After each blog about Kerala I take a solemn vow that it’ll be my last. Many who visit my blogs on Kerala have come up with the uncomfortable poser that implies meaningless cribbing/all bark and no bite on my part – and they do have a point. Like they ask, what purpose does mere raving and ranting of a nonentity serve? Hence my resolve to keep mum while Kerala goes to the dogs its own way. But I find myself breaking that resolution over and over again. This time, the provocation was a heartbreaking sight I witnessed, peeping out through the blinds on the second floor of the building where I happened to be when the commotion took place.
Before I relate the episode, just a word about the significance of it: Right now, the opposition in Kerala is on the rampage, on account of a Class V11 textbook that they want withdrawn. Political parties no longer believe that ends DON’T justify the means. The concept of peaceful and civilized protest has been rooted out of the political soil of the state, and goonda raj reigns. Peeping out through the aforementioned blinds, I got a glimpse of the tragedy behind the goondaism in Kerala politics.
It was the last working day of the week at College. A handful of party workers (youth wing) shouted slogans outside the college gate and succeeded in getting the classes suspended for the day. This is a regular thing which we in the education sector have come to accept as part of ‘training the youth to become responsible citizens in a parliamentary democracy’. (Small wonder college teachers in Kerala chose to send heir children to the neighbouring states for post +2 education). To come back to the episode, as the trouble makers were withdrawing from the college gate after they achieved their goal, I ran to the window to have a good look at this tiny group which, in a matter of minutes, brought the days activities in an academic institution to a full stop.
What I saw continues to give me sleepless nights.
In all, there might have been 16-18 young men. Of those I spotted only five people who had that hard angry bigoted demeanor of seasoned party workers, the ‘leaders’ of the group. The rest were all young boys, very young boys, most certainly 2 or more years less than 20. Most of them were uniformed – probably from some professional or Arts & Science colleges that were trying to bring about discipline in their institutions by imposing the uniform rule. They stopped right below my window. The leaders started discussing something very animatedly. The hard, ruthless, pinched expressions on their faces and their aggressive, belligerent body language were scary, to say the least. In contrast, the fledglings who were with them just stood there looking from one leader to the other as the discussions continued. It was the expressions on their faces of these boys who have hardly shed their baby fat, that upset me. They were thoroughly bored, totally unenthusiastic, absolutely uninterested. Obviously they didn’t give a damn about any text that was prescribed for any class. They just stood there, some silent, some talking and laughing quietly at some private joke, obviously unconnected with the burning political issue at hand, while the ‘leaders’ continued their ‘serious’ decision on the ‘grave’ political issue. Soon the group split into two. One went northwards and the other southwards, led by the leaders. I saw the leaders say something to the their apprentices in both the groups as they moved in opposite directions. AS though following instructions, the youngsters – all of them- took out phones from their pockets and started speaking into them. In all likelihood, they were arranging reinforcement at the next venues to which they were headed to pursue their disruptive activities.
How did those boys, hardly out of their knickers, get into the company of these cantankerous characters up to no good, I wondered.
Were they paid for the day to add to the numbers of the strikers?
Were thy threatened and coerced into joining the party that meant nothing to them, to which they apparently had no ideological or any other affinity?
Where are they parents? Why are they so helpless that they can’t see to it that their offspring go to college and pursue their studies instead of becoming tools in the hands of anti social -yes, I mean anti social, it’s not a slip of the finger tips- elements?
My heart went out to the mothers whose hearts must be bleeding, at the fathers who must be racking their brains to figure out where they went wrong.
And I get an awful sinking feeling when I think of the fate of my beautiful Keralam whose future citizens are being moulded by such worthless scums.