Kerala

Cyber attack on Rafeeq Ahamed: Satheesan slams CPI(M)

With poet-lyricist Rafeeq Ahamed coming under a vicious cyber attack for his social media post on the myriad environmental issues and those concerning basic civic amenities’ development in Kerala, Leader of the Opposition V.D. Satheesan has sprung to his defence, making a pitched call for allowing diverse voices to exist in order to have a healthy, vibrant democracy.

Mr. Ahamed, believed to be a Left co-traveller, became the target of attack by self-proclaimed Leftist accounts as his poem/note was perceived as speaking against the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)]-led State government’s flagship SilverLine semi-high speed railway project.

The lines

“Where are you going this fast/past the wetlands/ rows of coconut trees/mangroves, shrines and ponds/toppling the Western Ghats/blocking the Pampa, the Perar…” is how the poem/note made on Facebook opens. It goes on to talk about the cities that have become garbage yards, the hospital buildings that gasp for breath, the people displaced for development and about the tribal hamlets where children die regularly. “Where are you going this fast, in haste/past the survey stones that measure the extent of extreme poverty” is how it draws to a close.

With trolls descending on his timeline, Mr. Ahamed made another post which said abuses would be powerless to stop pointed questions and that he only felt pity for the trolls.

Stress on plurality

Leader of the Opposition Mr. Satheesan, in his post, said plurality rendered democracy stronger and that the democracy we enjoyed was the result of over a 100 years of struggle. He launched a frontal attack on the CPI(M) by alleging that the attackers were wholesalers of intolerance, hate and violence. Since there was democracy in the land, the poet could not be sent to the concentration camp. Hence the CPI(M)-decided sentence in the cyber world.

The cyber attackers comprised those with a face and also the faceless and the nameless. “They are hardcore criminals hiding behind fake profiles. Even as they wax eloquent about gender equality, renaissance, human rights, political correctness and the like, they are bereft of an iota of humanity,” Mr. Satheesan said, pointing out instances of alleged sexual and caste attack on an All India Students Federation woman leader and manhandling of the leaders of the Communist Party of India, that is part of the ruling coalition. The party or its leadership would not be able to distance themselves from the attack as most of the profiles doing the same had either party images or the image of the Chief Minister, he maintained, sarcastically adding that humanity in the new Kerala envisioned was being established by insulting and eliminating those with an individual stance or opinion.


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Printable version | May 27, 2022 11:05:33 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/cyber-attack-on-rafeeq-ahamed-satheesan-slams-cpim/article38319894.ece