KOZHIKODE: Sethu, the octogenarian, has not spoken to the media about his Naxal past and cultural activities. Though many former Naxalites have written autobiographies, he kept himself aloof. Sethu was entrusted with the task of leading the Janakeeya Samskarika Vedi team in conducting the public trial of the corrupt MCH doctors here on March 23, 1981 along with A. Soman.
Though Soman, who later became a college professor, too was in the lead; Grow Vasu says that Soman was included in the team to ensure that he was part of the trial. “He had already made some communication with the doctors and was of the opinion that the trial may be held back.” he said.
Sethu, now living in Malaparambu, says that the public trial had got mass support in Kerala. “In retrospect, I find that we had committed some excesses during the incident. Among the doctors we identified, Dr S.K. Ramachandran, the neurosurgeon, could have been avoided. Though he accepted bribe, he was a rare, brilliant doctor in those times. And he implored us that he was forced to take bribe as with the meagre salary then, he could not buy journals and books of a developing branch of medical science,” Sethu said.
Another danger of such programmes is that an organized section can target anybody by means of force. “Though the trial was party-approved, it doesn’t come as an exact party programme as such because it didn’t support class war. The party was disturbed over the huge mass support we got,” he recalled.
According to Sethu, the Vedi members, including himself, B. Rajeevan, Kaviyur Balan and K. Rajeevan, left the organization as a fallout of the ‘differences of opinion’ with the party leadership after the public trial. “We were scoffed as philanthropists in the party,” he smiles.
The murder of Madathil Mathayi in Wayanad by the party further widened the rift between the Vedi and the party. Looking back, Sethu feels that Marxism is a failed political application and that it could be taken as a conceptual tool only....