That said, a sense of hope and optimism shared by leaders of all political parties, including the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Sangh Parivar, was too palpable to miss.
All peace meetings here in the past had raised hope and scepticism in equal measure as permanent peace remained for the general public an illusion when bloodshed continued.
The peace meeting on Tuesday could not have been different. However, a genuine desire to wriggle out of this no-win situation of endless revenge-motivated violence was expressed by all sides at the meeting.
The Sangh Parivar leadership’s unequivocal response after the meet complimenting the Chief Minister for taking the peace initiative stood as a testimony to the optimistic mood generated by the peace meet.
CPI(M) district secretary P. Jayarajan told the meeting that his party would not protect party workers involved in incidents of violence. Assuring support to all peace proposals made by the Chief Minister, he urged all parties to condemn all incidents of violence.
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leader Valsan Thillankery reciprocated with similar assurance of support. He said the general sentiment in favour of restoring peace in the district required collective effort by all sides.
His organisation had already begun steps to convey the general sentiment to its rank and file, he said.
The camaraderie among rival party leaders who attended the meeting exemplified the lack of stressful mood at the meeting. More than focussing on past incidents, the leaders generally gave vent to their desire for scripting peace in the days to come.
“The peace meeting today was fruitful as all the parties expressed their longing for permanent peace,” Ports Minister Kadannappally Ramachandran told The Hindu after the meeting. That collective sentiment would yield positive results, he hoped.
The peace meeting may not mark the end of political violence in the district, but it is expected to impart a significant change in the way leadership of political parties responds to escalating situation, if the optimism of the leaders who attended the meet is anything to go by.