A Congress outfit has decided to drop its plan to hold programmes and seminars to mark the annual ‘Ramayana month,’ following protests and criticism from leaders of the parent organisation.
Vichar Vibhag, the cultural wing of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee, had planned a series of programmes, including ‘Ramayana Parayana’ (recitation of the epic) and seminars to the mark the annual month beginning on July 17.
‘Karkkitakam’, the last month in the Malayalam calendar beginning on July 17 this year, is generally observed as ‘Ramayana month’ in the southern state by the Hindu community.
The KPCC outfit’s announcement came days after ‘Sanskrit Sangh’, which has a number of pro-Left scholars, academicians and Left sympathisers as members, had unveiled a state-wide seminar series to observe the month of rituals. Noting that it was not a programme planned by KPCC, the State Congress President MM Hassan said the celebrations have been shelved following criticism.
The programme was organised by the Vichar Vibhag, he added.
Senior Congress leader VM Sudheeran and former KPCC Chief K Muraleedharan had come out openly against the plan to celebrate ‘Ramayana month’ by the party outfit. “Lord Rama was exploited for political purpose by the BJP and the stand of that party was not acceptable,” Sudheeran said adding no one should adopt any approach that would support even indirectly the stand of saffron party. Terming the decision to celebrate Ramayana month as ‘ill-advised,’ Muraleedharan said it was not something that the Congress party needs to do.
It was not the duty of political parties to organise religious functions, he said.
The programme was scheduled to be inaugurated bySenior Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala and Former union minister Shashi Tharoor, MP was to deliver a lecture on ‘Ramayana is ours.’
‘Karkitakam’ is the lean season ahead of the Malayalam month ‘Chingam’ that ushers in Malayalis’ most colourful festival of Onam.
Temples and traditional houses across the state would reverberate with the chanting of verses from the Ramayana during the month.
Elders chant verses from ‘Adhyatma Ramayana,’ authored by medieval devotional poet Thunchath Ramanujan Ezhuthachan for 30 days in front of lighted lamps.
Temples and cultural outfits also arrange recital of the epic and special poojas during the season.