As commenter yum yum noted, the leftist movement in Kerala had lot of support from the farmers. The Communists fighting the evil zamindars managed to take over the land and redistribute it to the poor folks. Now Communists have become the new Zamindars. They will decide what you should grow in your own land. If not the consequences are disastrous since the Communists know only one way to persuade.
If a Kerala farmer quits growing paddy and grows another crop on the same farmland, he will have CPM comrades landing with sickles and axes to ‘restore’ the farm for paddy. No matter if growing paddy is just not profitable, no matter if you have stiff farm loans to pay back.
Last week in Palakkad, the comrades, chanting slogans invoking hardliner V S Achuthanandan, descended to destroy arecanut and other crops in many farms. About a dozen of them have been booked for it.
The sickles and axes have been coming down on many parts of rural Kerala, as a strong ‘corrective’ political statement, right from the ’90s. They continue to swing.
The late A Kanaran MLA, top honcho of the CPM’s Kerala State Karshaka Thozhilali Union (KSKTU), had effectively used it to get local Muslim landlords in north Kerala’s Nadapuram belt to fall in line, his men laying waste acres of their standing cash crops overnight.
In Alappuzha, Kanaran’s hardline guru and Politburo member Achuthanandan unleashed his men on paddy farms whose owners – many of them marginal farmers – had to switch to other crops. It finally took a high court order to get the cops to halt the destruction, at least temporarily.
And what is the justification for all this autrocity and utter disregard for individual freedom?
Achuthanandan now says the party will continue its “peaceful” agitation in every Kerala panchayat, and will not allow any more fields to be lost to paddy, “at any cost.”
“I’d never asked our comrades to destroy any kind of crops, only to oppose paddy field reclamation. But our young men get excited and naughty sometimes,” Achuthanandan told The Indian Express. [Party waves the sickle, cuts off cash crops from Kerala farmers]
These young men seriously lack female companionship (or male companionship), if their idea of getting naughty means destroying the livelihood of poor people.