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Sunday, June 4, 2023

PFI student wing unleashes violence over ‘Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa’ NCC war cry: Kerala

Chanting provocative slogans, a group of around 100 protestors under the banner of the Campus Front of India (CFI) tried to enter the Kumbalathu Sankupillai Memorial Devaswom Board (KSM DB) College at 2.30 pm yesterday. The CFI is the student wing of the radical Popular Front of India (PFI). What they did inside the campus is unprecedented. 

KSM DB college near Sasthamcotta in the Kollam district had recently hosted the Mavelikkara National Cadet Corps (NCC) 8th Kerala Battalion Camp from December 26 to January 1. Scenes from the final day filled most Keralites with pride as young lady cadets were seen marching while chanting ‘Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa’, in perfect unison.  ‘Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa’ is the sacred chant of Bhagwan Ayyappa devotees, as well as the war cry of an Indian Army Brahmos missile regiment.

The CFI fanatics wreaked havoc even as local police tried to stop them. Locals alleged that the criminal mob unleashed attacks after police put up a barricade around a nearby temple.

The original incident took place on New Year’s Day and the videos are viral on social media. Back then, ‘protests’ erupted against the Devaswom run college management. Ajay Krishna from the communist All India Students’ Federation (AISF) Kunnathoor Constituency Committee alleged that the incident was against ‘secular democratic’ values. AISF is the same student organization that was once led by JNU’s Kanhaiya Kumar of ‘Bharat tere tukde honge, inshallah’ fame.

For communists, even a college run by a temple board raising Hindu religious slogans, is ‘unsecular’. It just goes to show that its high time the nation junked this distorted idea of secularism, in totality.

AISF’s respect for values of any sort had become clear when its cadre and other left-wing radicals, led by JNUSU President Aishe Ghosh, had attacked ABVP students inside the Delhi university. As usual, this time around they seem to have handed over the baton to the even more radical religious fundamentalists belonging to the PFI.

Islamist media that pounced on the war cry story, went silent this time around. Back then they insinuated that camp officials warned the young cadets not to disclose the incident. They added that college authorities informed top officials but they were not ready to comment on the incident. As if it were some illegal activity, it was ‘alleged’ that it was unclear as to who filmed the scenes.

What actually transpired is quite the opposite. Subedar Major Vijayamohan, who was in charge of the camp said that students competed and paraded and they used the war cry voluntarily and that no one forced them to. He reminded everyone that it is the same war cry that Missile Regiment 861 of the Indian Army uses. It was heard alongside the display of their BrahMos missiles during the Republic Day celebrations at Raj Path. 

NCC camps are not secret affairs like the ones that the PFI arrange. The last one unearthed was incidentally from Kollam in June last year and gelatin sticks, detonators, batteries and wires were discovered from Padam near Pathanapuram. That act earned the PFI a cancellation of the 80G benefit enjoyed by the organization.

NCC training camps are week-long affairs where students gather in large numbers to inculcate values of discipline, physical fitness, and social service for the nation. Proud parents gather to see their patriots march in unison and the last day is busy with the young minds pumped up and waiting to return home. 

Observers suspect that, as usual, the Kerala police will remain silent or take some token action like charging the rioters with minor offenses and releasing them on bail. Police ‘bravery’ will remain reserved for law-abiding Hindu citizens who protest, like we saw during the Sabarimala protests. 

Valsan Thillankeri, a prominent leader of the Hindu Aikya Vedi was booked yesterday for ‘provocative speech and slogans.’ Police even charged 200 odd activists who had come to listen to Valsan. That they were accused of rioting shows the desperation of the police and their political masters. 

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