Public Works Minister G. Sudhakaran is in the eye of a storm over his remarks that lighting of lamps and singing of religious hymns at government programmes and functions at schools should be avoided.
“Our Constitution has no religion or caste. So there is no need to light nilavilakku (traditional lamps) during the inauguration of government programmes or at school functions,” he said while inaugurating a seminar ‘Namukku Jaathiyilla’ (We are not caste-driven), at Muthukulam in Alappuzha district on Sunday.
The CPI(M) leader said the State government did not subscribe to any particular caste or religion. The Minister claimed that he had recently seen a girl student reciting a prayer in praise of a goddess at a school function. “Though it is inappropriate, singing of prayers and lighting of lamps have become a common practice during official functions in the State,” he added. He also suggested that patriotic songs be sung during public functions, instead of religious hymns.
Several people trolled the Minister on the social media following the remarks.