27 July, 2021

Red Earth Tales

A voluble Kanhaiya and the silent Kerala murders

Illustration by Saahil
Red Earth Tales

You may not have heard of Sadanandan Master. One dark night in 1994, days short of his sister’s wedding, the school-teacher in Kerala was pulled out of a bus by CPI(M) workers and pinned to the ground. His face was slammed into the mud and his legs severed from his body with an axe. Last month, in the same week that Kanhaiya Kumar became a symbol of free speech, a younger man from the RSS, Sujith, was dragged out of his home and hacked to death in front of his parents and mentally challenged brother. As his frantic cries sliced through another dark night, Kanhaiya’s speech was being played on loop and the CPI(M) raised his right to free speech in Parliament. You may, therefore, be excused for not having heard of Sujith either—not when he lived, especially not when he died. Sujith’s death was taken away from him, much like his life.

A few days after Sujith’s murder, a young auto driver, Biju, from the RSS again, was attacked whilst ferrying schoolchildren, leaving him battling for life and the children traumatised. But these children, although...

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