Saturday, 21 April 2012

The poor man and the sea

The Arabian sea is called Kadalamma by Kerala's fishermen - Mother sea.These fishermen are a sturdy lot, the very salt of the ocean.They go out on their ancient fishing boats, and mended nets for upto 18 hours every day , trusting their lives to the elements - the wind and the sea.The sea lets them in on her bounty on some blessed days and on some days turns them back with a meager catch - whatever can be salvaged after the deep sea trawlers have had a field day. The family earns an average of Rs 200 per day despite the long hours put in making them the most economically susceptible of Kerala's poor.These are not often the owners of the boat , but the men who actually do all the hardwork - the kind no Malayalee worth his salt can disregard.

Indeed in some ways he epitomises all that Kerala stands for, her never say die spirit, her respect for the elements and the belief that the Gods would never let her down.Not even a red blooded Marxist can deny the Keralites faith in destiny, her sense of justice and retribution.

It is this very Malayalee regard for its weakest that sparked outrage over the murder in cold blood of 2 of its brethren - the Italians could have chosen no better way to incur the wrath of its right thinking men and women.

Iam a Malayalee by birth and by all that I hold dear as my value system.I have lived outside Kerala, and I know my state has its fair share of weaknesses - it is politically belligerent,  very conscious of its rights and often not the most soft spoken , laidback of societies. But the entire Malayalee conscience rests on the notion of equality of its people irrespective of race or creed. Which is why an injustice against the underprivileged will raise the heckles of its cream.I admit I was outraged by what I see as the brazen cheek of a couple of Italians to take away the life of its toiling citizenry.

Kerala has  never borne witness to the Jallianwala bagh kind of atrocity , but believe me this comes close.Make no mistake, the Malayalee has taken this very personally.

Blessed as we are with the unforgiving gene,no government whatever its compulsions can afford to let the perpetrators of this crime get away.

I do appreciate Italy's concern for its citizens,as much as Iam appalled by the additional solicitor general's apparent lack of social conscience.

We in Kerala do not expect manna from heaven, neither do we expect the central government to heed our sensibilities - indeed this is one government which has set new standards in chicanery.But we do expect the law to take its course, and whatever the ASG may feel, the burden rests on the police in Kerala to create a water tight case.Else heads will roll and how!!!!

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