His detractors say Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana (SNDP) Yogam general secretary Vellappally Natesan tries to infuse Hindutva into the reformist legacy of Sree Narayana Guru, but Mr. Natesan is unsparing when applying his personal standards to issues, events and individuals. He says the March 30 general council meeting of the Yogam will take a stand on the elections. Excerpts of an interview:
Question: What are the emerging election trends in Kerala?
Answer: Look at the candidates’ list of both the UDF and the LDF. The LDF has reserved 10 seats for candidates from minority communities and the UDF for nine. And they both talk about equal justice. Are they not hoodwinking the backward classes and Dalits? Is this social justice?
Q: You have attacked the LDF saying the seats allotted to Independents are ‘payment seats’. Why?
A: Why did the LDF choose its so-called Independents from one particular community? Have they ever contributed anything for the Left politics or the State in general? Comparing these candidates with Joseph Mundassery and V.R. Krishna Iyer means showing extreme disrespect to such great personalities. Why was an Ezhava or a Dalit not selected? Look at the bio-data of these Independents. They were simply fortune-seekers.
Q: You are approaching the candidates’ lists with a community and caste-based arithmetic. Why are you so intolerant towards minorities?
A: I am not against minorities or talented persons from those communities. For instance, I admire P.T. Thomas because he is a good parliamentarian. He asked numerous questions in Parliament and took part in debates. He also used the MP fund effectively. After all, he is a great friend of Ezhavas. He took steps to spread Sree Narayana Guru’s vision across the country. But he was sent to political wilderness because he criticised the bishops.
Q: The SNDP was part of the High Range Protection council in the initial days. Why this after-thought?
A: We never took a stand in favour of mining mafias and those who plunder forests. Our only concern was the poor farmers. The Samithi has now lost its way. Is the LDF candidate in Idukki a real LDF candidate? He seems to be the nominee of the Church. If Narendra Modi emerges frontrunner in the election, the Church would bargain with the BJP and sell the support of the LDF if elected, to taste a share of power. The LDF would lose its face then.
Q: Why are you so harsh on the Left, but not so with the UDF?
A: The Left has abandoned the working class and the toiling millions. I have great regard for Pinarayi Vijayan as an able organiser. But, now a coterie with low sensitivity to the working class is dictating terms to him and so he is acting on behalf of bishops. Mr. Vijayan would be ultimately the loser. It seems the iron man is melting. See the way he is pleading with smaller groups such as the INL and the NCP to stay with the LDF.
Q: Will the Nair Service Society (NSS) play any role in the electoral outcome in at least a few constituencies?
A: Not at all. Most Nairs do not follow the NSS and its general secretary G. Sukumaran Nair. He shot into fame only after he started taking my advice. Now he is against me and the larger Hindu unity.
Q: What about the IUML?
A: At least the Industries Minister and Education Minister are extremely courteous to us. Our differences have narrowed down. They are giving us whatever is legitimately ours.
Q: Are you supporting Narendra Modi at the national level?
A: We are not supporting any political party. But, you have to wait till March 30, when SNDP general council meets to finalise election strategies. As far as Mr. Modi is concerned, I have never considered him a political untouchable. He is like any other leader. That does not mean I support him blindly.
I have never considered Narendra Modi a