Kerala

Balan’s ‘munafiqun’ comment kicks up a row

Expunging of Minister’s remarks from records sought

The Opposition on Thursday kicked up a row in the Assembly over what they highlighted as the “religiously alienating and socially schismatic” observation by Culture Minister A.K. Balan on the pro-devotee position of the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) on the issue of the entry of women between the age of 10 and 50 to Sabarimala.

The Minister stirred up the political controversy when he asked how the IUML, a party of the faithful opposed to idol worship and pantheism, could support the Congress on the issue. His controversial comment came during the Minister’s reply to the discussion on the Kerala Police Amendment Bill, 2018.

Mr. Balan said Prophet Muhammad taught the faithful not to be “munafiqun”, a group condemned in Koran as hypocrites who donned the garb of Muslims but were in reality non-believers. The IUML, which swears by Islamic faith, should not debase itself thus.

The Opposition rose up angrily in protest at the Minister's words. Congress legislator V.D. Satheeshan raised a point of order, drawing the attention of Speaker P. Sreeramakrishnan to what he said was a violation of the regulations of the House.

SPC’s appointment

The government and the Opposition also sparred on the appointment of Loknath Behera as State Police Chief.

Mr. Balan said the BJP and the Congress unjustly singled out upright officers.

The House passed the Bill by voice vote. It allows the State Police Complaints Authority chairperson, singly or with other two members to adjudicate on public grievances against the law enforcement.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2020 4:24:48 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/balans-munafiqun-comment-kicks-up-a-row/article25682928.ece

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