Thursday, October 05, 2006

Kerala's Curse - The Silent Majority

I belong to a section of people in Kerala who matter, but who are not heard. So I shall call this group the Silent Majority - for that is what they are. Silent, because something in their breeding prevents them from going public with what they feel - also, even if they do wish to voice their views, outlets are simply not available. And they form the majority too.

This breed of people form the backbone of sanity in this state. More often than not, they make their presence felt only at the ballot box, often upsetting the calculations of those vociferous, belligerent elements in state politics, but sure as ever sending a strong message when they have the opportunity to do so silently and peacefully. Perhaps the most telling reaction of the silent majority was seen in the election following the Emergency . The outcome of the poll showed that the people of Kerala, harassed by political parties disrupting life in the name of ideology, placed much value on the rule of law and a reasonable degree of predictability in day to day existence, both of which the Emergency ensured.

What is this Silent majority?
· It comprises citizens whom politics fail to interest for its own sake. They look upon politics as a mechanism to ensure proper governance leading to public weal.
· They are parents who resent all those forces responsible for depriving their children of job opportunities within the state. They are discerning enough to know that blame lies with ideologies, party politics and irresponsible trade unionism, all of which together created a work culture in Kerala that frightens away potential investors and entrepreneurs.
· They are people who know that Kerala is heading for a disaster which will blow to smithereens all the hype about internationally competitive standards in various aspects of development in Kerala. Development without income generation cannot go on for ever, and whatever freakish conjunction of factors that contributed to this mode of development cannot provide sustainable progress.
· They know that redemption for the state lies only in political leadership which is not self seeking. Governments after governments formed with various permutations and combinations failed to provide governance that addressed the fundamental problems plaguing the state. The reason for this failure, they know, is the near total absence of leaders of integrity and commitment to public welfare
· They are people with an extra sensitive antennae to detect a genuine public servant from among the breed the self-seeking, power and pelf crazed men who don the garb of politicians.

The silent majority kept a vigil for that proverbial leader of men.

And, for a brief moment, the wait appeared not to have been a futile one. In 2001, the Godot appeared in the new avatar of Mr. A.K. Antony. They had given him a chance or two earlier but he did not have the political chicanery then to survive in the megalomaniacal, anti people, undignified, shameless scramble for power that the state politics had been reduced to.

But the Antony of 2001 appeared a changed man. Soon after he took over as the CM of the previous government, he began assert himself and the silent majority began to stir itself out of the stupor of disillusionment, helplessness and cynicism. He announced reforms to pull the state out of the economic doldrums. This was greeted by a massive general strike which buckled under his determination. The silent majority rejoiced. But alas, it was too good to be true. Everything went wrong for Antony after that. There were too many Brutuses in his party, and an opposition with bared fangs to tear apart anyone/anything that would bring sanity , stability and integrity into the state polity.

Now we are back to square one. The left government is in the driver’s seat. What can we expect from a party which puts the party above the state and the people?

Once again, it is disillusionment, cynicism and helplessness for the silent majority. With hartals at the drop of the hat, with the derailing of every developmental plan, with our obsession with rights and total disregard for the responsibilities and duties, with the politicisation by the vociferous, raucus minority of even the very act of breathing, Kerala . I think, will bomb itself back to stone age.

While the silent majority looks on.

Isn’t the sin of omission as serious a crime as the sin of commission?


  1. Absolutely agree with you on all counts here. I think you should check out Save Kerala an initiative to address these issues. I have been thru your archives, you write very well. Came here via Kerala Blog Roll :)

  2. Love your blog. Do you really believe that the work will be led by one man? I think what Kerala really needs is a grassroots movements with a team of good leaders. The kind of work that needs to be done in Kerala has to be sustained beyond one generation and one leader. But, perhaps, more than one good leader is too good to hope for.

  3. i agree with u , Abishek.but the grass roots movement should be a totally apolitical one.

    the state should also think of introducing secular value education into schools right from class one.catch them young. with a generation bred on values of statesmaship, human rights, public integrity and gandhiism,perhaps kerala can become a eldorado.

    foolish thoughts , i guess.

  4. no you are right...i say idealism is not naivety, just the refusal to acknowledge cynicism.

    the issue is that we rely on the state too much, but the state government represents too many vested interests.

    what about a citizen led community service organization? One that people voluntarily join and work in communities.

    as far as i know, we don't have many of those that involve school students...and that is whom we should be encouraging to join.

  5. Well said.i too am sailing in the same boat,thinking a lot,but unable to contribute anything positively.Like minded people should form a forum and start conducting awareness programmes at schools,first.Let's try o save at least the next generation.
    Accidentally came across your site and it was worth goig thru!


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