Deshabhimani Resident Editor P.M. Manoj came up with the explanation on Facebook that what Kodiyeri Balakrishnan had on his arm is not ‘Elassu’, instead it is a Continuous Glucose Monitoring Diary. He said that Kodiyeri is a diabetes patient and the instrument was given to him by famous diabetes consultant Dr. Jyothi Dev. Mr. Manoj added that whoever had a doubt about this could ask the doctor himself. He also added that this was a deliberate effort to defame Kodiyeri.
We acknowledge our error in putting up this story and we thank Mr. Manoj for the clarification.
“If people are to know and understand the real world, they must give up superstitious beliefs because they have a narcotic effect on the mind.”
This statement was made by German philosopher Karl Marx, whose philosophies are the foundation of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI-M]. However, do the members of the party share similar feelings about superstition? It doesn’t appear so.
Recently, CPI (M) State Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan made a fiery speech in Payyanur, in which he asked the cadre to confront those who attack the party. His speech was widely analysed by the media and critics for its provocative nature. However, what is more interesting is that he had worn an ‘Elassu’ (amulet) on his right hand during the speech.
Communism has always had an atheistic tag attached to it. And many comrades in Kerala have identified themselves as atheists. One prominent person in this category was former Chief Minister of Kerala E.K. Nayanar.
Though CPI (M) is against superstitious beliefs, Kodiyeri seems to be perfectly alright with them. Or he probably didn’t expect the media to take notice of his ‘Elassu’. However, the problem is that the media usually sees what the politicians are desperate to hide.
In the heat of the moment, when he was speaking about death and urging his party members to fight, Kodiyeri raised his hand upwards and the ‘Elassu’ was spotted. Have these violent thoughts and glorification of death turned him into a last-minute believer? Or has Kodiyeri always been a closet believer?
In 2007, Kodiyeri, who was upset with media reports that claimed he visited a temple to offer prayers, announced a probe by the crime branch into the episode. A magazine had reported that Kodeyeri allegedly visited the Kadampuzha Bhagavathy Temple near Malappuram for a ‘Shatru Samhaara’ pooja.
Kodiyeri’s critics are having a field day after his “riveting” speech. When it comes to defending themselves, he says the cadre needs to be given physical training. And by lifting his arm and flashing his ‘Elassu’, is he also giving them a lesson in spiritual defense?
In recent times, the Marxist party has been slowly embracing the idea of religion. The party hosted Sreekrishna Jayanthi celebrations last year. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan even quoted Njanappana at a press conference once. Is this ‘love’ for religion becoming second nature to the party now?
Main photograph by Fotokannan – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.