Attempts to make crack in Hindu consolidation in Kerala

The  Sabarimala temple. PTI file photo

In a bid to create cracks in the Hindu consolidation being made by the BJP-RSS-Sangh Parivar outfits in Kerala in the backdrop of the Sabarimala row, the SNDP Yogam that represents the prominent Hindu-Ezhava community has branded the Hindu consolidation as a lobby of the upper castes.

The BJP-RSS has been trying for a Hindu consolidation over the Sabarimala issue and cash in on it during the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. At present the BJP is just having one MLA in Kerala Assembly, that too after years of effort. The saffron party is yet to open its account in the Lok Sabha from Kerala.

Read why there is no 'Hindu consolidation' in Kerala

The Hindu-Ezhava community that comes under the Other Backward Class represents about 20% of Kerala population and hence it plays a crucial role in electoral politics in the State. Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam (SNDP) is the prominent organisation of the community. Though its leadership initially sided with the BJP-RSS in opposing women entry to Sabarimala, later it maintained a progressive stand and aligned with the Left government in Kerala favouring women's entry.

It was for the second consecutive day on Tuesday that SNDP Yogam general secretary Vellapally Natesan said that the Hindu consolidation over the Sabarimala issue was a consolidation of the upper castes. He also pointed out that the Ayyappa Bhaktha Sangamam organised by the Sangh Parivar outfits in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday lacked proper representation from the backward communities.

Political analysts said that the attempt of Mr Natesan was to create cracks in the Hindu consolidation eyeing the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. Mr Natesan also seems to have the blessings of the ruling CPM in Kerala.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his recent visit to Kerala, had strongly backed the BJP’s aggressive stand opposing women entry to Sabarimala. The Ayyappa Bhaktha Sangamam held in Thiruvananthapuram a few days afterwards witnessed prominent Hindu spiritual leaders like Matha Amrithanandamayi making open call for protecting temple rituals. The Hindu-Nair community, which is the second prominent Hindu community in Kerala with a representation of about 13%, also aligned with the BJP over the Sabarimala issue. A considerable section of Hindu-Ezhava community members were also siding with the BJP on the Sabarimala issue.

These were given shockers to the CPM-led LDF and Congress-led UDF camps in Kerala as they feared that a Hindu consolidation over the Sabarimala issue would became advantage for BJP in the elections. Hence the attempts by Mr Natesan to create cracks in the Hindu consolidation by labeling it as a lobby of the Hindu upper castes will be relief for both the LDF and the UDF.

Though Mr Natesan did not have much influence over the entire Ezhava community, his statements could sow seeds of doubts among the members of middle and lower Hindu castes about the Hindu consolidation.

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