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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Controversy involving G Sukumaran Nair and Ramesh Chennithala takes a new turn

Controversy in Kerala politics on the statement of Nair Service Society General Secretary G Sukumaran Nair that Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy had subverted the appointment of KPCC President Ramesh Chennithala in a key post in the ministry has taken a new turn with Chennithala and Nair clarifying their stand and other community leaders joining the issue.

Nair had also revealed that there had been a pact between Congress high command and NSS that if a minority member was appointed Kerala chief minister a majority community member would be given an equally important post in ministry to ensure communal balance.

SNDP leader Vellappally Natesan and Dheevara Sabha (organization of Hindu fishermen in Kerala) leader V Dinakaran have come up with support to Nair conditionally. A section of Congress leaders meanwhile have lashed out at NSS for its interference in what they feel as sole prerogative of the Congress. CPM leaders said NSS general secretary’s statement showed that NSS has become an organization of Nairs who work in Congress. Some Nair leaders in Congress said NSS has deteriorated as an organization for raising demands for a single leader (ie Ramesh Chennithala)

Chennithala’s stand
Ramesh Chennithala at a press conference clarified that KPCC does not know about a pact with NSS. Chennithala said Nair should not have dragged my name into his statements. Without naming any particular organization, Chennithala said religious and caste leadership in Kerala should not cross the Rubicon while raising their demands. He said he had clarified his stand that he does not want to join Kerala cabinet and there was no change in it. In another very important observation, he said there is an organized move to tarnish his secular credentials. According to him, he was a staunch congressman who had held several important posts in the party in Kerala and at national level.
Chennithala at the same time said Sukumaran Nair has perfect right to publicise his opinions and Congress does not want to attack him on that aspect.

Sukumaran Nair’s clarification
Reacting to Chennithala, Nair said Chennithala was forced to make the statements. He pointed out that the pact NSS made was with Congress high command and not with KPCC.
Sukumaran Nair rejected allegations that NSS had suggested the name of Ramesh Chennithala to Congress High Command. According to him it was high command that suggested Chennithala’s name as a representative of Hindus in Kerala to be posted in a key position to maintain communal balance. NSS in no way raised its voice for a single leader. Nair said no political party has the right to force shut the mouth of leaders of social organizations.
Vellappally said he is of the opinion that if there was a pact between NSS and Congress it should have to be honoured. Where were the Congress leaders who demand restraint from leaders of social organizations when Muslim League demanded fifth minister? He asked.

Aftermath of the controversy

Meanwhile it is evident that Oommen Chandy group in the Congress would fortify its defenses against Chennithala to nip in the bud any aspirations of Chennithala aimed at chief minister post.
Idukki district committee of KSU (student organization of Congress) passed a resolution criticizing NSS and Sukumaran Nair. There had been protests against Chennithala at some places by unnamed groups. It does not seem that these groups are isolated incidents. There is a pattern in the reactions against Chennithala. Suddenly Chennithala’s name has been dragged into a corruption controversy in defense sector in Kerala.

It is likely that Chennithala would also step up his efforts to protect his image and interests. It seems his statement that there is an organized effort to tarnish his image is aimed at reminding those who secretly plan against him that he has realized their misadventure and is powerful enough to thwart such moves. His opponents are likely to include those inside and outside Congress who want to sideline him.
Meanwhile those who want to control the bargaining power of Nair Service Society may devise methods to achieve it. It seems that their usual strategy of Pitching SNDP against NSS may not work this time as Sukumaran Nair and Vellappally are in a need based alliance and may not easily part. It is likely that Muslim League or Kerala Congress (Mani) may not raise their voice against NSS as they are afraid that it would lead to a Hindu unity.
Perhaps there will be a move in near future by anti-NSS force to help Dalit organizations in Kerala form a coalition and raise their demands to curb bargaining power of NSS.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

NSS leader Sukumaran Nair demands key post to Ramesh Chennithala at Thiruvananthapuram taluk NSS meet

NSS general secretary G Sukumaran Nair has said that the promise given to NSS by Congress leadership to give key posts in state cabinet to leaders from majority community has not been honoured and the Congress high command needs to take immediate steps to accommodate a person like Ramesh Chennithala to a key post to correct the communal imbalance. Nair warned that Oommen Chandy lead govt would find it difficult to continue antagonizing NSS.
Sukumaran Nair said this at a mammoth rally of Nair Service Society at Thiruvananthapuram held on January 27 evening. Attacking Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy directly, Nair said it was not anybody’s magnanimity to post leaders from majority community to key posts. (While Hindus constitute 55 per cent of Kerala population, Muslims and Christians constitute around45 per cent)

NSS’s discussions with Congress High Command
Disclosing a confidential report submitted by AICC leader Vilasrao Deshmukh to Sonia Gandhi, Nair said the six page report had noted the demand of NSS and it was because of this that Ramesh Chennithala was asked by high command to contest the last assembly elections. Why did a KPCC president contest assembly election when usually it was not the norm, asked Nair.

It was because of the NSS demand that communal balance and social justice be maintained that High Command approved the candidature of Chennithala. NSS had demanded that if a member of minority community was made chief minister of Kerala when UDF got majority, then a member of majority community be given a key post in the cabinet and with this idea in mind Ramesh was asked to contest. Nair pointed out that it was not the magnanimity of Oommen Chandy that Ramesh contested. High command approved Chennithala’s candidature not Oommen Chandy, said Nair.

If UDF managed to win last assembly election in Kerala by winning 72/140 seats it was also because of the fact that people like Chennithala contested and organizations like Nair  Service  Society supported. In at least 12 seats NSS worked very hard to make UDF win. In scores of other seats Nairs were influenced by the pro-UDF stand taken by NSS.

NSS stand on Oommen Chandy
But after winning elections the UDF had totally forgotten promises given to Nair community, said Nair. He said whenever Oommen Chandy was asked about non-inclusion of Chennithala, he said the latter was requested to join but he did not accept the demand. Outright rejection of possibility of cabinet reconstitution by chief minister Oommen Chandy is mere arrogance. It is not only the chief minister who decides on reconstitution. Is not there any role for KPCC president and Congress High Command in issues related to reconstitution? Asked Nair.

Oommen Chandy’s stand on reconstitution amounts to belittling majority community in Kerala, said Nair. He added that Oommen Chandy is siding with the interests of minority communities in the state. He cannot rule the state this way for long, reminded NSS general secretary.
Speaking on NSS-SNDP unity, Nair said none could do any harm to Nair-Ezhava unity. NSS and SNDP will fight together for common causes of majority community, Nair said. He said NSS would think of sending a delegation to meet Congress high command if its demands were not met. NSS expects that Congress central leadership would initiate a  discussion with us, said Nair.

Recounting union defense minister A.K. Antony’s statement at Mannam Jayanthi celebrations at Changanasseri, Sukumaran Nair said Antony had asked those in key positions to ensure social justice and communal balance to maintain communal harmony in the state. That was Antony’s stand even when he was the chief minister of Kerala but he had lost his post for saying it. Currently Antony is occupying a very high post and none could harm him, noted Nair.

Secularism and Democracy
Pointing out the ideals of NSS, Nair said the two cornerstones on which NSS is built are Secularism and Democracy. Nair Service Society takes decisions on the basis of democratic discussions at different levels. Similarly NSS never tries to take away rights of other communities in the state or do anything that antagonizes others. None could accuse of NSS being communal.
But When NSS responds on social issues, some people are trying to communalise things. He pointed out that NSS did not say that Muslim League should not be given fifth minister post. But NSS said that post be given only after ensuring communal balance and social justice. What is wrong in it? He asked.

Again when NSS says the demand that private 32 schools in one particular district belonging to one particular community be converted government aided schools, some people are trying to give it a communal tone?
Why should Nair be afraid of commenting on things that affects Nairs? He asked.
He said NSS issued statements only after considering different aspects and once a stand on issues was taken Nairs have the capacity to see that it prevails.  He pointed out that NSS had won two out of three cases filed by it in Kerala high court on issues in education sector.

Padmanabha Swamy temple and Guruvayoor temple
In the issue of treasure of Padmanabha Swamy temple NSS stand was it should be kept at the temple itself. There were many others who cried that it be used for other purposes. But it was the stand of NSS which prevailed. NSS had also successfully fought against a stand of government that 100 meters of land adjacent to Guruvayoor temple be acquired,said Nair.
Had the move to acquire land adjacent to Guruvayoor temple succeeded it would have negatively impacted Guruvayoor temple, Nair said. The land proposed to be acquired belonged to Hindus who were actively involved in several customs at the temple and protected the temple. The land beyond this is owned by minorities and if Guruvayoor temple land borders land of minorities it would have resulted in problems, he said.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Kerala being ruled by minority religious groups: NSS general secretary Sukumaran Nair

NSS general secretary G Sukumaran Nair today observed that Kerala is now witnessing rule by minority groups. Nair said a leader from majority community belonging to the Congress party should lead the state administration.

Sukumaran Nair’s assertion on minority rule in Kerala points to the continuing complaint among the Hindu community in the state that the ruling Congress lead united democratic front is giving a raw deal to Hindus in the state. SNDP Yogam leader Vellappally Natesan had also expressed similar opinion recently. SNDP and NSS represent more than 80 per cent of Hindus in Kerala.

Speaking to a Malayalam Channel, Nair said the chief minister of state Oommen Chandy, industries minister P.K Kunhalikkutty and finance minister K.M Mani who all belong to minority Christian and Muslim communities are controlling Kerala administration.

This is a strange situation and to ensure social justice a leader from majority community should become the head of state administration, said Nair. While minorities constitute around 45 per cent of population of Kerala, Hindus constitute around 55 per cent of population. Among the minorities, Muslim population in Kerala is calculated to be just over 26 percent of the state’s population and Christians constitute the rest.

Speaking on the controversy of Ramesh Chennithala being denied a post in Kerala cabinet, Sukumaran Nair said the opinion of union minister Vayalar Ravi that A-group in the Congress lead by Oommen Chandy subverted the move could be right.
Recently there had been reports that while Congress reconstituted its district committees leaders from minority communities have been made presidents of majority of 14 district committees.

Kerala’s changing demography which is marked by the increase in Muslim population in the state is slowly changing the power equations in the state according to NSS. While Hindu, Christian and Muslim groups used to coordinate with each other earlier to share power, the increasing population of Muslim community has resulted in their demand for more representation. That means others would lose. This is likely to raise more issues in the coming future.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Religious conversions and Love marriages among Nair girls in the context of allegations of Love Jihad in Kerala

A few years ago wife of a government official who belongs to an ancient Nair family in Kerala was travelling in a bus from Thiruvananthapuram to a central Travancore town through Main Central Road when she accidentally saw a beggar woman resembling her sister in law by the wayside between Kottarakkara and Adoor.
Her sister in law (Let us call her Mayoora for the sake of narration) had earlier eloped with a trader and the whole family had lost contacts with her. Immediately she asked the driver to stop got down from the bus and returned to the spot where she found Mayoora. After a frantic search she caught hold of the her. Mayoora was wearing a tattered Purdha but her face was not covered. She spoke little and after much persuasion agreed to board a car which her sister in law hired. Mayoora was taken to police station who verified that she was indeed the sister in law of the government’ official’s wife and allowed her to take her home.

Victim of Love
Mayoora was initially admitted to a hospital as she was weak. Eventually she spoke of her plight. She had eloped with a young handsome Muslim guy who introduced himself as a wealthy businessman. He was different from Mayoora’s orthodox father who had always boasted about their glorious past but had little to give her. His wealth was spent for educating two elder children but they gave little in return to their parents or sister. During their days of love the guy introduced her to a gamut of pleasures hitherto forbidden to her. They had secretly met at different places and travelled together in costly cars and bikes. He kindled hopes of a heavenly life in her and one day they eloped.
The first thing he did was to convert her to Islam to facilitate marriage. She was more than willing. Soon she realized what life inside the Purdah means. Her husband was not as rich as she thought. The honeymoon ended and gone were cars. She had to toil day and night in a family in an alien culture where she was mocked for her ignorance. She slowly realized that her husband had other wives also. Here her options were closed. The new religion has no space for revolt. She reconciled to her fate. She was subjected to exploitation and did not remember how she ended up in the street.

Neglect of victim by family
Slowly she recovered at hospital. But she did not realize that a new danger awaits her from her relatives. Her father had died in grief following her elopement. Now she had only her mother to help her and of course a benevolent sister in law. But her two brothers were reluctant to totally accept her back to home as they thought she brought disgrace to the whole family.

Her benevolent sister in law wanted to take her back to home and argued for her but had to retreat following opposition from relatives. Meanwhile her family had received threatening calls from extremists groups which wanted to make her return to husband. Finally her family found a solution regarding her future stay; She was to be rehabilitated at a Woman’s home run by a voluntary organization. The brave girl refused to return with her husband.
This was told to me by her neighbours. This happened in real life and those who told me might have exaggerated a little bit. But incident is real. Similar incidents are reported from several places in Kerala. Recently a report by Kalakaumudi weekly on Love Jihad said from 2009 to 2012 3812 people converted to Islam from Hinduism in Kerala and 1596 are young women. A significant number of converted women were Nairs.
The issue of ‘Love Jihad’ was even taken up by Kerala High Court once which asked Kerala police to investigate it? But Kerala Police gave a report to court that it did not find evidence of organized groups working for Love Jihad? I am not going into the merit of Kerala police investigation. But the issue needs further investigation and why can’t NSS and SNDP press for it?

How to counter love traps?
What is the significance of this incident for Nairs? How should we behave when we find our girls are trapped in Love. First of all let us bring up our daughters making them aware of traditional values. Even then in this free world we cannot insist that our daughter marries only those we suggest. But if we make them aware they would ask their lover
 “Why Should I Convert to Marry My Lover? Why Can’t I Practice My Faith and Love You? Now She Should Ask Herself Why Can’t The Lover Convert to Hinduism? If The Lover Is Genuine I am Sure He Will Be Willing To Convert To Hinduism to marry her. If our daughters love decent educated guys from other religions, we can think of agreeing to their marriage provided they converted to Hindusim and take membership in Nair organizations. This attitude will rattle Jihadis. We need to counter them using their own strategy.
If we find one of our girls who is a victim of Love trap in difficulty take her back to home and accept her fully. She should not be disowned. She needs our care. If we ignore her we will lose one member. That is what extremists and Jihadis want. Discard our pride. We need to protect our women. In early days Namboothiris ousted from home Antharjanams (their women) who were touched by lower castes. This foolish attitude resulted in Namboothiris losing their women and eventually their population decreased. Nairs should not emulate Namboothiris. We need intelligent strategies and organize ourselves to counter attacks against our women.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Swami Vivekananda's visit to Kerala and meeting with Chattambi Swami

When the world celebrates 150th anniversary of birth of Swami Vivekananda, the revolutionary sage who spread the knowledge of Vedanta and Upanishads to The West, it is worthy to remember the visit of Swami Vivekananda to Kerala and his meeting with Chattambi Swamikal, who inspired Nairs to become leaders and instilled confidence among Nairs.

It was a remarkable meeting for both yogis. Vivekananda who was searching for a proper explanation of Chinmudra got the perfect answer from Chattambi Swami. Vivekananda’s enlightened thoughts on eradication of social inequalities had a profound impact on Chattambi Swami who was already against such discriminations. It won’t be an exaggeration to say the meeting was a catalyst for social reform movements in Kerala launched by Chattambi Swami and Sree Narayana Guru.

The meeting of the two towering personalities occurred during Swami Vivekananda’s Kerala visit in early December 1892 at Ernakulam. Vivekananda was the guest of W. Ramaiya, secretary of Diwan Peshkar of Kochi. Many people came to see Vivekananda and Chattambi Swami also went to see him. But seeing a huge crowd around Vivekananda, Chattambi went back. Later, when people told Vivekananda about Chattambi Swami the former said he would call on the latter.

Esoteric knowledge on Chinmudra

Chattambi was then living at one Sankar Menon’s home. He took Vivekananda beneath a secluded tree and they spoke in Sanskrit one whole night. They discussed many things and according to historians, Vivekananda who was searching for a proper explanation on the neurodynamics of Chinmudra asked Chattambi the question.

Vivekananda got a satisfactory explanation and he bowed and thanked Chattambi. Chattambi unfolded the esoteric meaning of Chinmudra and its role in achieving higher levels of consciousness. Quoting from an old commentary on the Brahadaranya Upanishad, Chattambi is said to have, explained that when the tips of the forefinger and index finger touch together a vibratory energy would be produced, and it would flow up to the Sahasrara Padma of the aspirant elevating him to a higher stage of consciousness.

Needless to say both were impressed with each other.  Swamy Vivekananda who earlier termed Kerala a mental hospital pained by the untouchability and other social evils existing here, after meeting Chattambi wrote in his diary that “I have met a real man in Kerala.” Chattambi was also full of praise of Vivekananda and said when he sang it sounded like a golden pot. Chattambi also praised the knowledge of Vivekananda.

Before coming to Kerala, Vivekananda was a guest of Dr. Palpu(a leader of Ezhava community) at Bangalore who made Vivekananda aware of the discriminations based on caste that existed in the state and had asked Vivekananda to do something to eradicate it. Vivekananda when landed in Kodungalloor in Kerala later, had a first hand experience of the discriminations in Kerala as he was denied permission to enter the Devi temple there. The temple authorities told swami that non keralites were denied permission to enter as there was no way they could ascertain their caste.

 One can say with conviction that the anti-discriminatory movements launched by Chattambi Swami and Sree Narayana Guru were inspired by Vivekananda. Chattambi Swami’s “Vedadhikara Niroopanam” (A review of Vedas) ascertained that even Sudras are empowered to learn and interpret Vedas. Sree Narayana Guru later launched anti-caste movement which uprooted caste system in Kerala. These movements saved Hindu community of Kerala and those historic personalities accomplished their mission.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Vellappally reiterates Nair-Ezhava unity

Absence of Nair-Ezhava unity in Kerala had resulted in heavy loss to Kerala’s Hindus, SNDP Yogam general secretary Vellappally Natesan has said. Reiterating Nair-Ezhava unity at a press conference at Kozhikkode on January 9, 2013, Vellappally said SNDP is committed to preserve the unity.

Vellappally said Hindu unity was SNDP’s agenda from the very beginning. Kerala should not face a situation when hosts oust guests from home and gain the control of home, he said. Currently Kerala’s wealth and power is concentrated among certain groups, said SNDP leader. Though he did not name who is host and who is guest it is obvious.

While voting Kerala’s majority community (Hindus) voted by their blind political affiliations rather than considering social realities in Kerala, he said. Had Hindus voted taking into consideration social realities of Kerala, the state would not have landed in present condition, added Vellappally. 

Commenting on government's attitude to demands of Hindus he said "When NSS and SNDP raises demands government will agree but when it comes to implementation, authorities will point out technical difficulties to deny demands,". Nair Service Society general secretary had also expressed similar views recently
Vellappally said guests should remain in Kerala as guests and hosts as hosts and both should live peacefully and equality should prevail. 

Vellappally's words prove that Nair-Ezhava unity is here to stay and Nairs and Ezhavas in Kerala have realised that they have to unite if Hindus are to exist in Kerala. Nair-Ezhava unity has become the key change in social sector in Kerala in the 21st century. Vellappally said Christian groups have also expressed support to Nair-Ezhava unity giving a hint at the evolving social situation in Kerala. This is certainly going to have an impact on social and politcal conditions in Kerala in coming days.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Musings on migration of Nairs on Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2013

Migration is as old as history of human beings and often success in migration holds the key to growth and prosperity of a community. In this context it would be pertinent on Pravasi Bharatiya Divas to think of migration among Nairs in Kerala and impact of migration among Nairs in Kerala society.

Mannam on migration

NSS founder Mannath Padmanabhan was the first Nair community leader to realise the importance of migration. Seeing migration of Travancore Christians to North Malabar (Kannur and Kasaragod) Mannam devised a scheme to help poor Nairs of Travancore migrate to hilly tracts of Malabar. He got 2000 acres of land allotted to NSS from Neeleshwaram Raja and announced that any Nair who wants to migrate to that region will be given five acres of land free of cost and financial assistance. Mannam later regretted  that only 10 Nairs applied and the rest of the land was later converted as rubber plantation of NSS.

That was a peculiar story. But some  recent studies have pointed out that Nairs have the highest out-migration rate (migration to other Indian states) among different communities in Kerala. Nairs are followed by Syrian Christians.  But Muslims have the highest emigration (migration to foreign countries) rate in Kerala according to the same study.The study named Dynamics of Migration in Kerala is available on net and is written by Kunniparampil Curien Zachariah, Elangikal Thomas Mathew, Sebastian Irudaya Rajan.

This proves one thing, Nairs have tried to use migration for bettering their lives and spreading to other parts of world. Though during early times educated Nairs along with Syrian Christians had an advantage in migration compared to  other communities in Kerala, the emigration to Gulf countries which became popular from 1970s changed the scenario and Muslims definitely had an advantage regarding emigration to Gulf countries. Gulf emigration helped Muslims to grow by leaps and bounds and Nairs could not match their growth in 1970s and 80s. Money power gained by Muslim community helped them to acquire  land across the state. Nair community members seem to be sellers of land during this period.

Nairs in Indian cities and Singapore and Malaysia
During the British period educated Nairs had migrated to Madras, Mumbai, Delhi and Calcutta and established a sizeable presence there. Remember Sir C Sankaran Nair entering viceroy’s executive council, TM Nair establishing himself in Self Respect Movement in Tamil Nadu.

Nairs had a strong emigration  rate to Singapore, Malaya, Burma and Fiji in 1800 and up to 1950s. It is to be noted that Devan Nair eventually became the president of Singapore. Mannath Padmanabhan while starting NSS had travelled widely in Malaya and Singapore to collect donation. In Malaysia Ravindran Menon is one of the top businessmen currently. Mahendra Chaudhry, former president of Fiji had Nair roots through his mother’s side. His father was from Haryana. During British period Ottappalam Menons established firmly in Delhi bureaucracy and they still continue it in Delhi.

The influence of Nairs in Mumbai starts from first Mumbai Mayor Madhavan. The list of influential Nairs in Mumbai is ever growing including Businessmen like Kuttisankaran Nair of Petron Engineering, CP Krishnan Nair of Leela group, GD Nair of chemical industry, Menons group of Kolhapur, Nairsons of Nagpur etc.

Gulf emigration
But such internal migrations though influenced Kerala, did not have much of an influence in Kerala economy like the impact from Gulf emigration. Currently annual remittance of Non resident Keralites is Rs 50,000 crore and Kerala economy moves forward on this strength. According to studies, more than 55 per cent of remittance is from Muslim community and around 18 per cent is from Christians.

Nairs had certain disadvantages for emigrating to Gulf. Primary reason is religion itself as GCC countries are Islamic nations. Many of the early emigrants to GCC were labourers and Nairs did not want to toil there. But those who went to Gulf as labourers or small businessmen later graduated to other jobs and big businesses and naturally Nairs lost the race.

Fortunately the development of GCC countries and availability of white collar jobs have increased Nair emigration to GCC. Now Nairs are also among big businessmen in Gulf; examples are Ravi Pillai, Bahrain based tycoon, C.K Menon of Behzad group based in Qatar and PNC Menon of Sobha group based in Oman.

Attitude of successful Nair Migrants to Kerala
Though Nairs who migrated to other Indian cities have prospered, their second and third generation have totally become Delhites, Mumbaikkars, and Tamils and lost touch with home. Thus Nair community in Kerala is not benefitting from out-migrant Nairs. On the other hand emigrant Muslims always invest in Kerala and that lead to Muslim community’s growth. Nairs need to learn a lesson from this and emulate the example. I wish those who read this do something for their poor brethren in Kerala. NSS can start a wing to help Nairs emigrate and coordinate emigrant Nair organisations. Nair Service Society organisations in other countries be given affiliation.

Let me conclude the write-up remembering winners of Pravasi Bharthiya Samman of Government of India. They are Sasi Tharoor who won Pravasi Bharatiya Samman in 2004, C.K Menon who won in 2006, Billy Nair ANC, member of South African Parliament winner of 2006 award and Dr Ravi Pillai who won in 2008.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Uproar in Kerala politics on Sukumaran Nair’s statement that Antony’s suggestion to make Chennithala home minister subverted

Nair Service Society general secretary G Sukumaran Nair’s statement that Congress leader and Indian Defense Minister A K Antony’s suggestion to make Ramesh Chennithala home minister of Kerala had been subverted,’ has created uproar in Kerala politics.
Nair made the statement in an interview given to Malayala Manorama news channel on January 4, 2013. Kerala home minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan in a reply  to Nair said he did not know that Antony had given such a suggestion. Thiruvanchoor added that after becoming the home minister he had tried to contact Sukumaran Nair but could not.
Oommen Chandy had earlier divested the home portfolio which he held initially and handed it over to Thiruvanchoor known as his confidante. This followed allegations that majority Hindus in Kerala are not adequately represented in Kerala cabinet. In this context Thiruvanchoor was given home portfolio. Incidentally both Thiruvanchoor and Chennithala belong to Nair community. Sukumaran Nair had protested against the decision at that time itself.
There had been suggestions at that time that Chennithala who is KPCC president should be made deputy chief minister with home portfolio. Sukumaran Nair said Oommen Chandy gave home to Thiruvanchoor to sideline Chennithala.
Nair’s statement is likely to create further headache to Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy who is facing the allegation of yielding to pressure of Muslim League and Christian dominated Kerala Congress while selecting ministers. Muslim League had been give a fifth minister in the cabinet recently following their persistent demand. All key portfolios like finance, industries, PWD etc are now being handled by Muslim League and Kerala Congress.
Hindu organizations in Kerala like Nair Service Society and SNDP Yogam are now raising the complaint that Hindus in Kerala are getting a raw deal. Majority of MLAs of ruling United Democratic Front are non Hindus.

Following Sukumaran Nair’s statement many congress leaders in Kerala have issued. MM Hassan said it was for Antony to verify Sukumaran Nair’s statement.

Nair’s statement points to a few things. Nair community in Kerala is now having a complaint that it is being sidelined by Congress. Nairs have the feeling that minorities now dominate Congress in Kerala. Nairs used to vote for Congress en block earlier. Now it seems some of them are going to BJP and even CPM which once Nairs opposed.
In the coming days strife between Nairs and Ezhavas on one side and Muslim League and Kerala Congress on the other side would happen in the ruling Congress lead United Democratic front. Kerala. Kerala’s political equilibrium would change drastically.
One should read all this with A.K Antony’s statement at Mannam Janayanthi celebrations. He said that Kerala’s communal harmony has lost its warmth.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Nair priests to replace Brahmin priests at temples of Nair Service Society

One of the most interesting announcements made by Nair Service Society General Secretary G Sukumaran Nair at the 136th Mannam Jayanthi celebration concluded at NSS headquarters Changanasseri on Jan 3, 2013 was decision of the organization to promote Nairs as priests instead of Brahmin Priests at temples owned by NSS.
Addressing a mamoth gathering of Nairs at Nair Delegates’ Meet on the first day of the two-day celebration, Sukumaran Nair emphasised the need to promote learned Nairs as priests
The aim is to identify members of the community who possess ‘brahmanyam, Nair said and pointed out that exploitation exists in spiritual arena even now.
Leading English newspapers which quoted Nair said Nair pointed out that Sections of Brahmins who used to take advantage of the Nair community at various power centres are continuing the practice in spiritual arena and to stop this, those Nairs with tantric knowledge have to be made priests. NSS will start more Tantrik vidyapeets he asserted.
When the NSS started its first Thanthra Vidya Peethom, there was opposition from certain sections. However challenges were overcome and the first batch of candidates have passed out and are receiving wholehearted acceptance from Nair community, Sukumaran Nair said. However Nair clarified that his criticism is not against all Brahmins but only against those who claim to be Brahmin and lack knowledge of Vedas and other Hindu scriptures and pooja practices.
Sukumaran Nair’s announcement is timely and it is high time that Nairs appointed learned Hindus as priests in temples owned by them rather than looking for those who bear  Brahmin caste names. As Rigveda said “Janmana Jayathe Sudra, Karmanya Diwija Uchyathe,’. This can be roughly translated as everyone is born Sudra but attains Brahminhood by studies and culture.
One cannot forget the acts of former Sabarimala Tantri Kantaru Mohanaru who was banned from performing duties at Sabarimala following findings of Travancore Devaswom Board that he engaged in acts not expected from him. Once a learned three member inquiry commission which investigated into irregularities in Devaswom Board interviewed Mohanaru. Many newspapers had reported the answers given byMohanaru to commission. Mohanaru admitted before the commission that  he does not know Sanskrit, Veda mantras. He was unable   to tell the commission the birth star of Lord Ganapathi or recite  Bhagyasooktham even though he claimed he conducted Ganapathi Homam.  When this was the plight of a Sabarimala Tantri who claimed traditional right to the post, it is better Learned Nairs conducted pooja themselves.

Kerala’s communal harmony lost its warmth: AK Antony at Mannam Jayanthi

Inauguration of Mannam Jayanthi celebrations 2013 of Nair Service Society became an occasion to analyze social conditions in Kerala famed for social justice and communal harmony. Indian Defence Minister A.K Antony who inaugurated the celebrations at Nair Service Society headquarters on Jan 2, 2013 said some soul stirring truths.

Antony said those who occupy top positions should ensure that social justice and communal balance should be maintained. Antony added that this was essential to maintain communal harmony in Kerala. The audience including a large number of Nairs and other community members welcomed Antony’s words with thunderous claps.

Antony’s words assume significance in the context of opinions expressed by Nair Service Society and SNDP earlier that some of the decisions of Kerala government had adversely affected social justice and communal balance in Kerala. Nair Service Society general secretary Sukumaran Nair had earlier pointed out that appointing a fifth minister from Muslim League will have negative impact on social and communal balance in Kerala. But UDF leaders succumbed to Muslim League’s pressure.

At the Nair meet, Antony also pointed out that that Kerala’s communal harmony has lost its warmth and conflicts between different communities in Kerala have increased. He pointed out that communal harmony in Kerala will be ensured only when social justice and communal balance is maintained.

Of late Nair and other Hindu community leaders have been complaining that minority communities in Kerala are cornering a major chunk of benefits of welfare steps being taken by Kerala and union governments. Nair and Ezhava leaders have often pointed out that majority Hindus are now being treated as second class citizen in Kerala. Current Nair-Ezhava unity in Kerala is the result of this feeling that Nairs, Ezhavas and other Hindus in Kerala are being neglected.

A.K Antony’s brave words on communal situation in Kerala are likely to result in hot debate on Kerala’s politics and social conditions. Antony had always tried to tell the truth unlike some other leaders who tried to suppress the truth to protect their personal interests. Antony had earlier been forced to resign as chief minister following his speech at a Namboothiri Yoga Kshema Sabha meet on the plight of majority community in Kerala.

At Mannam jayanthi Antony warned that Kerala will become a mental home if the current situation in the state continued. Anonty’s words should be an eye opener to those who rule Kerala.

Mannam jayanthi celebrations 2013 of NSS reiterates Nair-Ezhava unity

Mannam Jayanthi celebrations 2013 progressing at NSS headquarters Changanasseri have become an occasion to reiterate Nair-Ezhava Unity. Nair Service Society general secretary G Sukumaran Nair who inaugurated all Kerala Nair delegates’ meet on the new year day of 2013 said Nair-Ezhava unity would be preserved at all costs.

It seems finally NSS-SNDP unity is showing signs of lasting long. Previous unity moves had been abandoned following reasons ranging from ego of leaders to manipulations by leaders of minority communities and political parties in Kerala. Sukumaran Nair said Nair-Ezhava unity would eventually grow to include all sections of Hindus in Kerala.
Sukumaran Nair said politicians are trying to divide castes in Kerala. He said Nairs should realize this.

It is really welcome that NSS leadership has realized the threats being faced by Hindus in Kerala. Though Hindus are still majority in Kerala, the ruling coalition United Democratic Front lead by Congress has a majority MLAs from minority communities in Kerala. Similarly, recently the Congress unit in Kerala reconstituted office bearers and a majority of DCC presidents now belong to minority communities. Congress had earlier tried to ensure social equilibrium while reconstituting committees. But this time it seems Hindus got a raw deal while district committee of Congress was reconstituted. Congress leadership should realize that there is a real threat of party losing its hold among Hindus, especially Nairs.

Nairs along with Christians used to be the major vote bank of Congress in Kerala. At this rate Nairs may join BJP and some may vote for CPI (M), if Congress fails to correct imbalance.