HinduPost is the voice of Hindus. Support us. Protect Dharma

Will you help us hit our goal?

HinduPost is the voice of Hindus. Support us. Protect Dharma
23.4 C
Sunday, May 28, 2023

Kerala BJP’s Christian appeasement politics: AN Radhakrishnan at Malayattoor

On Easter Sunday, Kerala BJP state vice-president A N Radhakrishnan and some local leaders climbed the Christian pilgrim site called Malayattoor Mala (Hill) in Ernakulam district. On Good Friday, the senior BJP leader attempted to climb the hill but could not complete it and turned back. His short return was met with significant criticism, following which he left for Malayattoor again.

Keralite Christians believe St Thomas, one of the 12 Apostles of Jesus, arrived at Kodungallur and stayed in Malayattoor after reaching Bharat In AD 62. They claim he left a footprint on the hilltop, and a miraculous golden cross appeared. Christians swear Thomas journeyed to Kerala and gave a sermon on a hilltop. Some are impressed by stories of how Thomas struck the rock when he was thirsty, and water gushed out.

Though Christian pilgrims arrive throughout the year, their numbers increase during the Lenten season. Naturally, Radhakrishnan, too, chose the same season. The pilgrimage involves a 3km trek to the Malayatoor Church atop the 609 m high Malayattoor Hill, with 14 halts marking the ‘way of the cross.’

Hindus consider the hill is part of the same Western Ghats range as the Sabari Mala highlands. The similarities and misappropriation do not end there. Christian pilgrims arrive wearing saffron clothes. The church has propagated the practice of trekking up the Malayattoor hill, much like the Sabarimala trek of the Ayyappa devotees. While Ayyappa devotees carry ‘Irumudi’ during the Sabarimala pilgrimage, the Christians carry the cross.

Radhakrishnan claimed he had a 100-degree fever, so his earlier trip was abandoned. The area, visited by lakhs of Christian pilgrims, reported one death that morning due to a heart attack. Ambulances cannot reach the hilltop, the BJP leader lamented.

Radhakrishnan said that the central government had included the Malayattoor Hill in the Pilgrimage Rejuvenation And Spiritual Augmentation Drive (PRASAD scheme). But due to the negligence of the state government, the money could not be fully utilized on time, he criticized. Prasad scheme focuses on identifying and developing pilgrim sites nationwide to enrich religious tourism. Someone should remind the senior BJP leader that Mosques and Churches are not in dire straits, unlike Temples.

Hindu Sentiments

Hindus termed Radhakrishnan’s hill climb a cheap publicity stunt for wooing the Christian community. Some netizens even referred to the point he halted for resting as ‘Radhakrishna Para’ (Radhakrishnan Rock).

Christian appeasement is needed to prevent the total Talibanization of Kerala. No one fears radical Islamization more than the Christian community in Kerala. Actions are required to convince them, but does that mean Hindu BJP leaders start adopting Christian customs?

Radhakrishnan decided to climb the hill on Good Friday under the auspices of Kerala BJP’s Minority Morcha. The ascent ended at the first spot on the 14-place pilgrimage route and did more damage than good for the world’s largest political party. This seems to have forced the senior BJP leader to return and complete the uphill climb.

While the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) refused to comment on the BJP leader’s visit to the Christian shrine, Sangh-linked think tank Bharatheeya Vichara Kendram’s director R Sanjayan reminded there was no historical proof that St Thomas visited Bharat.

RSS state Pranth Karyavahak P N Eswaran said: “Let people decide on it (Radhakrishnan’s visit to Malayattoor). We will never deviate from the basic tenets of Hindutva. RSS does not want to make any other comments on the Malayattoor visit.’’

Radhakrishnan, however, came under fire from Bhargava Ram, the former general secretary of the Kerala Hindu Aikya Vedi, an umbrella group for organizations that support the Sangh Parivar. “I worry that the BJP’s indulgence of the Christians in Kerala would backfire on Hindu feelings. He added, “While BJP leaders could visit churches and kiss bishops on the hand, they should also respect Hindu sensitivities.”

“How the Malayattoor church has got title deeds over the land owned by Nayathodu temple committee (Devaswom). All the leaders of the Sangh are familiar with this issue. Every year, during the Adi Sankara Jayanti, this issue is discussed. We never made it a dispute. Appeasing other communities at the cost of Hindu sentiments is not the right step politically. BJP would have to face the consequences of these appeasements, whatever shall be,’’ said Bhargava Ram.

BJP’s Appeasement Politics

BJP’s Kerala in-charge Prakash Javadekar has held meetings with eminent Christian personalities. On Easter Sunday, party leaders visited the Bishops of the Catholic Church. Central Minister V Muraleedharan was seen moving in and out of the Bishops’ houses, sharing Easter greetings from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

It inducted veteran Congress leader AK Antony’s son Anil Antony earlier this month. Although the party has been attempting to project a variety of Christian faces to build a foothold in the community, including former minister K J Alphons and former Congress spokesperson Tom Vadakkan, its electoral prospects have not significantly improved.

Some BJP leaders criticized Radhakrishnan’s Malayattoor hill climb in the BJP state office bearer’s meeting. They called the stunt ridiculous and that it was unnecessary to interfere with the customs of Christians to keep them together. Not everyone should meet Christian priests; only those in charge should go. Incredibly, they also called to contact as many Muslim homes as possible for the upcoming Ramzan festival.

Kerala BJP seems to forget its Hindu vote base. Congress and Marxists have anyway reduced Hindus to mere rubber stamp status.

The ‘anti-Hindu’ nature of the Marxists and Congress in Kerala is anchored on two prime beliefs. One is that the unification of Hindus for their cause will shatter their vote base, and the second is that a constant anti-Hindu stance might secure the vote of minorities. But, in both of these scenarios, Hindus are taken for granted. More than 50% of the communists who vote in Kerala are reportedly Hindus. 

Instead of catering to Hindu issues, BJP leaders like Radhakrishnan seem to follow the same path. He appears out of sync with ground realities, and that is probably why he polled around 13,000 votes of the total 135,000 during the 2022 Thrikkakara byelection. Uma Thomas, ‘the Hindu wife’ of local Christian leader P T Thomas (he passed away, necessitating the elections), took home 72,000 odd votes or 54% of the vote share.

Church Misappropriation & Malayattoor Hill

The church is openly subverting Hindu openness through misappropriation for slitting our Sanskriti. The church was not precisely known for respecting regional traditions. Worldwide, it has spread among natives by portraying their pagan practices and culture as inferior to those of the Christians.

When constant slander of local culture fails to produce the desired results, the church secretly and systematically absorbs indigenous customs and culture. In phases, this method is being used in South Bharat with the blessing of the local clergy.

They adopt Hindu culture and churn out desi Bibles, celebrations featuring elephants, follow Vidhyarambham (Hindu ritual to initiate toddlers in alphabets), and a host of treacherous means. This respect later turns into appropriation and separates itself from the indigenous people. The only way to prevent this hijacking of our ancient Hindu culture is by having more knowledge about our practices and being more grounded in our traditions. 

The Sabarimala yatra, during which countless people from around the world congregate to see Swami Ayyappa, is one of the oldest Hindu traditions in Kerala. Hindus from all castes, creeds, sects, and denominations come together for this ritual. There can be no better practice for the church to accept because it serves to both mislead gullible Hindus and spread the story of St Thomas.

Malayatoor Hill, a pilgrim center for Christians in Kerala, is a lush hill in the Western Ghats, skirted partially by Kerala’s longest Periyar River in an ecologically sensitive area. The Kalady Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit (SSUS) on the foothills of the pilgrim center remains a grim reminder of the devastation caused by constant deluges every monsoon. All the garbage from the hilltop flows downhill and blocks surrounding areas. If he cared, Radhakrishnan should have worked with the church and found a permanent solution to this issue emanating from Malayattoor.

Subscribe to our channels on Telegram &  YouTube. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest Articles

Sign up to receive HinduPost content in your inbox
Select list(s):

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.