Taking page out of BJP book? Cong, CPM turn to Ramayana
In Kerala, Parties Focus On Ram & Ram Rajya To Fight Sangh
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.
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