By rejecting the Kerala Government’s tableau, featuring social reformer Sree Narayana Guru, for the Republic Day parade, the Central Government has hurt sentiments of followers of this reformer who are spread over across the State, said former Minister B. Ramanath Rai here on Sunday.
Talking to reporters, Mr. Rai said Narayana Guru fought for the welfare of the downtrodden and marginalised sections of the society and worked for their empowerment. Apart from Kerala, his followers are spread out in Dakshina Kannada and other parts of Karnataka.
Turning down the tableau of Kerala Government featuring Narayana Guru, he said, is tantamount to devaluing downtrodden and marginalized sections of the society by the Central Government. The Congress will fight to restore pride of Narayana Guru and his followers, he said.
President of Udupi Pradesh Congress Committee Ramesh Kanchan said the incident has brought out the true colour of Central Government towards the marginalised sections of the society. The BJP Government at the Centre was continuing with the policy of Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh that opposed Narayana Guru in the past, he claimed.
R. Padmaraj, treasurer of Kudroli Gokarnanatha Temple that was established by Narayana Guru, said that what has hurt followers of Narayana Guru is the reported action of the Central Government asking Kerala Government to replace the idol of reformer with that of Shankaracharya for accommodating the tableau proposed by Kerala Government in the Republic Day parade. “If the Central Government had merely rejected the proposal of Kerala government it would not have hurt us. But rejecting Kerala Government’s tabaleu as they did not replace Narayana Guru with that of Shankaracharya in the tabaleau on women’s empowerment is not a right decision,” he said.
In a statement, the Communist Party of India (Marxist), Dakshina Kannada, said the Central Government has disregarded the principle of religious equality and is espousing the cause of majority community.