In the last session of the cabinet meeting, the Kerala ministers decided to grant four acres of land in Thiruvananthapuram to the Satsang Foundation, which was established by Sri M. However, this decision has called into question the alleged relationship between Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Sri M and the latter’s alleged involvement in bringing together CPM and RSS to a peace negotiation.
In his book, The RSS: And the Making of the Deep Nation, Dinesh Narayan talks about how M initiated peace talks between the RSS and the CPM after 2016. The spiritual leader brought together big wigs such as Gopalan Kutty Master, Valsan Thillenkery, M Radhakrishnan and S Sethumadhavan from the RSS side and Kodiyeri Balakrishnan and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan from the CPM side. How did M manage this?
According to the author, M — born Mumtaz Ali Khan in a Pathan family in Thiruvananthapuram — left his home at the age of 19 after having spiritual experiences. He would go on to meet yogis and spiritual masters in the Himalayas. He would later work in the Organiser — an RSS-linked media organisation — and with Jiddu Krishnamurthi in Chennai. Following this, he established the Satsang Foundation — an ashram and a school — in Madanapalle near the Andhra-Karnataka border.
In 2014, M organised a one-hour long yoga camp for the CPI (M) workers in Kannur where Pinarayi Vijayan was present. Moreover, when the LDF came to power in Kerala, M had completed his one-year-long “peace walk from Kanyakumari to Kashmir, winding through all the big states”. According to the author, the walk was flagged-off by RSS General Secretary Suresh Joshi in Kanyakumari, and it attracted “civil society leaders and politicians in all states irrespective of party affiliations”.
With his new relationships, he decided to bring CPM and RSS leaders to peace talks and the best person for that, according to M, was Kannur secretary P Jayarajan. The latter already had his tryst with the RSS in 1999, when several of their workers had brutally attacked the CPM leader. Jayarajan lost a thumb and almost lost a hand in that attack. M had asked Jayarajan if there was any chance for peace in Kannur, and the CPM leader talked about the historical violence inflicted by RSS but added that he has no desire for revenge, and he isn’t as cruel as they say. According to Dinesh, M had already set the stage for this peace talk. He had asked Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and RSS’s Gopalan Kutty Master, and both political leaders had asked if the other would agree to it. M also met with Suresh Joshi and Mohan Bhagwat to facilitate this peace talk.
The extremely secret meeting between the CPM leaders including Pinarayi Vijayan and the RSS team happened after this. According to the author, Pinarayi had arrived at a luxury hotel in Thiruvananthapuram without any police escort. “The top-secret meeting would have been stillborn if news leaked. Both parties kept their word,” Dinesh wrote. During the discussion, an RSS member “let loose a tirade on the atrocities of the party”. Pinarayi Vijayan listened closely, and after M gave him the space to voice his concern, the Kerala CM said, “I have not come here to wash past linen. I am interested in ending this violence.”
The author says that it broke the ice, adding that they “resolved to set up mechanisms for regular meetings and talks at all levels.” For the first time in over three decades, the CPM and RSS have together decided to break the cycle of killing in a meeting of top leaders, one of them being the Chief Minister of the state. Even though an RSS member was attacked in Kannur after a week, the Chief Minister reacted quickly helping Gopalan Kutty to understand that the CM is adamant about peace. Soon after, a communication bridge was established, and a protocol was in place in case something bad happened.
Moreover, the book also claims that the RSS had an indirect role to play in EK Nayanar rising to power in the 1987 elections. Following the emergency, the RSS and CPM had a meeting in Delhi after the EK Nayanar government was voted to power in 1980. P Parameswaran, who was in charge of the Deendayal institute, contacted EMS Namboothiripad and brought EK Nayanar to Delhi for the meeting. The book also includes RSS leader Madhukar Dattatreya Deoras’ speech at the Hindu assembly in 1987 in Delhi. In that speech, Deoras reportedly said, “For the first time, the communists said the Muslim League and ‘Christian’ Congress are communal parties and it would not make any electoral compromises. They reaped the benefits and won the election.”
However, from the national perspective, the CPM and RSS had remained at two corners. The Sangh Parivar boycotted Pinarayi Vijayan’s programme in Bhopal in 2016, and the LDF government had taken strict actions against the RSS members in the Sabarimala issue. Regarding the latter, the state has decided to withdraw non-criminal cases filed in the issue. While, both CPM and RSS haven’t admitted to their secret meeting, thanks to his efforts to bridge the gap, Sri M had become a favourite to CM Pinarayi Vijayan.