PI(M) in Kerala has come in for flak from some religious and cultural outfits over alleged depiction of saint-reformer Sree Narayana Guru as being crucified during a recent party-supported cultural procession in the politically sensitive Kannur district.
The outfits have come out against the CPI(M), which leads the LDF opposition in the state, after pictures of a tableau in which the 19th century Guru was seen “crucified” during the procession organised by party-backed ‘Balasangam’ went viral on social media. Besides depicting the Guru as fixed to a cross, his well-known message – one caste, one religion and one God for mankind was also allegedly seen “distorted” during the procession, held on Sept 5.
Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana (SNDP) Yogam, a prominent social organisation of numerically strong Ezhava community founded by the Guru, condemned the CPI(M) for the depiction.
Guru was a legendary social reformer who paved the way for renaissance in the state and any one who try to picturise him in poor light would have to face “strong consequences”, Yogam General Secretary Vellappally Natesan said.
Hundreds of SNDP activists staged a protest rally accusing CPI(M) of having “insulted” the Guru and his ideologies. Vishwa Hindu Parishad said the CPI(M)’s attempt to “humiliate” Guru was a challenge to the Hindu community.
Guru was a legendary figure who had brought Kerala from darkness to light and any attempt to tarnish him was a crime that does not deserve pardon, VHP state President S.J.R Kumar said.
Reacting to the controversy, CPI(M) State Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan denied the allegation that the party had insulted Narayana Guru.
He alleged that it was a false propaganda by RSS and BJP that CPI(M) had insulted the Guru. “The party only tried to put the correct version of Guru’s ideologies which has been distorted by RSS”, he added.
The cultural procession itself has triggered a controversy as it was viewed as part of Janmashtami Day celebration and CPI(M)’s attempt to check “erosion” of its cadre base.