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Secularism in peril in State: Joseph

Staff Reporter
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Kerala’s secular credentials are in peril with even political parties making use of religion to meet their goals, Minister for Cultural Affairs K.C. Joseph has said.

He was speaking after inaugurating a two-day national seminar on ‘Secular view in social life’ organised by the Kerala Folklore Academy at Town Hall, here, on Saturday.

Now, Mr. Joseph said, Kerala was secular only on the outside. Internal turbulence on communal issues was on the rise. “We must think of the observations made by Swami Vivekananda who dubbed the State a lunatic asylum,” he said.

Expressing deep concern over the “changing colour of Kerala’s communal scenario,” Mr. Joseph said religion was becoming a tool in the hands of a few persons to protect their interests and to cover up their misdeeds. According to Mr. Joseph, political campaigns based on religious sentiments will only putting at stake the State’s much-admired communal harmony. “Keralites should take note of the trend and act cautiously to guard our tradition of co-existence,” he demanded.

Delivering the presidential address, Kerala Folklore Academy Chairman B. Mohammed Ahammed said Kerala was once considered a model for hosting various religious events together. “Hindu and Muslim communities used to come together for religious rituals and celebrations,” he pointed out.

M.K. Raghavan was the chief guest of the function. District Collector K.V. Mohan Kumar and former Vice-Chancellor of Kannada University B.A. Vivek Roy spoke.

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