Saddam joined the pantheon of third world heroes on Saturday, as Communist parties and Islamic groups joined hands to condemn the execution. Both the ruling party and the Opposition called for a half-day strike in Kerala. Effigies of US President George W Bush was burnt across the state. Local TV channels and newspapers declared him a martyr.
Deshabhimani, a Malayalam daily and a CPI(M) organ, ran an editorial on Saddam titled Lal Salaam. Even CPI minister Binoy Vishwam wrote a column in another daily.
The Indian Union Muslim League, alarmed at the pace the communists are tapping its impregnable vote bank, rose up to market Saddam.
Saddam was the CPI(M)'s poster boy in the recent Assembly polls and last month's Assembly bypoll in Thiruvambadi.