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Homechevron_rightOpinionchevron_rightEditorialchevron_rightThe arrow of hate...

The arrow of hate aimed at Malayali

The arrow of hate aimed at Malayali

The social fabric of Kerala is marked by philanthropic ventures in which medical aid and charity committees are formed all over the state to mop up tears of fellow beings. Be it from the gallows or deathbed, rescuing the suffering people from misery and bringing them back to life is an innate urge of the humane segments of Keralites. Quite in line with this tradition, It has been a week since a great goal was realized through the devoted and enthusiastic participation of Keralite philanthropists from all over the world. The drive to raise Rs 34 crore to pay for the death money to be be paid by Abdul Raheem, from Feroke near Kozhikode for his release from jail in Saudi Arabia, where he was awaiting punishment by death, succeeded within record time, in which every Keralite took part at least with a mental involvement. About nine lakh - to be exact 9,18,420 - people hailing from all over Kerala and other states of India contributed. As for those from abroad, Keralites in the Gulf, which they see as their foster country, and from far off US, Europe and African countries played active role in this noble drive. As per reports, about ten people from even Chile, not noted for any major Malayali presence, also chipped in for the fund raising. Any observer would comment in wonderment that this has been a signal feat. The thoughts surrounding this drive were never tainted by mention of caste or religion or about which district Abdul Raheem belonged to. Everyone was focused on one sole objective - giving a mother who has been waiting for over a decade to see his imprisoned son, and the help one could offer for getting her solace through his exoneration. Every Malayali is proud and happy about yet another chapter added to the record of Kerala model of love and care for fellow human beings.

Following the successful fund-raising for Abdul Raheem, social workers are now into the efforts for the other procedural formalities of actual release. The legal aid body comprising leaders of different political parties and their supporters naturally turned their attention to the election campaign activities. It is at this stage that all of a sudden spewing of venom began. It so happens that the ones involved in this are the successors of those who during the independence movement, played second fiddle to the British and soon after independence and partition made a beeline for seats of power, in the process making capital out of communal sentiments. And they are now training their guns coated with hate at the mission of saving Abdul Raheem. A teacher and a lawyer with a track record of vitriolic campaigns are at the forefront of this through social media promoting a communal narrative. Years ago, when in Kozhikode during the cleaning of a sewage pipe, a man called Noushad had volunteered to save the lives caught inside the pipes and lost his life. In fact nothing better can be expected from a teacher, who could not utter a word in appreciation of the humanitarian love displayed by Noushad, and instead insulted him calling him foolish. The saffron brigade's contention went along the lines that Keralites came forward now to raise funds in this manner because his name was Raheem, and if he had been from another community, this would not have happened. This is tantamount to a call of hate against the lovers of humanity all over the world.

In most Gulf countries, the strength of Malayali expatriate population is greater than that of natives. There are occasions when Keralites are implicated in criminal acts. And as per the criminal laws of the respective countries, the punishment for crimes like murder and drug smuggling would be death sentence. The embassies in respective countries, and the Malayali community workers do everything in their capacity till the end to file appeal against the sentence and to get them released by proving their innocence. In cases where release is possible by paying blood money ('diya'), it is quite common for voluntary organisations in those countries, and the community ranging from affluent business leaders to cafetaria labourers to join hands in the herculean task of fund-raising. It would be pertinent to recall the lead role of interventions on such occasions by those like former minister of state for external affairs E Ahmed and former Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy. In a case of securing the release of Athimuthu, a Tamil Nadu native, who was sentenced to death in Kuwait, and to raise funds for paying the blood money, the man who stood in the forefront was state Muslim Youth League president of Munawar Ali Shihab Thangal. And for mitigating the suffering of fellow-human beings, innumerable medical aid committees and philanthropic bodies function in Kerala. It is an innate urge of Keralites, or for that matter of any one with humanity in him, to lift people from trouble, either in the gallows or from death bed. In the tradition of Kerala, the phenomenon of churches establishing schools imparting education to millions of people, the distribution of meal packets by Communist-linked DYFI, palliative care collectives providing for free dialysis and care, People's Foundation and Baithurahma building houses for the poor, all happen without regard for the religion or caste of the beneficiary. However much the hate mongering outfits might try, the Keralite will simply refuse to toe the bunch of thoughts that teach people to categorise human beings along communal lines and lynch and rape people based on their religion. This is a credo of the Keralite conscience. And it will be the same message that they will relay through the ballot next Friday.

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