Tak­ing page out of BJP book? Cong, CPM turn to Ra­mayana

In Ker­ala, Par­ties Fo­cus On Ram & Ram Ra­jya To Fight Sangh

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - TIMES NATION -

TIMES Thiru­vanan­tha­pu­ram: For the first time in Ker­ala, politics is be­ing played out over Ra­mayana. The two prin­ci­pal par­ties, CPM and Con­gress, are try­ing to outdo each other in cel­e­brat­ing the epic dur­ing the holy month of Karkkadakam be­gin­ning July 17. In­ter­est­ingly, one of the ob­jec­tives of this month-long ex­er­cise is to counter the grow­ing in­flu­ence of BJP-RSS.

Dur­ing Karkkadakam or the ‘Ra­mayana month’, the epic is read daily in most Hindu homes in the be­lief that it will help ward off de­pri­va­tion and ail­ments brought on by the mon­soon. While CPM has planned lec­tures which will in­tro­duce the ‘real’ Lord Ram to the pub­lic, the state Con­gress’s cul­tural wing, the Vichar Vib­hag, will at­tempt “lib­er­a­tion of Ra­mayana from the clutches of Hindu na­tion­al­ists”.

On July 17, the first day of Karkkadakam, Thiruva- nan­tha­pu­ram MP Shashi Tha­roor will de­liver the key­note ad­dress at the in­au­gu­ral at Gandhi Bha­van. “This is the first time that we are ar­rang­ing Ra­mayana events dur­ing Karkkadakam,” said Ne­du­mudi Hariku­mar, chair­man of Vichar Vib­hag. “We will fo­cus on the con­cept of Ram Ra­jya that Ma­hatma Gandhi prop­a­gated. We will ex­am­ine the con­cept in de­tail,” said Hariku­mar.

CPM will be indi­rectly as­so­ci­ated with Ra­mayana lec­tures con­ducted by Sam­skritha Sang­ham, which has com­mit­tees in all the 14 dis­tricts, with ma­jor­ity of district con­ven­ers be­ing ei­ther CPM mem­bers or fel­low trav­ellers. Ker­ala’s Devas­wom min­is­ter Kadakam­pally said RSS and BJP had been us­ing Ra­mayana as a tool to grab power.

CPM sources clar­i­fied that these lec­tures, pur­port- edly pre­sented from a sub­al­tern point of view, will de­sist from “hurt­ing sen­ti­ments of devo­tees”.

Sam­skritha Sang­ham was con­sti­tuted a year ago by a group of aca­demics and his­to­ri­ans based on their love for San­skrit. “There is no change in the stand of the party even now. Many of us will co­op­er­ate with the ac­tiv­i­ties of Sam­skritha Sang­ham, which is a sec­u­lar and pro­gres­sive fo­rum of those who love San­skrit. They work hard to counter the mis­in­ter­pre­ta­tion of San­skrit and Pu­ranas by Sangh Pari­var forces,” said CPM state com­mit­tee mem­ber K Si­vadasan.

Sources in CPM said the pro­posal to as­so­ciate with Ra­mayana lec­tures was dis­cussed in the last state com­mit­tee meet­ing and the party lead­er­ship felt that CPM cadres should ac­tively en­gage with the project to re­sist Sangh Pari­var’s at­tempt to com­mu­nalise so­ci­ety us­ing the Ra­mayana.

N Narasimha Murthy


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