Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to talk to Church factions

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.   | Photo Credit: S. GOPAKUMAR


State loath to use police force in places of worship.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday said the Government would talk to Orthodox and Jacobite factions in the Malankara Church to settle the ongoing conflict between the two denominations over the administration of 1,100 odd parishes in Kerala.

The Malankara Orthodox faction had earlier accused the State Government of having failed to implement the Supreme Court order on July 3 that gave the sect the right to administer a significant number of churches.

However, Jacobites had thwarted their move to take over the Kothamangalam and Piravam churches despite a massive police presence.

Mr Vijayan said the Government was unwilling to use force in places of worship lest it caused pain to believers and stirred unrest in society.

The Kerala Chief Minister said that the Government would decide whether to speak to the factions individually or separately. In Sabarimala, the police had maintained composure despite violent attacks on officers.

Mr. Vijayan said any police overreaction at a place of worship would have ominous consequences for society and would be akin to playing into the hands of fundamentalist forces that seek to exploit religious emotions for their politically divisive ends.

Mr. Vijayan said Maharashtra ruled by the BJP had used police force to facilitate the entry of women into a male-dominated temple in that State. Karnataka, where Congress-ruled, had done the same. Kerala would not go that way.

Mr. Vijayan said TDB president K. Padmakumar had no business asking women to stay away from Sabarimala till the Mandala-Makaravilakku season was over. “Nobody could say that. The Supreme Court has ruled on the issue of entry of women.

The State and all its entities were constitutionally bound to uphold the order, he said.

Mr. Vijayan said the Government had no insistence that women should worship at Sabarimala. “Faith is a private matter. But, if any woman wants to go to Sabarimala the Government will protect them”, he added.

Mr. Vijayan also corrected Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran who had reportedly echoed Mr Padmakumar’s sentiments on the entry of women during the full pilgrimage season.

He debunked a media report that post-flood rehabilitation had not happened in Kerala as claimed by the Government.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 10:22:44 PM |

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