Contrary to Kerala’s Communist Party of India (Marxist) stand in demonizing the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) as an Islamist outfit due to its religious inclination, CPI(M), in a bid to fend off the increasingly strident campaign that it is against Ayyappa devotees and to dispel opposition propaganda that it is antagonistic to religion. The party has sought to take a pragmatic approach to religion, particularly in the Sabrimala issue.
Referring to India as a country that seemed “mired in medieval values moored to religious beliefs”, CPI(M) Central committee member M.V. Govindan explained that a “purely theoretical Marxian approach to matters related to faith might not gain traction in the largely traditionalist setting.”
“So, while remaining staunchly secular, the CPI(M) should take a pragmatic approach to religion,” he said.
Govindan’s pitch drew sharp criticism from the Congress. “The CPI(M) had shed its communist values and adopted a Hindu nationalist political line,” The Hindu quoted Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Mullappally Ramachandran as saying.
On Sunday, CPI(M) Central committee member M.V. Govindan sought to give an ideological veneer to the party’s ‘modified’ bearing on Sabarimala. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and CPI(M) State secretary A. Vijayaraghavan have indicated that the government will take ‘everybody’ onboard once the Supreme Court finished reviewing its 2018 majority decision allowing women of all ages to worship at the Ayyappa temple.
BJP State president K. Surendran has promised to end government control of Devaswoms if voted to power. Devotees would administer temples and manage their vast assets. The Congress too has made Sabarimala the central election plank.