Thiruvananthapuram

The attack wasn’t about me: poet

Poet Kureepuzha Sreekumar at the Manaveeyam Veedhi on Sunday.  

Kerala is currently witnessing a tussle between religious terrorism and secularism, Poet Kureepuzha Sreekumar has said.

He was speaking at an event organised by the Manaveeyam Street Cultural Collective on Sunday in protest against the recent attack on the poet.

“Let’s not reduce this fight to the level of an individual. This is not about me. The recent incidents in the State, be it in Vadayambadi, or the disrespect against an artist’s body in Kochi, or the attack against me, are part of an onslaught of religious terrorism against secularism,” said the poet.

He said the right wing had over the past few days, following the attack against him, spread blatant lies to discredit him.

“The biggest weapon of the fascists are the lies that they utter. Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi propaganda minister, is their hero. They spread the lie that I disrespected Hindu Gods and that I exhorted people to destroy temples and build toilets. The audio clips of my speech at the library anniversary event are now available. I spoke there on how children should be made to read the Bible, Quran, Bhagwad gita, Communist manifesto and all other possible books, so that they grow up as good human beings,” said Mr. Sreekumar.

He said the concerns regarding the shrinking public spaces and a temple’s usurping of a public space used by the lower castes in Vadayambadi had led the right wingers to attack him.

“In Kerala, many of the public spaces are being taken over in the name of religion. This is what happened in Vadayambadi too. How did the religious terrorists get the courage to attack those who gathered there for a dalit rights convention? A week before that, they managed to show their strength by forcing the Lalithakala Akademi to shift artist Ashanthan’s body to a verandah behind the akademi. That success emboldened them,” he said.

Mr. Sreekumar said the vicious propaganda through posters online and offline was unleashed against him by religious terrorists.

“The latest series of posters accuse me of accepting funds from Pakistan. They should at least try to spread believable lies. I draw inspiration right from Charvaka to our contemporary poets. All that they can do is to kill me. They cannot kill the ideas of Charvaka or those who came after him,” he said.

Against fascism

Dozens of volunteers and activists sang poems, drew pictures and joined hands in a signature campaign against emerging fascist tendencies at the Manaveeyam Veedhi here on Sunday. The novel protest was organised by the Kerala Sastra Sahitya Parishad.


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Printable version | Oct 24, 2021 6:57:13 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/the-attack-wasnt-about-me-poet/article22727164.ece

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