Political cynicism knows no bounds. To paraphrase an old saying, even the most ingenious politicians have their limitations but downright whimmies in the trade have no such limits.
India carried out a clinical attack deep inside Pakistan on Tuesday and annihilated the deadly core of Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists who launched the most shameless attack on its soldiers in Pulwama on February 14. The IAF strike on the terror infrastructure inside Pakistan is a matter of huge material importance to India. It's also important in a symbolic way. If Pakistan thought it can bleed India by a thousand cuts using its proxies, they have to be shown that India's will to exist is as strong as that of the strongest in the world.
The details are yet to emerge. Skeptics would press for details. Yes it's certainly good to have precise information on the pre-dawn swoop inside Pak territory, something that hasn't happened in nearly 50 years of antagonistic relations with that country.
The BJP is sensing defeat in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. They are trying to whip up a war frenzy in the country and divide the people on communal lines - Kerala communist patry supremo
You don't need to be a chest thumping, rightwing bigot to appreciate the import of what happened on Tuesday, 12 days after cowardly terrorists shed the blood of 40 Indian jawans. But unfortunately, lumpen elements in politics think -- and make their constituents believe - that the Indian strike on terror camps inside Pakistan is an election stunt by the Narendra Modi government.
The top leader of the Communist Party of India Marxist (CPI-M), Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, said on Tuesday the IAF strike on Tuesday was an attempt by the central government to sabotage the election process. The Communist leader had the audacity to say the government was making war to win the election.
The inanity breached all limits when he said the government was trying to trigger anti-Muslim sentiment in the country to win the upcoming election. "The BJP is sensing defeat in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. They are trying to whip up a war frenzy in the country and divide the people on communal lines," said the communist leader. Kodiyeri is no small fish. He is the all powerful state secretary of the party in the only state in the country where it has power.
One wonders what prompts a seasoned political leader to say such absurdities. No, he didn't just wake up from a bad dream. This man was speaking at a public meeting in connection with the paradoxically titled 'Protect Kerala' road show. So he knows what he was saying.
Are the Marxists merely delusional? Or is it the impact of the steady fossilisation that's happening to their party? Or, is Kodiyeri Balakrishnan suffering from a withdrawal symptom? After all, it was only the other day he publicly said his party would now withdraw from killing political opponents. Of course, he was forced to admit his party's role in the blood curdling killing of two young men in Kerala last week. It was under unprecedented public anger that the CPI-M state secretary had to say what he said. Not that anyone sane would believe a word he said!
The way this party operates in Kerala would make Stalin turn in his grave in shame. Such violence, such fascist rage when it comes to dealing with political opponents.
Well, the issue here isn't the killing fields of Kannur. What's startling is the way this leader spinned India's anti-terror air strike on Tuesday. He felt no shame in giving it the communal spin. The communists in Kerala would preach from the roof top that they are the bulwark against BJP's communal politics. That's a sham. The CPI followers should think again. Aren't their leaders more communal than all those communal netas out there?
All that the CPI-M is gunning for is votes. But it's pity that the party could stoop this low to get some votes. To know why they hanker after power so desperately, we should know who they really are. This party long ceased to be a regular political movement. It's one of the richest political parties in the country controlling vast assets. It's a big corporate organisation, too big to fail. It has on payroll all sorts of tradesmen, including, unfortunately, the contract killers.
To retain power is of great importance to this party. All political killing in Kerala is about preserving a certain patch of the political turf. If influential young men emerge on the other spectrum and threaten to poach a couple of hundreds of votes in a booth, they are in the party's crosshairs. The next you know is that these young men are killed by contract men in a high precision operation. And then the whole party organisation is out there to protect the killers.
This bloody game of survival plays out in one ominous backdrop. In West Bengal and Tripura, where they adopted the same tactics, the party's been reduced to a nightmare that has passed. They fear that Kerala is next. And rightly so; the bells are tolling for them. But they wouldn't let that happen come hell or high water. And, phew, what democracy? We've the capital punishment route.
CPI-M had 43 MPs in the 14th Lok Sabha. Their tally was reduced to 15 in the 15th Lok Sabha. It's 9 in the current Lok Sabha. And they are looking down the barrel. This slide just means that more people in more states are seeing through the charade. The leadership knows that they've a problem at hand. Without power, the lumpen politics they practise will never survive.
That's precisely why Kodiyeri Balakrishnan didn't have any qualms about mixing communal poison in the holy vial of national interest. In the early 60s, when India was waging a bitter war Communist China, their fabled leader had no shame in siding with the aggressor. The same is happening generations later. God save the country from its enemies!
(The author is Managing Editor, International Business Times. Opinions are personal)