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Thursday, August 11, 2022

National shame! Islamists oppose PT Usha’s nomination for Rajya Sabha

Communists and radical Islamists from Kerala did not view PT Usha’s nomination to the Rajya Sabha lightly. They tried to tarnish her image and belittle her effort. Part of former Malabar, Payyoli is now so famous that the sprint queen used to receive letters addressed just ‘PT Usha, Bharat.’ 

Fellow CPM nominated green communist MP Elamaram Kareem foolishly questioned her ‘eligibility’ which soon vanished when photos of Usha sitting in front of showcases filled with gold medals that she had won appeared. There was also a mention of ‘additional eligibility.’ Usha has seen PM Modi pushing the sports agenda and has worked with the BJP for many years. 

Kareem was talking at an event organized in protest against the arrests of Teesta Setalvad and former Gujarat DGP RB Sreekumar last month in connection with the 2002 Gujarat riots cases. The communists have reason to worry since they actively participated in the fake ISRO espionage case using the same two accused.

Variously known as Golden Girl, Flying Rani, and Payyoli Express, PT Usha has won 102 international medals for Bharat and more than 1,000 local ones. She started from humble beginnings and inadequate facilities hindered her smooth progress. Professional athletes command extreme rhythm and concentration. PM Modi wants her presence in New Delhi to build our nation and the lady has obliged.

Usha gracefully refused to be drawn into such loose talk and said that she accepted the nomination. She added that she had never expected the honor nor had any regrets about the delayed recognition. She noted that she was there for the athletes and had no politics.

Communists and the ISRO Espionage Case

With the aid of the 1994 espionage case, AK Antony successfully pushed out Kerala CM K Karunakaran. Antony was appointed chief minister of the state. However, the CPM-led LDF administration took office after the Congress party lost the subsequent assembly election.

An investigation revealed that the Antony faction of the Kerala Congress, attempting to settle political scores with Karunakaran, had created the entire spy narrative with the assistance of senior police officials. In the interim, the CBI sent the closure report to a Kochi special court, where Narayanan received a clean chit. 

The newly elected communists turned over the case to the politicized Kerala police and withdrew their approval for the CBI to examine the case. In the late 1990s, the National Human Rights Commission ordered 10 lakh rupees as compensation, but the CPM government used delaying tactics. 

In 2019, the communist government in Kerala was forced to compensate 1.3 crore rupees to ex-ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan. The said amount is in addition to 50 lakh rupees compensation given following the order of the Supreme Court for “unnecessary arrest, harassment, and mental cruelty”, in 2018.

The case of Nambi Narayanan is the best illustration of how politicians, like former defense minister AK Antony (26 October 2006–26 May 2014), ruined a brilliant scientist’s career. CPM leaders like Kareem now openly supporting such criminals as Setalvad, Sreekumar, and Congress leaders are proof of deep involvement.

The Payyoli Express

Pilavullakandi Thekkeparambil Usha inspired a generation of fast athletes from Kerala since she represented Bharat at the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow. She started clocking less than 12 seconds in the 100 meters within two years and won silver at the 1982 New Delhi Asian Games. 

She saw a loss of form in 1983 but took it as an opportunity and worked on her stamina by practicing on the sandy beaches. Usha represented Bharat at the 1984 Olympic games and, having failed to lunge at the finish line, lost out on the bronze by a hundredth of a second.

By 1985, she mastered the 200 mt and 400 mt and returned to represent Bharat in the Jakarta Asian Championships. She won five gold in the 100m, 200m, 400m, hurdles, and 400m relay and brought a bronze for the 100m relay. She holds the record for most gold medals won at a single event in the history of the Asian Championships.

Usha School of Athletics, based out of Balussery in Kozhikode, trains the who-is-who of national stars from all over Bharat. The facility has qualified coaches working under her guidance and blessing, gymnasiums, living quarters, and, more importantly, a synthetic track. 

It drew 240 girls from as far as Punjab and Bengal to attempt trials earlier this year. Usha spotted 18 girls who ran well and were later examined by sports experts, psychiatrists, and orthopedic doctors. It is an expensive affair, and the school accepts donations.

For a Hindu woman from Kozhikode who came up the hard way, expecting recognition from an Islamist is impossible. Some reminded MP Elamaram Kareem that his only contribution to Keralite society was the closure of the Gwalior Rayons factory in Kozhikode. The factory was so famous that government employees used to resign to join them. 

Mavoor Gwalior Rayons

As for the personal gains of someone who began as a casual laborer at Mavoor Gwalior Rayons, there are allegedly plenty. Kareem was a trade union leader in the factory and accumulated considerable wealth as he grew in the party.

Those were the heady days when the Communist parties peddled propaganda for the USSR government and acted as agents of the Soviet government. It was also when big industry left the state forever. 

Grasim Industries, the Birla Group’s Gwalior Rayons Factory that was established in the early 1960s, flourished until the mid-1970s. Labour strikes mentioning environmental issues shut down the factory in 2001. Kozhikode turned from a bustling trading center to a mere consumer district.

Having left comrades in the ditch for over two decades, Kareem moved on to bigger things. He has close connections with wealthy businessmen both in the state and abroad. He is also known as a pro-capitalist leader as he has tried to bring in bigger projects that demanded huge investments, despite local party comrades objecting to such projects.

Local CPM committees have criticized the mining contracts granted while he was the industry minister (2006 to 2011). The contracts were counter to the CPM’s stance against ventures that harm the environment. Many party members think that kickbacks were involved. The mining mafia devastated vast tracts of high-range land. Kareem and his benami relatives bought hundreds of acres of land in and around Mavoor.

Malabar Cements Controversy

An ex-managing director of the public sector company Malabar Cements Limited (MCL) claimed that Kareem accepted money from a controversial businessman. A factory manager named Saseendran and the prime witness were found dead in January 2011. 

According to the ex-MD of MCL M Sundaramoorthy, the incident occurred in 2010 when Kareem was Industries Minister. In 2012, Sundaramoorthy admitted that he was forced to do illegal things at the factory under duress by a notorious private contractor named Radhakrishnan and minister Kareem.

In 2007, an audit report found that the MCL had lost Rs 400 crore in corrupt deals since 2001. Vigilance authorities registered various cases, with a manager named Saseendran as the prime witness. The whistleblower and his two children mysteriously died in their house in January 2011. His death came a week after vigilance submitted the chargesheet in a case involving the loss of Rs 16 crore.

Later, Comptroller and Auditor General reports stated that corruption and mismanagement at the cement factory had caused a loss of ₹108 crores during 2010-13. Kareem faced multiple vigilance cases, but the Congress government pardoned them all in 2015. Suspiciously, the acquittal came at a time when Congress was on the verge of defeat in the state assemblies. CPM awarded him with a Rajya Sabha nomination in June 2018. 

Kareem showed his true colors during the recent hijab controversy. He said that the BJP government should stop communal polarization since the hijab has been part of the uniform for many years. He claimed it was used in schools and other institutions before and did not violate a standard dress code.

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