24 March 2008 National kerala: red vs saffron

The History Of Violence

Kannur nurtures a red-saffron rivalry that shows no sign of being breached
Photographs: S.K. Mohan
Red-Saffron Rivalry
  • Is five decades old; started when a bidi factory moved to Karnataka due to labour trouble. Communist workers who lost jobs were rehabilitated by the RSS.
  • Hate campaign intensified in the late '60s. Has been on the boil ever since
  • Today Marxists and saffronites have carved up entire villages between them
  • Both are equally brutal but violence escalates when CPI(M) is in power
  • In 2006, there were as many as 737 cases of rioting. At least 200 have died in four decades, several others maimed.

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