05/16/2009, 00.00
INDIA
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Elections in Kerala: collapse of the Marxists

Congress wins in a stronghold of the left. Fr. Paul Thelakat, spokesman for the Syro-Malabar Church: it’s a vote against those seeking to divide society along class lines. Bjp and Marxists represent the same fundamentalist ideology “contrary to a secular democracy”.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) – The two communist strongholds of Kerala and West Bengal have collapsed. Both states are governed by left wing parties, but have registered a strong preference for Congress.

In Kerala the Communist Marxist Party (Cmp) passes from its triumph off five years ago to total defeat. In 2004, led by the Left Democratic Front (Lft), the Marxist party had won 19 of 20 available seats, today it has been left with four.  The fragmentation of the LFT has had a devastating effect on the result of the vote as well as the contradictory stance of CMP leaders.  The collapse of the Marxists appears all the more significant in relation to the fact that in 2006 it had won the State Assembly beating the local alliance of United Democratic Front (Udf) led by Congress.

Kerala has the largest Christians community, even thug a minority in respect to the total population, almost 20% out of a total 31 million.  Fr. Paul Thelakat, director of the newspaper Satyadeepam, and spokesperson for the Syro-Malabar Church says the vote is a rejection of CPM politics.

Speaking to AsiaNews, Fr. Thelakat says they are also paying for their opposition to the Church, deemed “too confrontational”. The priest explains that not only do CPM leaders object to the self-financed education programs operated by the Church, “but also in areas of religion where the leaders began to use abusive language and   to tarnish Church's reputation wherever they got a chance to do it.”.

Fr. Thelakat confirms that the State is influenced by strong ideological currents that aim to divide the people.  On the one hand are the Marxists who “have been trying to divide the people in the name of class, rich and the poor with a class war based on economic divide.  This class war separating the rich and the poor with religion always at the side of rich and branded as opium of the people ”. On the other the Hindu nationalists of the Bjp who “divide people on the line of religion and caste”.

For Fr. Thelakat “Both sides represent some sort of fundamentalists and are as Karl Popper called them enemies of an open society”. (NC)

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