T stands for Tourism in Kerala. Or is it turning into T for Terrorism now? With two suspected terrorists from Kerala getting killed in Kashmir, investigative agencies conclude that the state is now a major recruitment centre for terrorists.


The posh lifestyle of Malayali’s, coupled with the lack of enough jobs, play a major role in a large population of youth migrating to alien lands in India and abroad. The bait to earn easy money lures them under circumstances like siblings to be married off, pay off debts etc. The only thought in the minds of youngsters is to lead a lavish lifestyle back home and to invest in some small scale business. The inherent risks involved turn out to be miniature in front of the unforeseen, but tempting future that unfolds. So it can be concluded that it isn’t religious fanaticism, instead more of monetary incentive that is turning unemployed youngsters from Kerala to terror.


The changing state Governments and the centre need to look into this as a major ramification from the regular route. They need to identify and understand one of the reasons behind being the lack of industries and thereby jobs, and in turn money.


The huge percentage of Muslims though entices the terrorist organizations, aren’t the primary focus in Kerala. How else can the death of twenty eight-year-old Mohammed Yasir in Kashmir, brought up as Verghese Joseph in Kannur, be explained?


Sources say that organizations like the Lashkar-e-Toiba pay as much as Rs 25 lakh as start-up money to turn the jobless youth into jihadis. Flipping the pages of the past also shows a transformation in the minds of the youth. The Malabar Coast, once just a hub for smuggling, is now being used to transport arms and ammunition. The secular fibre has slowly begun to change in the state. The Students Islamic Movement of India and the Islamic Sevak Sangh getting banned, added fuel to the fire. The 1993 abduction and killing of a reformist named Maulavi Abul Hassan Chekannur and the subsequent delay in probe added to the sentiments of the Muslim youth. This was also taken as an advantage by Pakistan-based terror groups. The mindset of some of the youth and the logistics are two reasons for choosing Kerala as a base.


Pakistan-based groups realized that it was increasingly difficult to infiltrate into India and wage a war in Kashmir and hence, decided to recruit home-bred Jihadis. The advantages were the relative ease in sending cadres into Kashmir from India than infiltrate them through the borders. Secondly, the ISI gave an impression that the fight for Kashmir is not only restricted to Pakistan, but within India, where a large number of people shared their views on Kashmir.


The killing of two Kerala-based cadres in the Kashmir Valley is only the beginning of a new trend that is being witnessed in the battle for Kashmir. Let the government in Kerala open their eyes to analyze the dangerous trend because of unemployment and thus open the flood gates for industrialization. If not for urbanization, there will be death of secularism and corruption of the same moral fabric which has been strong enough to hold the entire Malayali Diaspora from being indifferent to each other.


Regil Krishnan

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