Kerala

CM has widened schism between communities: Chennithala

Says CM ignored Muslim, Christian communities’ contributions

Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala on Thursday said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had ignored the storied contributions of the Muslim and Christian communities in the hard-fought struggle to achieve social reforms in Kerala.

Instead, the Chief Minister had sought to build a ‘wall of women’ to ostensibly protect enlightenment values by embracing a few preferred Hindu caste organisations over other communities which had an equal stake in transforming Kerala from a medieval society into a modern one.

At a press conference held immediately after the Assembly adjourned indefinitely in the face of strident Opposition protests, Mr. Chennithala questioned Mr. Vijayan’s contention that progressive values faced a grave and imminent threat in Kerala.

He likened the Chief Minister to the fictional Spanish knight Don Quixote who charged at windmills believing them to be giant monsters. Similarly, Mr. Vijayan was jousting against non-existent threats. His wall sought to divide people into caste lines. The Chief Minister had widened the schism between communities, the Opposition Leader said.

Berlin wall

Deputy Leader of the Opposition M.K. Muneer of the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) said Mr. Vijayan had attempted to build a Berlin wall in the minds of people by weaponising caste identity to gain short-term political advantage over the Opposition on the Sabarimala issue.

The Chief Minister’s tactical gambit was dubious and did not augur well for a secular society, Mr. Muneer said.

He alleged that K.P. Sugathan, one of the primary movers of the wall, had infamously urged the honour killing of a Hindu woman who married a Muslim man on her own volition.

Mr. Vijayan’s book on social reforms in Kerala had described Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam (SNDP) general secretary Vellappally Natesan, another champion of the Chief Minister’s cause, as a “caste maniac”, he said.

Kerala Congress (M) leader K.M. Mani said the Opposition would seek legal and political means to counter the socially divisive move of the ruling front.

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Printable version | Mar 30, 2020 8:23:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/cm-has-widened-schism-between-communities-chennithala/article25734004.ece

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