Christians and Muslims in Kerala were on a war path to sabotage this year’s Ayyappa worship at Sabarimala. The goons of these two communities were, as if, on a contract to create confusion and to disrupt the holy Hindu rituals. It became a handy tool for the Left Front state government to make a tasty dish out of it. Thus, everything was planned with a politically communal angle.
Thus went the acerbic public claim of an RSS Keralite in order to give a communal and politically seasoned colour to the horrific street drama unleashed by Ayyappa devotees with the benevolent support of fundamentalist Hindu factions and parties. Almost all media channels and reports have refuted such tendentious arguments and claims which were evidently meant to prepare the Hindu community for the forthcoming 2019 elections.
BJP has been on the lookout for more than a foothold in this southernmost state. As in the case of the Ayodhya issue, the BJP-RSS combine needed a communal ploy to colourwash Kerala with its saffron shade. So, it got into the Ayyappa bandwagon and cried foul at the Supreme Court’s order of allowing women devotees to the Ayyappa temple. Some fanatics used un-parliamentary language against the judges and made murderous statements like: ‘the women who attempted such devotional pilgrimage would be cut into pieces, one part to be sent to the judge and the other to the State government.’ Such war cries were meant to provoke terror, destabilize the state government and cast unholy aspersions on the judicial system.
Now, after having created not just law and order problem but confusion and terror, the fundamentalists want to destabilize the minority communities. Such wayward tendencies have taken their toll in India’s northern states. The nation has witnessed communal flare ups and murderous attacks on minority personnel, their worshipping places and institutions in Hindu dominated Hindi heartland.
But, will such patronised and organised criminal conspiracy work in Kerala is a moot question. The votaries of Hindu communal fanaticism should need to be educated into the knowledge of Kerala’s historical past. For centuries different communities, Hindus, Christians and Muslims have been living peacefully, respecting one another’s rites and rituals, modes of worship and way of life. Even certain festivals like Onam are being celebrated as social events by all communities. Churches, mosques and temples have existed in close vicinity. People never felt that one was a Hindu, another was a Christian or a Muslim sitting next to them in the auto or bus. Such fellow feeling and harmonious living have been the strength of Kerala’s cultural and social vibrancy and cohesion.
Such a vibrancy of communal harmony is not felt or seen in Hindu dominated north Indian states. In that part of the world, one is recognized not by one’s name, but by one’s caste or religion. It is such caste/communal discrimination that the Hindu fundamentalists want to transplant into Kerala’s soil by attempting to saffronise it and by poisoning the minds of Malayalee Hindus.
The Sangh Parivar’s proverbial hatred for communist ideology is another lump in its throat. It is said that the moment BJP set foot in Kerala, attempts to divide people on caste and religion were afoot like the Chinese fast food. Its coloured glass makes it uneasy to see Hindus as Marxists, or Christians relating to Hindus in fraternal amity or Muslims and Hindus sitting together sipping tea. The hate wave in UP against Muslims and Christians is surreptitiously being transported wagonloads to Kerala to pollute the peaceful political and social atmosphere of the state.
The minions of such political manoeuvring should ask themselves who were in the forefront of daring acts to save the lives of the affected people during the recent flood havoc. People of all communities plunged themselves into raging waters, forming a human chain, to rescue the victims without asking who among the victims was a Hindu, who was a Muslim or a Christian. They should be ashamed to know that it was reportedly a Muslim who bent down on hands and legs making his back a footstool for Hindu women and children, among others, to climb into the waiting boat. He never bothered to ask if the victims were of his fraternity or not. All know that those Christian fishermen who dared the roaring life-threatening ocean waves, even ignoring administration’s warnings, rescued men of all faiths. Their concern was to save human lives, not to save Christians only or Muslims only. Where were the RSS cadres and volunteers in such calamitous situation? Plying empty hooded vehicles and displaying relief banners to impress people about hectic relief operations? True or not, such items were reported in the press.
The motor-mouths who demonstrate their lung power to create anti-minority atmosphere and to inflate Hindu feelings should read the reports about Sabarimala temple which was once burnt down. Reports say that 123 years ago Sabarimala was reduced to ashes by fire and the then king of Travancore wanted to restore it. No Hindu devotees, contractors or tantris turned up to take up the tender. It was Polachirackal Tharakan Christian family in Mavelikara, which responded to undertake the temple reconstruction. (Wikipedia, ‘Chitrayogam’ by Leena Chandran in Malayala Manorama, 5th May, 2013). With a workforce of 450 labourers and artists and braving wild animals and negotiating unfamiliar jungle terrain, the work was completed. So, according to reports, where the Hindu devotees and the tantris did not raise a finger to restore their Ayyappa temple, it was a Christian family which showed grit and devotion to reconstruct the temple. Now come the detractors to spread the canard that the recent trouble at Ayyappa temple was due to the conspiracy of the Christians and the Muslims. No person with an iota of brain will mouth such accusation. Only brain-damaged folks can indulge in such foolish verbal diarrhoea.
It is surprising to note that the concluding rituals at Sabarimala needed 5000 strong police and paramilitary force to prevent untoward incidents. This first ever trooping in the history of the state for a temple worship only portents dangerous communal trends with political reverberations!
The attempt of the BJP-RSS group to vitiate the social and political situation in Kerala cannot be accepted. Sensible Malayalees, be they Hindus, Christians, Muslims or Adivasis, will give a fitting answer not just at the hustings but at every nook and curve in peaceful and democratic ways.(Published on 05th November 2018, Volume XXX, Issue 45)