ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A Multitude of ‘Risks’

RSS–CPI(M) Violence in Kerala

Kerala has witnessed bitter inter-party violence between Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh–Bharatiya Janata Party workers and Communist Party of India (Marxist) cadre over the last decade, resulting in over 60 deaths. This intensifying violence needs to be viewed in the context of the rise of the RSS, its political inroads into the Thiyya community in the state, and structural changes in the composition of and employmentamong Kerala’s lower-middle class.

The recurring political violence between ideologically opposed political forces in Kerala is symptomatic of the risk-ridden scenario of a modern capitalist society depicted by Ulrich Beck. Beck (1992) argues that widespread risks in modern societies tend to have a “boomerang effect,” in that people causing risks will also automatically be exposed to them. He focuses on how the rich in modern societies inevitably encounter a new set of risks—from pollution to pestilence. Giddens (1991), however, takes a positive view of risk and suggests instead that it needs to be “disciplined.” Hence, “active risk-taking” is critical for a dynamic, innovative society. Kerala, which was once acclaimed as a model for human security and development, is no longer terra firma, either from the point of view of social “risk-taking” or from the perspective of “development politics.” The contemporary political narrative in Kerala is marked by deep social frustration, a pervasive polemics and intensifying political conflict. It is grappling with a multitude of risks associated with these social crises of frustration and violence.

A Violent Turn for the Worse

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Updated On : 21st Jul, 2017
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