Thiruvananthapuram: Video songs hailing victims of political murders in Kannur as “martyrs” are immensely popular among cadres and sympathisers.
After every high-profile political murder, invariably a video song containing footage of the victim interspersed with background commentary on his life and sacrifice, comes out. This goes with all political parties mainly CPM and BJP-RSS.
Shuhaib Edayannur's brutal killing took place nine days ago but already several videos featuring him have come up on the Youtube. A song dedicated to his memory, describes the Youth Congress leader as Edayannur’s darling, a friend of friends who is always ready to help others.
Another video has a Sunni religious leader recollecting his last meeting with Shuhaib. “He waited for me at a junction till 1 am in the night as I got late after a function. Even at this young age he had completed 50 years work,’’ he recalled with a poignant piece of music playing in the backdrop.
A poem penned Kozhikode DCC president T Siddique’s wife; “Shuhaib was a relief for people in pain, comfort in sorrow. Just days before his gruesome murder, Shuhaib pledged his kidney such was his zest for helping others.” The gory pictures of his hacked legs shown in the video are blood chilling.
Not just new videos, even those uploaded more than five years ago are still a big hit. The video on T.P. Chandrashekheran’s gruesome murder has nearly 3 lakh views.
Another video has Murukan Kattakada’s famous poem Rakthasakshigal playing in the background.
Whether created by CPM or BJP-RSS sympathisers, the content of these videos are almost the same barring colour of flags and slogans. While CPM hails martyrs as “veera shakhave, dheera sakhave – jeevikkunnu nammalilude” the BJP –RSS says - “veera kumara dheera kumara... jeevikum nammalilude.” Some of the videos showing minor children of slain workers speaking about their fathers are really depressing.
The RSS video on Remith who was killed allegedly by CPM workers in Pinarayi in 2016, 14 years after his father was also hacked, is publicized in a big way. Kathiroor Manoj's video captures his house, the site where he was killed in 2014.
Similarly, CPM sympathisers have come out with a series of video songs on C.V. Dhanaraj who was murdered allegedly by RSS activists in 2016. His videos run with the slogan “valiant comrade Dhanaraj, the flames of your sacrifice will continue to burn in our hearts.”
Kochi-based psychiatrist Prof. C.J. John says more than generating sympathy, what gains upper hand is the hostility. “There is an element of grieving. But ultimately such videos create anger and ignite hostility against the rivals. In areas packed with intense rivalry, it perpetuates further killings,” he says.
Not only martyrs, even videos of living martyrs are a huge hit. “Pushpane ariyamo nammude Pushpane ariyamo,” a song on Pushpan who became bedridden ater 1994 kothuparamba firing, is not only a big hit on Youtube but has several versions as well.
While CPM leadership has supported videos on martyrs and living martyrs, it has not taken kindly to those eulogizing present leaders. A video song hailing P. Jayarajan as Red Star of Kannur and a leader behind whom the new Kerala was ready to rally, was termed as “self promotion and attempt to outgrow party”.