21-Jul-2018
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CPM forming Sanskrit body to counter making Sanskrit and Puranas Hindutva tools

Thiruvananthapuram July 12:  The left-progressive school of thought in Kerala is forming a collective with an aim and plan of countering the Sangh parivar agenda of using Sanskrit language and Hindu epics as Hindutva tools. 
 
The body to be formed cutting across political party borders is to be named 'Sanskrita Sangham'.  At the same time,  the move will have the unstinted backing of CPM. 
 
 Formation of district wise committees will be completed in July and in September activities will start with a state-level convention.
 
The forum is being formed with the involvement of State Academy for temple arts  Chairman and former head of department of Sanskrit,  Payyannur College,  Dr KH Subramanian,  former Vice Chancellor of Kerala Kalamandalam KG Poulose,  former VC of Kalady University and NCERT Director J Prasad.
 
For the past one year,  confabulations have been going on about organizing a collective aimed at preventing RSS from using the Ramayan and Bhagavat to divide people.  Seminars were held in Kannur and Thiruvananthapuram  in this connection. 
 
The envisaged body is one that will involve left-leaning academic experts,   and those linked to bodies having relations with temples and with a common factor of opposing the Sangh parivar politics. 
 
KH Subramanian told Madhyamam that in a broad sense it will be one upholding secularism.  Sanskrit is India's common heritage,  the voice raised by epics and puranas is that of humanitarianism,  and therefore the message of mercy and religious amity radiated by them,  will be propagated among the people,  he said.
 
Even as it is stated that the CPM leadership will not involve itself in the formation of the Sangham, the party's former member of state committee,  and former national president of SFI Dr V Shivdas is co-operating with the effort,   which the Sangham leaders explain as in the role of a historical researcher. 
 
The co-operation of Sanskrit teachers in schools will be enlisted through KSTA,  the pro-CPM teachers organization in the state.
 
Subramanian made it clear that it is not their aim to conduct Ramayan recitation during the month of Karkidaka,  similar to the RSS model.  Instead,   topics will be chosen based on Ramayana, Mahabhagavat and  Upanishads and lectures held. 
 
On 11 August a seminar will be held in Kannur on the theme 'Ramayana:  primeval poetic thought'.     A similar  seminar will be held in Thiruvananthapuram too. Sangh parivar charges CPM of electoral tactics
 
At the same time,  the Sangh parivar has come out raising a national issue of  the CPM observing a Ramayan month in Kerala.   The Sangh circles charge that CPM,  which once used to propagate atheism,  is now observing Ramayan month and Sri Krishna Jayanti,  in order to stem the growth of RSS in Kerala.
 
The news about the CPM move was published in the radical Hindutva portal 'pigurus.com' with the caption  "Sitaram led CPI(M) to observe Ramayan Month in Kerala!",  and is being extensively shared by Sangh parivar network.   The portal is one that makes spirited propaganda for prime minister Narendra Modi with the blessing of Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy. 
 
The portal mentions that CPM state committee has decided to observe Ramayan month from 17 July and to hold a Ramayan convention on 25th for which Sanskrit teachers were deputed. 
 
 It also states that the party has decided to conduct classes at booth level on Ramayan,   with the former SFI president Shivadas being given the task of the programme. 
 
The portal also blames that even during the times when there was a ban on party members entering temples,  Arya Antharjanam the wife of party General Secretary EMS Nambodirippad and  spouses of several other leaders used to visit temples.
 
In concert with such propaganda,  criticisms have appeared  on Twitter that a party that questioned the parents for having given the name of Sitaram  to the child,  is  now observing Ramayan month and this is an electoral tactic of CPM. 
 
 Many have also commented that it is a case of the devil citing the scripture and the party is set to play a Hindu card in the 2019 election.