The Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee’s Vichar Vibhag, an outfit originally conceived to provide intellectual inputs to the party and its feeder organisations, has apparently burnt its fingers over its move to observe “Ramayana Month.”
Following strong opposition from various quarters, the Vichar Vibhag hastily called off the month-long programmes which was scheduled to start from July 17, the first days of the Malayalam month of Karkidakam.
Various spiritual organisations usually observe Ramayana Month, which is considered the most inauspicious of the 12 months in the Malayalam calendar.
During the last several years, many organisations with affinity towards the Sangh Parivar had been observing Ramayana Month, which usually witnesses elaborate ritualistic readings from the Ramayana.
What prompted the Vichar Vibhag to announce its Ramayana Month programmes was the reported moves of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)] to organise events during the inauspicious month. CPI(M) State secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, however, denied such a move.
He disowned the Sanskrit Sangh, an organisation purportedly dominated by Left wing scholars, which had announced its plans to organise events.
But the Congress Vichar Vibhag, however, announced the programme, which listed Shashi Tharoor, MP, and Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala as the main participants. According to Congress sources, the aim was to organise events focused on the political and literary relevance of the Hindu epic, Ramayana.
Former KPCC president K. Muraleedharan was the first to criticise the decision in strong terms.
He said it was not correct to use religious motifs for a few votes. Observing Ramayana Month was not the best way to face political opponents, he said and added that the matter was not discussed at the KPCC level or by the party’s political affairs committee.
Another KPCC former president V.M. Sudheeran too came out strongly.
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