Kerala

CM condemns rise of religious fundamentalism

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday said the powerful current of humanism that animated the teachings of 19th-century social reformer Sree Narayana Guru was a panacea for the world riven by communal and racial conflicts.

Inaugurating the birth anniversary celebrations of the Renaissance leader via videoconference from Kannur, Mr. Vijayan used the occasion to condemn the rise of religious fundamentalism in Afghanistan.

He said Afghanistan was an example of what would happen to a nation consumed by religious fundamentalism. “Fundamentalism is a destructive fire that lays civilisations and nations to waste,” he said.

Only humanism could douse such destructive conflagrations. The Guru’s teachings moored to compassion, universal peace, human rights, and tolerance provided answers to the world’s woes.

Mr. Vijayan remembered the plight of the oppressed people of Palestine and the ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. He said communal hatred often reared its head in India.

“There has never been a time in history where religious fundamentalism throttled the rights of human beings at such a global scale,” he said.

The Guru had emphasised the essential oneness of humans irrespective of their race, culture, caste, creed, religion, gender or skin colour. “One caste, one religion, one God for humans” was Sree Narayana Guru’s belief system.

The LDF government had honoured the reformer’s creed via progressive action. He had overcome the powerful forces of caste in Kerala’s 19th century feudal society by spreading reason, education, enlightenment, and pacifist thought.

Mr. Vijayan said the reformer recognised caste as a convenient instrument for social and financial oppression. He fought it by emphasising Renaissance values. He mustered social consciousness against child marriage, polygamy, animal sacrifice, and other social evils of his time.

Mr. Vijayan said the Guru was above caste and religion. His teachings were universal in nature. They had a beneficial effect on all sections of society. Mr. Vijayan said it was historically inaccurate to portray the reformer as the leader of one particular caste. The seer had used religious thought as a tool to emancipate the masses.


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Printable version | Sep 21, 2021 4:03:30 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/cm-condemns-rise-of-religious-fundamentalism/article36062180.ece

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