Kerala can become Afghanistan in 10 years, says former minister Alphons

Published on Sep 20, 2021 12:38 AM IST

Alphons said radicalization of a section of a particular community in Kerala is sowing seeds of such tendency in other communities also, and it is really dangerous.

Former union minister K J Alphons (HT PHOTO)
Former union minister K J Alphons (HT PHOTO)
By, Thiruvananthapuram

The politics of appeasement has spoiled Kerala and if the situation continues like this the state will be another Afghanistan in 10 years, said former union minister K J Alphons.

Speaking to this reporter over the phone from Delhi, Alphons said his observation is nothing to do with the Pala Bishop’s latest statement.

“Appeasement politics is at its high in Kerala. Both fronts, ruling Left Democratic Front and opposition Congress-led UDF, turn a blind eye to growing Wahabism and Salafism in Kerala. All are after vote bank. If the situation continues like this little Kerala will be another Afghanistan in a decade or so,” said the bureaucrat-turned politician. He said radicalization of a section of a particular community is sowing seeds of such tendency in other communities also, and it is really dangerous.

“Kerala always remained a global example of communal harmony. Different religions lived together for centuries without any rift or tension. But things are not rosy now. ‘We are right others are wrong’ tendency is fast catching up. What is disturbing is that saner elements are being silenced by extremist ideologies in the Muslim community,” he said.

“I have many Muslim friends, and my two sons got married from different communities. Marriage is an individual choice. But if you marry girls from other communities feigning love and to push them to war-torn areas, it can’t be called brotherhood or amity, it is terror,” he said adding, he agreed that it is wrong to blame a community for the wrongdoings of a minuscule section. But he said, feigning ignorance and whitewash all such sinister activities are more dangerous.

“It is true, Talibanization is taking place in certain pockets of Kerala. Even they changed the dress code of women in north Malabar. I was shocked to hear the way some leaders justified the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan. Nobody is talking about the plight of women and children there. Millions of people are on the verge of starvation,” he said adding major parties are silent over radicalization fearing vote bank.

He said when Pala Bishop Mar Joseph Kallaranghatt said about “narcotic jihad” all were busy attacking him and nobody asked him what prompted him to say this. “It is a fact radicalization assumed a dangerous proportion in Kerala. You can’t turn a blind eye towards it. Instead of addressing this, all are busy shooting the messenger,” he said.

Addressing a religious congregation in one of the churches in Kottayam the Bishop had said Catholic girls and youth are becoming victims of “narcotic jihad” and decried authorities for turning a blind eye towards it. The Bishop’s controversial statement has triggered a war of words between different communities and political parties and they are yet to settle.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Ramesh Babu is HT’s bureau chief in Kerala, with about three decades of experience in journalism.

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