Chandrasekharan murder - a turning point in Kerala politics:
A 'brave communist' is
chopped to death.
By T. P.
Gopinath, June 04, 2012
Political murders are not new in Kerala. Political murders only merited a
flash news in the channels and few paragraphs in the inside pages of the
leading newspapers in the past.
One murder in Vallikkad near Vatakara in Kozhikode district is
turning to be
mother of all political murders of Kerala. It has been almost one month
since this news has caught on the Kerala’s media and collective conscience
of Malayalis. However, it does not seem to be dying down anytime soon.
It was on May 4th night that the unfortunate event of this murder happened
in the most brutal manner heard of in such a murder so far. The killers came
in an Innova vehicle and called the RMP leader into an isolated spot in the
area at around 11 PM in the night and hacked him to death. He reportedly
takes a different route home everyday. He was on his motor bike alone as he
always has been traveling without any line of defense in spite of threats
to his life.
Breakaway communist party.
TP Chandrasekharan was an active CPI (M)
member till four years back. Due
to some serious differences mainly with the official faction of the party,
he decided to go ahead with the forming of a new communist faction known as
RMP (Revolutionary Marxist Party).
The differences of opinion with the official faction of the CPI(M) were
reportedly mainly two. 1) The differences in the CPM faction gaining the
control of the Eramala panchayath - official faction reportedly wanted to
avoid TP Chandrasekharan gaining the control because of his closeness with
VS Achuthanandan 2) Some people refer to the TP Chandrasekharan leading a
four people team to see the party supremo state secretary Pinarayi Vijayans
home as the second cause for rage against him.
RMP party faced many obstacles since it was formed four years back mainly
from the opposition CPI(M) leveled against it. However RMP survived and
succeeded in achieving a seemingly unattainable 21,000 votes in the
parliamentary elections held in Vatakara without aligning with any other
political forces. It is speculated that congress offered to Chandrasekharan
the MP post if the RMP was ready to shake hands with them. But a true
idealist, TP politely declined that offer.
A natural leader with excellent coordination and leadership skills, it is
Chandrasekharan’s relentless work that created a strong base for the party
in Onchiyam and adjacent towns in Vatakara Taluk.
He is said to be such a person who strike a chord with the most ordinary
people in his area. He can be seen patting the back of anyone on vacation
from the Gulf for a tea in the Orkkatteri town. He can be also seen serving
dishes in the traditional Kerala marriage conducted at homes. He was a
commoner without a rank or title; one among the masses. Apparently he never
held any position of power ever in his political life.
I used to wonder why a leader like TP Chandrasekharan can’t be made
Kerala’s chief minister after learning about him. I truly believe that we
need the kind of leader who can sincerely think for the welfare of the
ordinary Keralites instead of those dictators in politics who rule the
roost most often in India.
VS and Pinarayi politics:
It has not been recently that these two stalwarts of Kerala politics were
fighting with each other by taking differing positions on matters of party
affairs and ideology. Now with the murder of TP Chandrasekharan, this fight
has intensified and reached levels of a point of no return.
VS Achuthanandan is shocked by the killing and refused to exonerate his party
from the culpability of this heinous murder. On the other hand, state
secretary who leads the official faction of the CPI(M) party in Kerala,
Pinarayi Vijayan, was clear in his rejection of TP Chandrasekharan and his
ideology and went on to label him ‘Kulamkuthi’ (traitor) even after the
death of this locally much loved and respected leader.
In fact in death, all the enmity with an individual should cease to exist
in normal circumstances. One must assume that difference of opinion the
CPI(M)’s official faction harbored against the RMP leader was so grave that
the state secretary could not reconcile with him even after his most heart
braking type of death.
TP Chandrasekharan has become a greator leader in martyrdom:
people believe CPI(M) is behind the death of this courageous founder of
RMP. In fact there are so many indications and beliefs including the ones of
VS Achuthanandan and TP’s wife Rama’s that make one think so. There were also
numerous attacks against this tiny party founded in Onchiyam near Vatakara
in Kozhikode district by the CPI(M) cadre. Some of RMPs leaders were
grievously attacked and they survived by pure luck. TP himself explains some
of these attacks in videos posted on the Youtube.
It is a fact that one month after a death has happened on May 04, 2012,
Kerala’s media is still very much carrying TP’s murder in the frontpage and
prime time channel debates. This is very unusual in Kerala where a political
murder only merits a one time a day flash news in TV channels.
In Kannur, head quarters of Kerala’s political killings, a death of a
political activist whether it is from RSS, CPI(M), or other groups does not
carry much news value for a long time now. Somehow death of TP
Chandrasekhar, most probably because of his popularity in the general public
as a righteous leader, became a major news item and it is refusing to die
down even after one month of almost non stop reporting and debates. On the
day after his murder it was full time news on the channels.
Unheard of cruelty in the style of murder:
is one of my favourite channels. I am used to watching
wild animals defeating the prey after a long and arduous chase. After the
prey falls to the ground, they often bite the prey on their neck and chock
them to death. After the death, they eat them for food. When the prey is
big, they attack often in a group and bite the prey in different areas of
the body. Once the prey falls to the ground, it is choked to
death by biting in the neck blocking the preys windpipe. When you learn how TP
Chandrasekharan was murdered, you will be left with no doubt animals are far
better than us humans.
In the case of TP Chandrasekharan, the murderers inflicted on him,
particularly on his face, with sharp objects such as big machetes, fifty two
wounds, to kill him. His brain has reportedly protruded out and the doctors
in the Calicut Medical college struggled for hours during postmortem to
stitch the face back to something that looked like a face for his wife and
child to give a final kiss. From the video of the body it is visible what a
horrendous attack it was. What a death for a man who did no mistake but left
the CPI(M) and founded his own political outfit? One also wonders how the
killers can be such inhuman psychopaths?
The fact is that such cruelty is inflicted so that others are deterred from
moving against the party or forming a new political outfit. The attackers or
the party wanted to silence opponents in such a gruesome way so that such
voice of opposition and descent is silenced effectively and they dare not
deviate from the line of the party’s politics whether it is acceptable or
Police investigation into Chandrasekharan’s murder:
ADGP Vincent M Paul, who is leading the special investigation team (SIT) is
an officer decorated by the president of India and respected for his
integrity and investigation skills. Anup Kuruvila John is another officer
with the SIT who proved his skills in the past. No one can cast aspersions
on the professional competence of such officers as Vincent M Paul and
Smt. Rama, the wife of slain leader has so far expressed complete confidence
in the way investigation has been progressing. THe DGP of Kerala, Jacob
Punnose and Mr. Vincent M Paul were both officers who also served under the
previous ministry of LDF which CPI(M) led. Hence the CPI(M) is in no
position to complaint that the police officers are corrupt and inefficient
through they love to say so.
There are many officers who is working day and night tirelessly to bring
this case to a logical conclusion. Unlike any investigation in the past,
where the police received a list from the party for suspects, this case has
evolved into a mother of all political murder cases in Kerala especially
since general public and the frontline media is watching this case keenly to
find out who are the true perpetrators and who planned the murder.
All those arrested have CPI(M) connections.
Day after the murder, CPI(M) state secretary conducted a
and called the murder the work of contract killers. He also expressed
opinion that terrorist link needs to be probed. However, all of those who police
have so far investigated and arrested either held positions in CPI(M) or
are connected in some way with the party.
CPI(M) party has been trying hard to absolve themselves of any
in this heinous murder of TP Chandrasekharan, but more they try to untie the
knot, it is tying the party into the murder more and more as each day
passes. Now they have taken a stand defending them rather than pleading
innocence after so many of their workers and leaders have been arrested.
CPI(M) Central leaders silent:
Central leaders have also fell silent in the face of the most
crisis unfolding in Kerala in the recent past in the party. They are facing
multiple issues in Kerala.
First of all their top leaders are fighting a war of words saying the exact
opposite of each other. Secondly their state secretary took a stand calling
the slain leader TP Chandrasekharan as ‘Kulamkuthi’ a Malayalam word which
means traitor. Central leadership also does not know whether to call this
statement right or wrong. Opposed to the word Kulamkuthi, VS Achuthanandan who
is opposed to the state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan, called Mr. TP
Chandrasekharan as a
‘brave communist’. This is a stand exactly opposing the one taken by the
official faction of the party which Mr. Pinarayi represents.
Mani (bell) rings:
To complicate matters further and to put CPI(M) party in a very difficult
spot, one of the district secretaries from Idukki, M. Mani openly spoke in a
public address in Idukki that they made a list and killed political
opponents. He named three killings and explained how those executions were
carried out. Video footage of his speech is on the youtube for all to see.
After this speech, which stunned the people of Kerala and reported even by
the venerable BBC, CPI(M) party moved to becoming more defensive. They have
made some feeble response to the mounting criticism by persons from all
corners of the society and politics.
Pained by the death and the cycle of violence:
Actor Mohanlal wrote in his blog that he knows how much and how deeply his
mother is pained when he is hurt even mildly. He further said that he is
shocked to think how sad and pained Chandrasekhar’s mother would be at her
age of 83 by the loss of her dear son.
This is not the first political killing of Kerala. In the past ten or twenty
years, numerous people lost lives to their political opponents sword. Kerala
needs to come out of this situation. Personally i feel that the planners,
those who order these killing, are doing far greater a harm than those who
are executing their orders for money. Those who are doing the act of killing
made it a profession and would kill for money. Those who are planning and
ordering these killing are mostly hidden leaders of political outfits who
needs to reconcile with their opponents in an act that can save numerous
In TP Chandrasekharans case, he is survived by his wife KK Rama and Son
Abinandh. Their world has changed for ever. A son losing his father and wife
losing her husband is heart braking for those who have a conscience.
Recalling something i red recently, those CPI(M) members who have connection
to this murder must have mortgaged their conscience and humanity in the
party office before they go for the kill.
Planners and instigators are greater evil:
As i already said, i strongly
believe those who plan and instigate these
murders are top political leaders of the party. They are committing a
greater sin than those who actually do the killing. It is because there are
orders for the killing, killers are on the prowl.
We need an end to this. Kerala has many labels; some good and some bad. We
do not want a new label also. CPI(M) party’s Kannur lobby has been
particularly at dock for many of these political killing that happen in the
region. Fassal murder and Shukur murder has been other two cases which
clearly involved CPI(M) cadres and happened most recently.
There has been blame against the cultural leaders who did not come forward
and put the blame squarely on the party. However, rightly, Smt.
Sugathakumari who is a well known poet said in a channel debate that she
herself participated in efforts to educate and correct the members of the
society who commit heinous crimes against women and against other social
evils. She clearly said that her work in these areas did not get her much
result. She opined that just because cultural leaders come out and speak
against political murders, it will not root out the problem.
VS visits TP’s home; to an emotional family:
TP Cahndrasekhar’s wife KK Rama and his mother
cried uncontrollably holding
the hands of the veteran CPI(M) leader VS Achuthanandan whose ideals TP
supported wholeheartedly and for what he earned the anger of the official
faction of the CPI(M) headed by Pinarayi Vijayan.
Yesterday on 3rd June, 2012, VS finally visited their home in shock
treatment to the official faction of the party. He also visited the body
when it was laid for public viewing at Kozhikode town hall after his death on
May 4th. In fact he was the only important CPI(M) leader to visit the slain
In Onchiyam where TP Chandrasekharan belong, a large mass of people gathered
to witness VS Achurthanandan visiting his home. TP’s wife later said in the
channel debate that she and the people of Onchiyam were happy that VS
visited the home. She said it gave her great relief. Soul of her husband
would be happy to know that his beloved leader, comrade VS for whose ideals
he fought staying outside the party, visited his heart broken family.
In the channel, TP’s mother can be seen crying uncontrollably and holding
VS’s hand. Rama also could not control her emotions seeing VS Achuthanandan
while during the visit of most other leaders she looked calm in the past one
Orkkatteri - the serenity broken:
The area where the killing
happened is called Vallikkad which is a small town
near Vatakara municipality. It is also a town close to Orkkatteri where TP
Chandrasekharan was most active with his political work.
In fact it is reported that the group who killed him, tried to do it on the
1st of May in the busy Orkkatteri town by first hurling a bomb to create
panic and then planning to hack him to death. TP was in the habit of coming to
Orkkatteri town every morning after 10 AM to buy fish from the market and
that is when they wanted to finish him. However the new mobile SIM cards
they bought failed to work as activation needed some time. Due to this, the
person who stood to report to the murderers who were waiting a little ahead
to signal TP Chandrasekharan’s arrival in the town failed to do so. Hence
that plan failed on the 1st.
Mullapalli is watching:
relief for people like me who want the executioners and the high
level planners punished in this heinous killing is that the Union Minister
of State for Home Affairs, Mr. Mullappalli Ramachandran is watching the
police investigation very closely as he said in a meeting in Vatakara
recently. He is also the MP of Vatakara. Hence he considers it his moral
responsibility to find the culprits as soon as possible.
Mullappalli unequivocally indicated in the Vatakara meeting that in case the
investigation takes an ugly turn and the police seems to be limping for any
reason, there is a an agency in the waiting who will take over the
investigation. He meant to order a CBI investigation by saying this.
This time around, most peace loving
Keralites except the hard-line CPI(M)
activists, want the perpetrators and planners caught and punished. They want
this to be the last political killing or at least one which will restrain
these killers in the future from new planning.
In a world full of conflicts, wars, ethnic cleansing etc, dictators,
terrorists, we have to decide as Keralites whether we want to allow such
brutal atrocities for opposing an ideology or in many cases opposing a
leader, to happen in our own land. We have to decide as Keralites who also
live across the world and as one of the most literate in the world, we
want to allow and live along with those who have difference of opinion or
Question is whether we want a Kerala which is Gods own country or devils own
country. If we are going forward the way we are, we will be known as the
latter sooner than later. I believe our leaders have to make their mind.
Good leaders who love their people whether opposed to them or not can never
harm their people. let our leaders find love and respect in their hardened
mind and not turn dictators.
Recently a friend reminded me that you don't
become a leader by declaring yourself as one. You become a leader when
others consider you as their leader. Our leaders often forget that fact.
Another thing our leaders think is that without them India will be in
trouble. I would like to remind such leaders that my country has close to 120
billion people and there is obviously a better one than you. So do not worry
whether the country will be leaderless if you leave.
India is a functioning democracy. We do not want Saddam Husseins and Colonel
Gaddafi’s. We want Abdul Kalam’s and Lal Bahadur Shasthri’s.
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- By T. P. Gopinath for CalicutNet.com