IN ORDER TO UNDERSTAND THE STATE where TP Chandrasekharan, a dissident former Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPM) leader, was brutally murdered in early May, a brief introduction to Kerala may be in order.
It is a green and beautiful country, packed with some of the most desirable middle- and upper-class homes in India; towns and cities teem with state-of-the art merchandise; high-end tourism flourishes in exotic, manufactured worlds; thousands of educational institutions dot the landscape; gigantic super-hospitals appeal to you with neon hoardings; and that ubiquitous three-letter word, BAR, glows in enticing red everywhere you turn.
Three entrenched religions show off their superlative god-ware in ostentatious houses of worship, crowded with armies of followers. Money comes home to roost from non-resident Malayalis across the world, and annual remittances add up to more than five times the state’s budget. India’s most wealthy jewellers and highest per capita consumption of gold belong here.