Kerala results reveal religious polarization

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by GPM, May 14, 2011.

  1. GPM

    GPM Tihar Jail Banned

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    Kerala results reveal religious polarization



    T Ramavarman & Ananthakrishnan G | TNN



    Thiruvananthapuram: The remarkable rally staged by the Left in Kerala which brought it to the brink of an unexpected victory appears to have been facilitated by a Hindu consolidation behind outgoing chief minister V S Achuthanandan.


    The voting pattern displayed a communal polarization across the state, with Christians and Muslims consolidating behind Congress-led UDF, and the Hindu areas going with the CPM-led LDF in almost a repeat of the 1987 state polls.


    The Congress and allies won maximum seats in Muslim-dominated Mallapuram and Christian belts Ernakulam and Kottayam. The CPM and allies won in Kannur, Kozhikode, Kollam, Palakkad, Alappuzha and Thiruvananthapuram, which all have significant Hindu concentration. Ezhavas, the community to which Achuthanandan belongs, were at the vanguard of Hindu consolidation for their man. Their pro-Achuthanandan fervour was evident in the Left’s strong showing in Alappuzha where Congress had hoped to do well.


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    While left is not pro Hindu, yet it is not crassly anti Hindu either. Aggressive wooing of muslims and xians by Cong definitely made the Hindus apprehensive.
     
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  3. LurkerBaba

    LurkerBaba Staff Administrator

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    UDF is super communal. 'God's own country' I'm afraid is going to become the 'Country of the one true god'
     
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  4. GPM

    GPM Tihar Jail Banned

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    YES. Look at who are part of it!! Muslim Leaugue (20 seats) and Kerala Congress (11 seats), a christian party!! Will they not extract the pounds of flesh?
     
  5. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    Congress' aggressive wooing of minorities is not new. They've been doing this since the 1970's. I can't blame them however, in Kerala it actually makes sense. But all parties are guilty of communal politics, whether it's the BJP with Hindu nationalism, the Samajwadi with caste-based politics or the DMK with it's "anti-brahmanic" opposition. No party is exempt, the Congress are just better at it than the others, testified by its continuued electoral success.

    Why are Keralas Hindus voting LDF, anyway? Aren't the BJP around in Kerala? Or do they see it as a leftist bastion and consequently, clearly avoid strong campaigns? In the end analysis, I think Kerala desperately needed change. And to me, the ideal result would have been a BJP-Trinamool combine in W Bengal (if the BJP stood any chance) and a weak Congress majority in Kerala, with the BJP providing the majority of and the Left comprising a much diminished part of the opposition. It seems like the second almost came to pass. Bengal clearly needed deliverance from the Communists, and much as I hate saying it even Mamata Bannerjee was a better choice!

    On a generic point, the entire culture of communally-divisive campaigning has to slowly but gradually be eradicated. The Congress is much to blame for this, having occupied the seats of power for the vast majority of the last 64 years. Material-focus agenda issues have to be made to take centre stage, and the only way to do this will have to be by forced changes in electoral laws and the mandate of the EC. Of course, you can argue that the political culture does not yet exist, but I believe the change will have to be forced, an altering of demographic preferences and electoral choices if you will, for the better. And of course, the Congress, who are master divisers, will not take the initiative on this. But it will have to be forced and some sort of suo motu notice by the Apex judiciary will probably have to be the kickstart. I do see it happening in limited ends, in states like WB and more clearly in Bihar. There's enough material for state political parties to make their case, based on the previous parties negligent performance. They just have to make sure that explicit party campaigning on communally-polarizing lines is less of a choice strategy.
     
  6. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    I think its a bit too simplistic to say that religious polarisation is the main reason. Did'nt the left get support from Jamaat-Islami-Hind in the current elections? And JIH ideologically is much more extreme than IUML. Its very interesting to see how JI-Hind justified supporting the Left. Check out In Kerala Jammat to support LDF in 18 constituencies


    And because of the democratic checks and balances, communal politics will have a negative impact in the long run. An example is how the AGP and BJP saw a drop in voteshare and where their own office bearers have admitted that divisive politics does not sell in Assam any more. The same will apply in Kerela as well.The Telegraph - Calcutta (Kolkata) | Northeast | BJP dismal show in Assam

    So if the electorate in general feels that UDF is indulging in brazen communal politics, it will suffer the consequences just as BJP suffered in Assam. This is certainly a lucky win for the UDF. The Left is going to be a poweful opposition and its doubtful if the UDF will be able to last its full term given the coalition calculations.
     
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  7. GPM

    GPM Tihar Jail Banned

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    Rage

    The contest has never been so close in the past. It was touch and go. Maybe Hindus in some areas wanted to thwart Cong. In more than 30 seats, muslim or xian votes are already consolodated. IUML and KC are assured of two and one Lok Sabha seats, reflected in the assembly.

    BJP still does not feel strong enough to work aggressively for Hindu consolidation.
     
  8. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    Religious parties should be banned from every religion.

    There must be separation of religion and state. Follow your religion however you like inside your house.
     
  9. malluowl

    malluowl Regular Member

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    This is how communal tensions start in India. The author of this article conveniently left out the Nairs from his enlightened thesis. The Nair Service Society has always supported the UDF and in particular the Congress party. They did this time too.

    What nobody wants to mention is that the Nair Hindus and Christians in Kerala are not happy with the LDF and in particular their leader VS insulting them at every given opportunity.

    The Ezhavas did come out in huge numbers for their man, but they are not the only Hindus in the state.

    I just do not understand how the public tolerate these communal writings after all these years of religious riots and what not.
     
  10. S.A.T.A

    S.A.T.A Senior Member Senior Member

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    in kerala what general general has been observed is that Christians and Muslims vote for their community and Hindus vote for ideology.This time too there has been virtually no shift in this general narrative.If not for the splendid show put up by the IUML,a Muslim communal party,in the north Malappuram district,UDF would have found the going tough against a resurgent LDF.

    Muslim league saved the blushes for the UDF,a very much beholden Congress is likely to be indulgent towards IUML and its affiliated outfits,expect a general rise in radical fundamentalism in Malappuram and surrounding areas.

    Although BJP performance was against expectation,they were expected to open the account this election,but put a better performance that the previous election,they almost wrested the two seats from the Kasargod district,both Manjeshwaram and Kasargod seat was won by IUML(Kasargod has a sizable Muslim population)BJP also increased it vote percentage.

    The religion based polarization seems to be a one sided affair,The Congress(i) its allies like Kerala Congress are generally dominated by Christians(Ooman Chandy and AK Antony have dominated the party for well over two decades,incidentally both were instrumental in ousting K.Karunakaran from the party during the anti-Sonia,pro-nationalist schism that engulfed INC when Sonia took over from Sitaram kesari)and now we have Muslim league playing the role of queen behind the throne.

    Hindu votes traditionally have never been consolidated,the differences that persisted between the Upper caste Nair-Nambutiri on one hand and the lower caste Ezhava and Thiyya communities have never been reconciled,The Nair service Society(NSS) and the Ezahava SNDP clearly represent this divide and rarely have they met eye to eye on issues concerning the Hindu society(Ezhavas-Thiyyas have supported VS Achutanandan in large numbers,NSS has openly confronted VS post elections)

    BJP's ultimate success lies in bringing these two forces on common platform ad wok together,LDF and UDF will be content so long as the Hindu house remains divided.
     
  11. mayfair

    mayfair Elite Member Elite Member

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    Assam results cannot be objectively analysed until and unless the elephant in the room is accounted for- the Bangaldeshi illegals swarming in their thousands. I am surprised at the lack of concern and abject apathy on this matter.
     
  12. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Sikkimese Saber Senior Member

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    Then first ban Congress for polarizing and giving special preference to specific communities. Others will follow the game. Kerala is already at a demographic war like how Bengal is gradually becoming. So expect no surprises here.
     
  13. S.A.T.A

    S.A.T.A Senior Member Senior Member

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    In Assam Congress successfully reaped the peace dividend,delivered largely on the back of its policy, both at the state and center, to go slow on the demographic re-engineering taking place in the state.Bangladesh's cracking down upon Assam militant outfits based In B'desh is a quid pro quo for India's promise to be more accommodating on the issue of pushing back illegal B'deshi migrants,perhaps even offer some kind of permanent settlement package.

    Notwithstanding the Congress success,India will in the coming years be reaping a communal whirlwind.
     

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