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Be wary of communal forces: VS

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In Guru’s memory: Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan inaugurating the 77th Sivagiri Theerthadana Sammelan at Sivagiri in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday. Leader of the Opposition Oommen Chandy, P.T. Thomas, MP, Swami Prakasananda and Varkala Kahar, MLA, are seen.
In Guru’s memory: Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan inaugurating the 77th Sivagiri Theerthadana Sammelan at Sivagiri in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday. Leader of the Opposition Oommen Chandy, P.T. Thomas, MP, Swami Prakasananda and Varkala Kahar, MLA, are seen.

Special Correspondent

Chief Minister asks people to uphold secular values

VARKALA: Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan on Wednesday asked the people to guard against those using communal and religious considerations to protect the vested interests of the privileged sections of society.

Inaugurating the 77th Sivagiri pilgrimage here, Mr. Achuthanandan said community and religion were being used as weapons to safeguard the interests of the privileged.

The struggle for leadership in the organisations floated in the name of Sree Narayana Guru was no different, he said.

Sivagiri pilgrims should cleanse their mind, body and soul as taught by the Guru. Those leading the pilgrimage should do introspection on whether they were eligible to take up such tasks, he said.

All pilgrimages in India have religious linkages. The Sivagiri pilgrimage stood out for its secular nature, Mr. Achuthanandan said.

The Guru’s philosophy touched all aspects of life, including education, hygiene, agriculture, trade, devotion to God, organisation and technical knowledge.

This was aimed at making life more meaningful. The pilgrims should do a critical evaluation to find out whether they have done justice to the Guru and his teachings.

He said the Guru had rocked the foundations of priesthood.

The installation of the Siva idol was a challenge to the caste system and upheld secular values. Pilgrims should submit themselves for a cleansing process through the pilgrimage, he said.

Leader of the Opposition Oommen Chandy, in his keynote address, warned against alcoholism, which, he said, was threatening to defeat all achievements the State had made over a period of time. He reminded the gathering of President Prathiba Patil’s recent call against the growing menace.

The creditable gains made by the State in education, health and other sectors should be attributed to the Guru. His teachings had cast a profound influence in all walks of life and led to remarkable achievements in social, financial and cultural realms.

To sustain such achievements, efforts should be made to create an awareness against alcoholism, he said.

Sree Narayana Dharma Sanghom Trust president Swami Prakashananda presided. General secretary Swami Rithambarananda welcomed the gathering.

P.T. Thomas, MP, Varkala Kahar, MLA, Varkala municipal chairman K.R. Biju and representative of Sree Narayana Guru Society of Sri Lanka K. Jayakumar also attended the inaugural function.

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