Shocking news gripped the United Kingdom when a 73-year-old man named Aravindan Balakrishnan (aka Comrade Bala) was arrested on suspicion of holding three women captive in a south London flat for 30 years. According to the UK press, the victims were brainwashed by the Marxist Comrade Bala, held against their wishes for years, and were often beaten by Balakrishnan and his wife.
The three victims were Josephine Herivel (daughter of a renowned Bletchley Park codebreaker during the Second World War), Aishah Wahab (a Colombo plan scholar who came to Britain to study in 1968) and Sian Davies, who died in 1997 (a high-flying law student who studied at Cheltenham Ladies’ College). Having an academic discussion about Marxism is one thing but taking it to the extreme is disconcerting to say the least. Furthermore, the victims being western educated individuals rekindles the point that Communism is not reserved exclusively for the typical Chinese chauvinist but also Western intellectuals who are equally attracted to the ideology.
In a weird turn of events, the perpetrator of this heinous crime is apparently a Singaporean so obsessed with Marxist ideology that he left for England to set up a commune in the 1960s. By the 1970s, he had worked his way up and became a member of the Communist party of England's central committee. However, he soon left the party in 1974 and set up a separatist group styled as a direct component of Maoist China, calling on the Red army to come to south London to liberate working people.
Because of his Marxist ideology, the Singapore government deemed him to be pursuing "activities that are prejudicial to the security of Singapore" and stripped of his Singapore citizenship for his close ties with Eurocommunists in 1977 (see below for newspaper clippings). Was this a blessing in disguise for Singapore? No one can say for certain but history has its unique way of eventually unravelling the truth.
Another interesting point observed was the time period (1960s) in which Balakrishnan left for England. If we recall it was in 1963 that Operation Coldstore was launched to counteract the spread of Communism in Malaya. Was Aravindan Balakrishnan one of those Communists who slipped past the security dragnet and escaped to the United Kingdom?