'Secularism is the life of Kerala, and the BJP is trying to poison this atmosphere.'
In 2022 M V Govindan -- popularly known as Govindan Master -- took over as the secretary of the Communist Party of India-Marxist.
Becoming the CPI-M's state secretary is considered a very powerful assignment as the party is in power only in Kerala.
"The political situation in Kerala is very different from what you see in the north Indian states. No other state has the three religious communities in this ratio -- Hindu (54.73%), Christian (18.38%) and Muslim (26.56%). This is the speciality of Kerala," Govindan Master tells Rediff.com's Shobha Warrier in an exclusive interview at the party office, the AKG Centre.
The first of a two-part interview:
After the BJP's win in the North East, Narendra Modi's call to his party cadres was the next is Target Kerala.
After an undemocratic win in Tripura in 2018, the BJP had declared that their next target was Kerala. What happened afterwards?
Even today, the BJP has not actually managed a win in the North Eastern states.
Even where they have won just a couple of seats, they joined hands with the local parties so that they could rule the states.
The so-called North East win cannot be termed as a BJP victory as they are worse off than a minority party there.
In fact, they have been doing the same undemocratic practice in other states also, like in Goa, Maharashtra, Karnataka...
So, you should realise that though the BJP has managed to rule the North Eastern states, it is not because they are accepted by the people of the region but through undemocratic means.
Still, Modi has set Kerala as the BJP's next target...
That's what I said, they have been talking about Target Kerala for quite a few years.
The RSS has been trying to adopt villages in Kerala for many years.
Do you know from the time I joined politics, the RSS has tried to adopt Kannur district? But it was in Kannur that they got below average vote percentage.
Do you think the BJP will not make inroads in Kerala like what they have achieved in other states?
The BJP will never be able to conquer Kerala. Secularism is very important to the people of Kerala, and it has been like that from time immemorial.
The political situation in Kerala is very different from what you see in the north Indian states.
No other state has the three religious communities in this ratio -- Hindu (54.73%), Christian (18.38%) and Muslim (26.56%). This is the speciality of Kerala.
Secularism is the life of Kerala, and the BJP is trying to poison this atmosphere.
According to the BJP, what we follow is pseudo secularism.
From their perspective, the state faces internal threats from three Ms: Muslims, Missionaries and Marxists.
But the BJP, especially Modi on his visit, is doing a lot of outreach towards the minorities.
It is true that they are trying to woo the Christians.
We all know that the BJP secured only 37% votes to rule the country. The only state where the BJP has 50% votes is Gujarat.
The BJP grew in Gujarat because of the weakness of the Congress.
They cannot even dream about winning the confidence of the minorities of Kerala.
What did they say before the last assembly elections? That they would win more than 30 seats in Kerala! That they would rule Kerala after winning 30 seats!
Imagine they were making such claims when they had just one seat. When the results came, they lost that seat also to close their account.
They cannot fool the people of Kerala as people of this state are politically more aware.
Feature Presentation: Aslam Hunani/Rediff.com