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.