The visit of film star Suresh Gopi to the headquarters of Nair Service Society (NSS) on June 27 (the day of Aruvikkara by-election) has resulted in a big controversy with NSS general secretary Sukumaran Nair ousting him from the headquarters and alleging that by his visit Suresh Gopi was trying to portray NSS as close to BJP and it will not be allowed. Suresh Gopi has campaigned for the BJP candidate in Aruvikkara.
Though it is within the right of Sukumaran Nair to refuse entry to a guest, by his vitriolic attack at a guest he has actually dishonored the tradition of Nairs who treat guests with honor and he needs to apologize to whole community. Also while Sukumaran Nair has every right to be apolitical, he should show the same equidistance to tainted leaders from minority communities in whose company he is seen relaxing often.
To Nairs, it seems that NSS general secretary Sukumaran Nair who had wholeheartedly welcomed leaders like P.J Kurien and Ommen Chandy and KM Mani against whom several serious allegations exist allowed himself to become a tool in the hands of certain vested interest groups who wanted to play politics at his cost and belittle an artiste from Nair community. In fact it is not Suresh Gopi but Sukumaran Nair himself is seen trying to promote politics at the cost of Nairs Only difference is Sukumaran Nair tries to protect minority leaders and parties like Kerala Congress to which they belong.
Background of controversy
On June 27 morning Suresh Gopi reached NSS headquarters at Perunna in Changanasseri. Himself a Nair he wanted to pay floral tributes at the Samadhi (the place where the body of NSS founder late Mannath Padmanabhan was laid to rest.) It was closed but someone opened it for Suresh Gopi and he paid his tributes there. Suresh Gopi came there after visiting a temple near NSS headquarters on the occasion of his birthday.
Later Suresh Gopi wanted to wish G Sukumaran Nair and since Sukumaran Nair was at a meeting at NSS budget hall Suresh Gopi entered the hall. Sukumaran Nair rudely asked #SureshGopi to leave the hall where NSS budget meeting was being held. The media lost no opportunity to create a controversy out of this act with some ulterior motives.
Media’s role in the controversy
Generally the media in Kerala is supportive of Congress and a few of them of CPM. It seems that those who wanted to create a controversy about an act of Suresh Gopi (probably out of ignorance or was mislead as he himself said) wanted to portray the actor as a person who offended the leader of Kerala’s Nair community. The motive behind creating this controversy is scuttling the chances of BJP candidate O.Rajagopal at Aruvikkara by-election which is being held on the same day(June 27). Arvikkara has a major presence of Nair community with around 36 percent of voters belonging to the community.
Regarding the incident Sukumaran Nair’s explanation is that none except members of NSS high power committee (Pratinidhisabha) are allowed inside the budget hall during its meet and so he asked Suresh Gopi to leave the place. Had he simply done that it would have been ok. But Nair did not stop with that. In his customary style he said he will not allow anyone to ‘Shine at the cost of NSS’. He further criticized that Suresh Gopi was trying to portray that NSS is with BJP.
But Suresh Gopi clarified that he entered the hall as someone who he believes from the NSS high power committee asked him to wish G Sukumaran Nair after paying tribute at the Mannam Samadhi. (Earlier, the act of KPCC president V M Sudheeran who paid tributes at Mannam Samadhi but did not wish Sukumaran Nair had resulted in a controversy as Sukumaran Nair interpreted it as a show of disrespect to NSS)
Suresh Gopi said as he did not want to be portrayed as showing disrespect to Sukumaran Nair he went to the meeting hall. It was break time at the hall and so he entered inside. He added that he left when he was asked to leave and he has no complaint about it.
Suresh Gopi’s response to this incident seems to be very civilized unlike Sukumaran Nair’s which reflects his arrogance.
Perhaps Sukumaran Nair was right in asking Suresh Gopi to leave. But then being a guest as per the traditions of Nair community Sukumara Nair should have treated him with dignity. In traditional Nair homes a guest will be given a seat, refreshments before any discussions and disagreements are expressed in a civilized way. Blinded by his allegiance to Oommen Chandy and KM Mani Sukumaran Nair seems to have forgot all these.
Nair’s arguments that the meeting was an in camera one and so Suresh Gopi was denied admission do not hold ground. Why was there no security at the entry gates if it was an in camera meet. Why did he kept the doors open? Suresh Gopi is a well known person and how he managed to reach up to Nair within the hall? Why none prevented when he entered?
Sukumaran Nair is playing politics and he will reap storms. Nairs are no more with Congress and Sukumaran Nair. Sukumaran Nair should realise it. If he fails he may become a non entity witin a couple of years.