On February 14th, 1998, before L K Advani was to arrive in Coimbatore, there were serial blasts and 58 innocent people lost their lives. The mastermind behind the attacks, Abdul Nasser Madani, was arrested and jailed. Madani had started an organization called Islamic Sewak Sangh (ISS) in 1990 as an opposition to the Ramjanmabhoomi movement. He spread communal hatred through his speeches, but disbanded the organization immediately after the demolition of the Babri Masjid structure.
Soon after the Union government banned the ISS in 1992, he launched the People’s Democratic Party to forge a broad Muslim-dalit-backward alliance. Though Madani entered into parleys with the Congress and the Indian Union of Muslim League, his political aspirations did not fructify.
Today Madani is imprisoned in the Coimbatore jail. He was arrested from his Kochi home on the night of March 31, 1998 in connection with the Coimbatore bomb blasts. He has been charged under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including 153 (a) (spreading communal hatred), 120 (b) (criminal conspiracy), 124 (a) (sedition), and also under the Arms Act. [Madani: Kerala’s most notorious fundamentalist]
Before the poll season started, the Communist MP, TK Hamsa went to Coimbatore jail had held parleys with this terrorist and the result? PDP asked its cadre to support the Communists. Communists also got the support of Jamaat-e-Islami, a party which has difficulty singing Vande Mataram. Clearly this pandering to parties which spread communal hatred has helped the Communists as they have won a landslide victory in Kerala.
On May 2, 2003, armed men hacked eight fishermen to death in Marad, Kerala. The judicial commission report which probed this incident found all arms of the “secular” Congress Govt., which was ruling till now, guilty . According to the commission, atleast one senior politician belonging to the Muslim League, a coalition buddy of Congress, had advance knowledge of this conspiracy. The other findings of the commission are explosive and “vote bank” politics was explcitly blamed for this.
When the Communists were actively courting Madani’s PDP, the Congressmen did not want to be seen lacking in secular credentials. In an amazing act of insensitivity to the 58 people who were murdered in Coimbatore, the Kerala Assembly, at a special session on Holi, passed a unanimous resolution calling for freeing Madani on parole on humanitarian grounds. Such is the power of vote bank politics.
With the current elections, one set of fundamentalists have been voted out of power and another set has taken over. We will soon know what quid pro quo arrangement the Communists have made with the fundamentalists.