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Thursday, July 23

Hell in a handbasket

Disclaimer: The references to any specific community or belief in this article is not aimed at spreading hatred. The newslinks provided are from national news-agencies and I regret if any of the observations made here hurt any reader in any way.

The smart Kerala Police has nabbed the prime suspect in the Ernakulam Collectorate blast the other day. Nice job again, yes, provided you keep him warm for the next few years.

Because the last time this guy Abdul Halim was arrested for stealing a car, (later proved to be used for the Bangalore blasts) the Police let go of him as they were taken for a ride by his tear-jerker tale about a dying wife! Imagine that...

Well, this post isn't exactly about Abdul Halim or Kerala Police but about a few uncomfortable pricks which have managed to creep under the unsuspecting Kerala society. The literate, affluent, forwardish and orhodox mallu-land folks are awakening to the rude truth that our evergreen strip of earth is no longer a cozy honeymoon point.

In reality, Kerala is emerging with a tag none of us would like to hear...a feather-bed for perpetrators and extremists. Look at this report from the Institute for Defense Studies , New Delhi, as early as in 2006.

The fact that the recent terror attacks in our country cut a vivid trail back to our state should've been a wake-up call for our think-tanks, especially in the aftermath of Mumbai 26/11. On the contrary, when other states have fastened their seat belts, Kerala still seems to be on a jaywalk with our lethargic leaders turning a deliberate blind eye towards the looming danger on the horizon.

The Calicut bus-stand blasts failed to wake us up, the Intelligence reports about utilization of Kerala soil for illicit activities were brushed aside, training camps in Vagamon went un-noticed and now we got it in a major district headquarters, and is it wrong to assume that these were dry runs for a much bigger or softer target? Still our Home Minister has gone on record claiming that the Collectorate blast was a one-off incident and nothing to be concerned about. Will our authorities and leaders only wake up if the wrong people decide to test the walls, furniture and the living souls inside the Secretariat, God forbid? Or perhaps we haven't got enough blood on our hands to necessitate desperate measures?

As a Keralaite, its appalling to see the ever-growing tally of Malayalees figuring in the wrong lists for the wrong deeds.

I always assumed religious fanaticism and intolerance to be ingredients of an idle, demented and illiterate mind. How wrong I was! Its shocking, to say the least, that the major culprits we've got here are all professionally educated folks bred out of leading institutions. So education doesn't make a man wise, does it? And such chauvinism indwelling in the minds of the exuberant Kerala youth appears baffling to many.The authorities may better check out the breeding grounds for the next battalion of fanatics right inside our professional colleges. It is unfair and in-just to point the finger at any particular community, but it will be for our own demise if we let loose the activities that go on in the name of God down there. It is no secret that there is widespread preaching classes, akin to those in Madrassas, going on in the Hostels of our Medical and Engineering colleges. The malleable young brains are moulded too easily and injected with all the malignant ideas, and I've been a spectator to this while in college. Some of the 'teachers' are upto no good, belonging to the same class as Abdul Halim, and the seeds of hatred, violence and fanaticism are easily sown.

A major aganda of these religious preaching is to view the religion above self, family and motherland. Inadvertently, provided the sensitive and abrasive history of our country, it is not too difficult to inject the poison of anti-nationalism into these students. End result: we get outputs like Shibily (software engineer and mastermind behind Vagamon camp) and C.A.M.Basheer(Aeronautical Engineer and most-wanted terrorist) from our colleges. This bud has to to plucked out and crushed at the earliest, for our own good.

The policies of our govt doesn't help either, with now Madrassas bestowed the same value as a CBSE certificate we can expect a turbulent ride, in future. Madrassas, whatever be the noble intentions behind them, have often turned out to be breeding grounds for fundamentalism, as evident from across our national border. Hush, these vote-bank politics...

Remember, the same vote-bank calculations almost caused a few lives in Calicut and Cochin because this guy Halim, a former ISS/PDP activist and Abdul Nasser Madhani's bodygurad, evaded arrests just because of the political environment which prevailed in Kerala before the previous Lok sabha elections.

Mr. Karat and Mr. Pinarayi may check and recheck their coalition arithmetic before their affiliate decide to check out a few more soft points. The only attribute I found right in the Left was their true-secular policies and now it has just vapourised into thin air. PDP had its rebirth from the murky shadows of the ISS(Islamic Sevak Sangh) and its alarming to see our mainstream political parties joining hands with such fringe groups.

Let's face it, our State Police is not trained to deal with this rising threats of extremism and still operates under shoe-string budgets. We need to discriminate a rookie goonda or petty thief from a trained extremist, and at the moment our laws are too soft on the latter. If Halim walks out through the loopholes in our system again, like he did last time, then its only a matter of time before he makes us regret.

So ding-dong! Its wake-up time... Act now before its too late. Do we need to write all scripts in blood? After all it is much much more thicker than water.

Related Post: Living on borrowed time

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