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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Challenges rattle NSS-SNDP unity but leaders vow to preserve unity and call for vigil

Amid speculations on strains in NSS-SNDP unity, Nair Service Society (NSS) General Secretary G Sukumaran Nair has called for vigil in preserving the unity and SNDP General Secretary Vellappally Natesan assured that SNDP won’t retract from its agenda of Hindu unity in Kerala.

Speaking at NSS headquarters at Perunna in Changanassery on August 28, 2009, Nair said he did not believe in media speculations that SNDP is slowly going away from its publicly announced stand of unity of Hindus in Kerala. Nair recounted that this stand was taken to protect the interest of Hindus in Kerala. Nair further added that if any section of Hindus have developed such a doubt SNDP leadership should take steps to remove it.

Nair further added that despite unity on issues affecting Hindus in Kerala individual organizations of Hindu castes are free to take their own stand in relations with political parties and that won’t affect unity. So NSS has no complaint on SNDP’s political stand, added  Sukumaran Nair. He said reports of strains in the unity are totally baseless and added that if he felt some of the acts of SNDP are affecting unity he won’t hesitate to point it out.

Immediately responding to Sukumaran Nair’s statement Vellappally said SNDP won’t dilute its stand of unity of Hindus in Kerala ranging from  Tribals to Brahmins. Nair-Ezhava unity is a reality and a step towards Hindu unity and it stands. If there are any misunderstandings SNDP would solve it through discussions with NSS, clarified Vellappally. Vellappally said a section of media was distorting statements of NSS and SNDP leaders and spreading rumours.

Need for clarification
NSS and SNDP had to issue clarification because there had been reports that present Congress lead United Democratic Front had tried to woo SNDP leadership by offering permission to SNDP to start more government aided educational institutions. Sections of media said Muslim League leader and Kerala’s industries minister P K Kunhalikkutty had called on Vellappally and offered freebies to SNDP. Some of the reports also said SNDP had watered down criticism against Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy who is now in a predicament following allegations against the involvement of his office in a multi crore Solar Panel scam.

Nair-Ezhava unity (Unity of two of the biggest Hindu castes in Kerala which constitute more than 80 % of Hindu population in Kerala) had been mooted in 1950s itself and several attempts had been made earlier. However this failed to last and the latest attempt was made by G Sukumaran Nair and Vellappally in 2012 June. Nair took charge as NSS general secretary just before that. Nair-Ezhava unity will create the most powerful social group in Kerala and minority communities are apprehensive of the outcome of such a move. Political parties like Congress and CPM are also wary of Hindu unity. They fear it will eventually help BJP and Hindutva organizations in Kerala.

Taking forward NSS-SNDP unity
Public assurances by Nair and Vellappally on Nair-Ezhava unity prove one thing. There had been attempts from some quarters to break the unity. It means both organizations need to establish some kind of coordination system to discuss with each other periodically issues affecting Hindus in Kerala. Speculation of strains in Nair-Ezhava unity surface because NSS and SNDP failed to take forward unity to new areas and failed to put up a show of public unity.

Hindu unity in Kerala won’t come if NSS and SNDP just start a unity movement and later go slow on it. They need to come up with joint action programmes or else the unity would slowly wither away, especially when powerful groups with money and influence want to destroy it.

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