24 March 2008
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
- 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.