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The southern comfort no longer there

  • Published
    11th Nov, 2023

Context -

Growing Threats of Extremism in India

Communal and Ideological Strife:

  • Escalation of Extremism in India: Growing threat with historical incidents like the 2001 Parliament attack, indicating a persistent challenge of terrorism, reflecting an evolving and enduring threat landscape in the country.
  • Rise of Hindu Extremism: Focus on violence against dissenting views signifies the emergence of Hindu extremism, fostering an atmosphere of fear and intolerance, highlighting an ideological shift impacting societal harmony.
  • Challenges to Freedom of Expression:Targeting dissenters raises concerns about shrinking freedom of expression, emphasizing the complex interplay between extremism, ideology, and democratic principles in India's socio-political landscape.

ISIS Influence in Southern India:

  • Influence in Southern India: Allegations of ISIS extending reach in states like Tamil Nadu and Kerala, as evidenced by NIA's investigations into training centers and the suspected role of Kovai Arabic College.
  • Counterterrorism Measures: Efforts by NIA to counter ISIS influence, including the ban on Popular Front of India (PFI), reflect the government's proactive stance against potential radicalization and recruitment activities.
  • ISIS Strategic Moves: Delayed claims by ISIS on Coimbatore and Mangaluru bombings suggest a strategic attempt to establish a southern India presence, posing challenges related to radicalization and regional security concerns.

Religious Minorities Under Threat

  • Rising Attacks Against Christians: Increase in incidents against Christians, reaching a peak in 2022, with reports of violence and church destruction, particularly in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
  • Historical Harmony in Kerala: While Kerala historically fostered cultural symbiosis, concerns are raised about the encroachment of religious considerations in politics, termed as "religious landlordism" by the author.
  • Call for Political Secularism: Amidst growing communal tensions, the need for political parties in Kerala to embrace secular perspectives is emphasized, urging a departure from religio-communal viewpoints for sustainable harmony.
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