Most dictionaries define Mafia as a close-knit or influential group of people who work together and protect one another's interests or the interests of a particular group. Though such a definition gives a less sinister image, the real Mafias are much more complex and dangerous than that. Those who make up a Mafia are generally devoid of any scruples, morality and sense of justice. If Italy was the land that gave a glorified identity to the Mafia gangs, the newly emerging rich among middle class is making India a fertile ground for development of ‘Mafiadoms’. The diversity of India in anything and everything is providing the right conditions for the formation of numerous Mafia groups in every field of human activity. As always Kerala is once again leading the country.
The God’s Own Country, as the tourism sector would like Kerala to become, is a curious mix of religions, ideologies and communities. Hinduism was once the dominant faith in the state, but it has been systematically relegated to the background now. It was always an uneven playground for the majority faith. Most of the land in Kerala once belonged to temples and all temples came under the control of government when the new rulers dawned in 1947. Then it became an unequal competition between the highly handicapped majority community and the rejuvenated and pampered other communities. Religious conversions flourished and the levers of power shifted to the firm hands of others in no time. The huge influx of foreign money has altered everything in Kerala now. It is nothing but a complex conglomerate of numerous Mafias, NGOs, GOs, political parties and community organizations. A little more about the dominant Mafias may be useful to some.
The most formidable of Mafias in Kerala is the Land Mafia. Their reach is unbelievable and depth is unfathomable. There is no exaggeration at all when some recent researchers concluded that tons of money (literally) are being pumped into the real estate business in Kerala every month. So many factors have contributed to the sudden spurt in land deals and the advent of Mafia gangs. With the bank interests dropping daily, the nouveau rich were looking for a sink when so many new projects got announced in Kerala. Some of the projects may never come and most of the projects that may take off will never get finished within our lifetimes. All landed people are rich on paper, but nobody can sell their land so easily now. Large scale transactions are inevitably handled by the Mafias. Irrespective of ownership, a few people decide on who is going to sell, who is going to buy and at what price. Huge influx of ISI fake currency has also boosted the buying power of a select few. The Land Mafia in Kerala scaled new heights recently when they succeeded in selling government land to the government itself at very high prices!!
Education sector in Kerala is another fertile ground for Mafia operations. The unique concept of aided schools in Kerala, where government money is spent for salary and School Owner appoints the teachers, provide a remarkably attractive scenario for the Mafias. The situation got all the more attractive when the new horde of self-financing professional colleges also arrived on the scene. It is very interesting to note that 90% of these new ‘milch cows’ belong to the so-called minority communities. Though illegal, crores and crores of rupees are collected every year by way of capitation fees and most of them in this business have recovered their investment many times over by now. But one thing is very clear – that pure merit forms only about 10% of the overall factor that decides one’s admission into any of these self-financing (sic) professional colleges. The truth that ‘divine’ clergy forms an integral part of this Education Mafia shows the depths of degeneration that Kerala has fallen into.
Tourism sector has always been a favourite grazing ground for the moneyed Mafia with foreign connections. Logically and logistically the tourist resorts provide the correct coverage and investment opportunity for the Mafia. This also provides a safe passage for the organized harvesters to indulge in religious conversion activities masquerading as tourists. Vast areas of forest land are being encroached everyday by a Mafia operating in this field under the guise of promotion of eco-tourism for earning foreign exchange for the nation. They operate in close collaboration with the agriculturists of commercial crops – a special category created (by the Mafia) for escaping the provisions of all types of Land Reforms Acts. Acres and acres of forest land are first leased out from the government for cultivation of commercial crops like cardamom and then diverted into tourism sector by illegal construction of buildings. The futile attempts by the incumbent government to reclaim such lands have been sabotaged within no time. And no government could stand up to this Mafia when it comes to facing the courts in the case of Cardamom Hill Reserves.
The clever in any democracy knows that it is ultimately numbers that matters most. Once you have the numbers, power is just the next election away. Organised communities know how to make most out of their numbers (and consequent power) because the very basis of their organized religion is path to power. Working together as a Mafia towards increasing their population and projecting an image of co-operation with the government in their family planning efforts are the favourite tools of such people. The famed ‘accidental’ third-child among well educated Catholics in Kerala is the best example for this. Grabbing land from the hapless Adivasis by arranging organized migration is another technique of the population Mafia to establish themselves. Of late, their friends in the Health department have even started arranging sterilization camps for the Adivasis, so as to make it much easier for these encroaching migrants to take over the entire lands.
Most Keralites suffer from an overdose of petty politics and almost everyone is afflicted with prejudices based on pre-conceived notions. In this land of colored channels and newspapers, the worst affected is the mass media. It is almost impossible to find any media professional who is really independent. Almost all senior journalists are fellow travelers of some known political or religious groups. Each news channel and newspaper has an agenda (other than pursuing truth) to attain and they tend to work together or against as a Mafia. It is very easy to identify and predict the news report by each reporter just by looking at his name, employer, location and attire. The only option in front of those who are looking for independent news & views is to draw up their own conclusions after listening to a couple of news channels with their known prejudices and leanings.
This is a unique breed of Mafia developing in recent times in this unique land of Mafias. The aim and objective of this new Mafia is continuous spotlight on the special rights for minorities in Indian constitution, permeating these privileges into all relevant & irrelevant fields as much as possible, taking anticipatory action to perpetuate these privileges forever and most importantly, putting the majority community in constant apology and defensive mode by reminding them about the ‘atrocities’ and ‘pogroms’ they are alleged to have committed in the past. India’s peculiar brand of secularism comes very handy for this Mafia in their activities. All religions are equal in India but followers of some religions enjoy special privileges as minorities. What a brilliant way to promote organized religious conversion and destroy everything that is Indian!!
The net effect of these multitude of Mafias on our civil society are the drastic fall in values and highlighting of wrong role models for the growing generations. Heroes are those who could become rich in no time following none of the established routes of struggle & hard work in education, employment or business. Heroes are those who can harm the majority and national interests by canvassing for condemnation by foreign friends for baseless allegations by malicious propaganda. Heroes are those who can compromise on national interests and creep in back door into the corridors of power. Mafias are posing a big challenge to Indian nation and it is worth spending a few minutes on this during the ensuing anniversary of our liberation from the Whites.