November 20, 2012

Another Hate Speech by Togadia!

`The coast and the sea belong to the Hindus,’ said Togadia recently in Kerala. The coastline of Kerala has a population of fisher folk who belong to the Hindus, Muslims and Christians on more equal proportions than most of other states in India. These communities have a traditional right to the commons: the sea and the coast. Apart from the fisher folk, there are also other people from all religions also settled on this coast. The state government has constructed sea walls on  two third of the coast in Kerala, creating major disturbance for the fisher folk. The areas which are not walled are predominantly tourism areas. Tourism industry and the real estate lobbies have already captured vast areas of land that belonged to the traditional fisher people. It is in this context that Togadia’s communal statement has to be read by all. Fisher people’s organizations, left parties, trade unions, secular organizations, Muslim groups, Christian groups, secular journalists and all others have read this statement in leading newspapers. But they have all chosen to remain silent. Is it because they agree to this statement? Or do they have any  other opinion? Is Kerala creating grounds for corporatization and communal fascism, consciously or unconsciously?

It was a relief to read a reaction in twocircles.net saying: `Social activists including Dr MS Jayaprakash, Prof TB Vijayakumar, Prof Raju Thomas, Harul Jafar, Kuttikada Ashraf, I Shanthakumar, Dr Bheem Jayaraj, Dr PK Sukumaran, Advocate Joshi, Advocate PR Suresh and Plavil K Devarajan in a joint statement observed that Togadiya’s declaration that sea belongs to Hindus, is not just communal and instead seditious. They noted that Togadia’s frequent visit to Kerala and such venom spitting speeches are part of Sanghparivar agenda to turn Kerala into another Gujarat’. But what do the Kerala Government and fisheries department have to say about this?
Who owns the coast and the sea? If the sea is a private property of the Hindus alone, then the Arabian Sea should be renamed as Hindu Sea.

K.P. Sasi