked by widespread arson, violence and mob attacks. The Sangh Parivar cadres unleashed terror in the name of opposing violence and targeted a particular community for the attack. Analysing the December 10 hartal, The Hindu observed "The most disquieting aspect of today's hartal was the communal targeting of the attacks, which can only cause further problems in the coming days".

Reacting to the provocative comments made by the Union Minister Rajagopal, the Congress leader and the State Minister for Food, Culture and Devaswam G Kartikeyan said Rajagopal's statement had only served to worsen the situation and did not behove a leader of his standing.

Leaders were people who should correct their followers. Instead of doing this, Rajagopal had tried to whip up passions. It was unfortunate that a Union Minister, who was here at Government expense, had chosen the spanner in the works. 

The Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president K Muraleedharan MP came down heavily on Rajagopal's irresponsible statements. At a news conference in Kochi he said, the peace loving people of Kerala wanted to know whether Rajagopal had been deputed to Kerala by the centre to whip up support for POTO by instigating BJP-RSS activists to create trouble.

The Union Minister's frequent visits to the state, the kind of statements he had made lately and his harping on POTO created this suspicion. Since the UDF Government opposed POTO, Mr. Muraleedharan said, he suspected a link between POTO and the post-December 6 incidents. He said every time Mr. Rajagopal visited the state he made nasty remarks about the State Government and the UDF. He was also "instigating" the RSS cadres (to create communal tension) in the guise of resisting terrorists. 

He reminded Rajagopal that Kerala had a democratically elected Government and that the Kerala people would not fall prey to communal propaganda. 

Muraleedharan urged Rajagopal to advise his party cadres not to foment troubles. He claimed that the NDF and the RSS were responsible for the incidents. The NDF posters that condemned the Babri Masjid demolition and the RSS posters that hailed it and celebrated the day as a `Vijay Diwas' had triggered the trouble. Muraleedharan flayed the BJP State president, Mr. CK. Padmanabhan, for making "provocative and cheap" statements aimed at inflaming the inter-community hatred. No political leader should make such statements, he said. The Government would take stiff action against those responsible for the trouble

Muslim League Leader and the Minister for Industries, P.K. Kunj Ali Kutty said the Government would take strong action against those who were trying to destroy communal harmony and indulging in violence in the state. The Muslim League leader, while condemning the violence and arson that took place on Dec.6 and 9 in some parts of the State said his party would revive its campaign against fundamentalism and fascism. Addressing a press conference, he said that law would take its course against the perpetrators of violence. The untoward incidents had pointed to a well thought out plan by certain vested interests to destroy communal harmony in the State. However, such plan would come unstuck in view of the peculiar nature of the State. In fact, Shabarimala had been a symbol of communal harmony. The pilgrims trekked to the hill shrine only after praying at a mosque near the hill shrine. The people would isolate those who tried to raise communal passions in the State. The Government would regard those who try to destroy communal harmony in the State as anti-social elements, he said.

The common public here are of the view that unleashing terror through widespread violence, the PDP and the NDF who sponsored the December 6 hartal have fallen tools in the hands of Sangh Parivar, which was waiting for a ripe time to destroy the secular tradition of Kerala as it had failed a single seat in the last Assembly election.
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