news analysis

In Kerala, RSS leader's call for chief minister's head leaves a dent in saffron outfit's credibility

Two statements have eroded the saffron outfit's claim that the CPI(M) is responsible for fomenting trouble across the southern state.

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s reputation in Kerala has taken a dent after a leader of the hardline Hindutva organisation put a Rs 1 crore bounty on the head of the chief minister of the southern state.

Though the RSS promptly sacked Kundan Chandrawat, a Sah Prachar Pramuk (joint publicity chief) from Madhya Pradesh after his threats to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan at a public meeting in Ujjain on Wednesday, the damage had been done.

Chandrawat’s statement came on the back on a confession by the Bharatiya Janata Party Kerala general secretary, K Surendran, that his organisation had also played a role in the decades-long series of political killings that have dogged the state. The RSS has been attempting to claim that Vijayan’s Communist Party of India (Marxist) has primarily been responsible for the violence. But Surendran put paid to that impression.

“We had committed murders and retaliated for the death of each BJP worker,” he said at a meeting in Mangalore on February 25.

Ironically, these statements have boosted the popularity of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, and united anti-Sangh Parivar political parties to demand action against the RSS leader.

In the process, the CPI (M) was able to garner the support of its staunch critic and leader of Opposition in the Kerala Assembly, Ramesh Chennithala. “It is the same set of people who rejoiced when Mahatma Gandhi was shot dead,” the Congress leader said. “The RSS leader who made the speech should be arrested immediately.”

Police complaint

Though Surendran’s speech did not receive much attention in the national media, it created a flutter in Kerala. Chief Minister Vijayan announced that the government would take the provocative speech seriously.

CPI(M) legislator M Swaraj made a complaint to the police, asking them to investigate the deaths of 30 activists of the Left-leaning Student Federation of India and Democratic Youth Federation of India who have been killed over the past five years. “The police should probe BJP’s involvement in the murders in the wake of Surendran’s confession,” he said.

RSS received another slap on its wrist last Sunday when Vijayan defied threats to attend public functions in Mangaluru in Karnataka, considered to be a saffron stronghold.

RSS and other Hindutva outfits had announced that they would not allow Vijayan to set foot in the coastal city, in a protest against attacks against Sangh Parivar activists in Kannur. But with the support of Congress government in Karnataka, Vijayan completed his engagements without any problem.

At a public rally in the city attended by more than 10,000 people, he challenged the RSS to show what they could do to him. “I know RSS and its devious methods very well,” he said. “I have been defying your threats since I entered student politics. You can ask your elders in RSS to know more about me. You couldn’t touch me at that time. What are you going to do now?”

Looking at the numbers

Political observers say that the long cycle of violence in Kannur district, which is the chief minister’s home turf, isn’t just the fault of the Left.

Of the seven political workers who have been killed in Kannur district after Left Democratic Front government came to power in May, three were CPI (M) members and four belonged to Sangh Parivar.

Said T Sasidharan, the author of Radical Politics in Kannur, a book about the violence in the district, “Both the cadre parties play crucial roles in the violence and they are two sides of the same coin.”

We welcome your comments at
Sponsored Content BY 

Why should inclusion matter to companies?

It's not just about goodwill - inclusivity is a good business decision.

To reach a 50-50 workplace scenario, policies on diversity need to be paired with a culture of inclusiveness. While diversity brings equal representation in meetings, board rooms, promotions and recruitment, inclusivity helps give voice to the people who might otherwise be marginalized or excluded. Inclusion at workplace can be seen in an environment that values diverse opinions, encourages collaboration and invites people to share their ideas and perspectives. As Verna Myers, a renowned diversity advocate, puts it “Diversity is being invited to the party, inclusion is being asked to dance.”

Creating a sense of belonging for everyone is essential for a company’s success. Let’s look at some of the real benefits of a diverse and inclusive workplace:

Better decision making

A whitepaper by Cloverpop, a decision making tool, established a direct link between inclusive decision making and better business performance. The research discovered that teams that followed an inclusive decision-making process made decisions 2X faster with half the meetings and delivered 60% better results. As per Harvard Business School Professor Francesca Gino, this report highlights how diversity and inclusion are practical tools to improve decision making in companies. According to her, changing the composition of decision making teams to include different perspectives can help individuals overcome biases that affect their decisions.

Higher job satisfaction

Employee satisfaction is connected to a workplace environment that values individual ideas and creates a sense of belonging for everyone. A research by Accenture identified 40 factors that influence advancement in the workplace. An empowering work environment where employees have the freedom to be creative, innovative and themselves at work, was identified as a key driver in improving employee advancement to senior levels.


A research by stated the in India, 62% of innovation is driven by employee perceptions of inclusion. The study included responses from 1,500 employees from Australia, China, Germany, India, Mexico and the United States and showed that employees who feel included are more likely to go above and beyond the call of duty, suggest new and innovative ways of getting work done.

Competitive Advantage

Shirley Engelmeier, author of ‘Inclusion: The New Competitive Business Advantage’, in her interview with Forbes, talks about the new global business normal. She points out that the rapidly changing customer base with different tastes and preferences need to feel represented by brands. An inclusive environment will future-proof the organisation to cater to the new global consumer language and give it a competitive edge.

An inclusive workplace ensures that no individual is disregarded because of their gender, race, disability, age or other social and cultural factors. Accenture has been a leading voice in advocating equal workplace. Having won several accolades including a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate equality index, Accenture has demonstrated inclusive and diverse practices not only within its organisation but also in business relationships through their Supplier Inclusion and Diversity program.

In a video titled ‘She rises’, Accenture captures the importance of implementing diverse policies and creating an inclusive workplace culture.


To know more about inclusion and diversity, see here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Accenture and not by the Scroll editorial team.