This year 2012, Kerala, the southern state of India witnessed some curious political developments. A UDF government with a slender majority faced some serious challenges like Pinarayi Vijayan’s invite to some ‘lost people’ in the Kerala Congress and the ‘majority’ consolidation against the fifth league minister. It needs to be mentioned that it was only two years back, that Kerala Congress got ‘re-united’, again as some allege, under the ‘ever’ watchful eyes of the Church.
A week after this offer from Pinarayi, several unprecedented incidents happened in Kerala.
The first one was resignation of Selvaraj, Member of Legislative Assembly from Neyyattinkara Constituency belonging to the Communist party of India (Marxist) on March 9th 2012. He resigned both his party membership as well as post of MLA. During the press conference he alleged that party was trying to defame him and also using local goons to harass him as well as his family. He was also seen in TV channels stating that he has no intention to join any other party, least of all, the Congress Party. However within two days, Selvaraj agreed to join Congress party and also to stand as the Congress candidate for the coming bye election.
Days after this, news reports came out stating that before one week of Selvaraj’s resignation, UDF government had allotted Substantial funds for the Neyyattinkara constituency. CPI (M) also alleged that Selvaraj was purchased by UDF, the main role played by P.C.George of the Kerala Congress.
Several leaders of the Congress party opposed the candidature of the ‘defector’ as they said it would be unfair to the ordinary congress workers of that constituency. But Congress leadership after hectic parleys with local ‘religious’ and ‘community’ leaders decided otherwise, saying that Selvaraj with the Church support was sure to win the elections.
According to the ‘The Hindu’, “Mr. Chennithala had a hectic schedule on Saturday meeting Vincent Samuel, Neyyattinkara Bishop of the Catholic Church (Latin Rites); Dharmaraj Rasalam, Bishop of the Church of South India; and Vishnupuram Chandrasekharan, leader of the Vaikunta Swamy Dharma Pracharana Sabha, seeking their support. He also visited the offices of the Nair Service Society and the Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam.
An objective of the day’s exercise was to pacify Mr. Chandrasekharan, who had taken a belligerent stand, going to the extent of announcing a blockade on Chief Minister Oommen Chandy if he tried to enter the constituency. He is believed to have been promised representation for the Nadar community in the Ministry. Significantly, Mr. Chandrasekharan did not declare his support to the Congress candidate, but only said that his organisation would not oppose the party. ”
Now all the other organisations except this Vaikunta Swamy Dharma Pracharana Sabha (VSDP) are fairly known names in Kerala. VSDP nor its leader, Vishnupuram Chandrasekharan was not much heard of till this year.
Hindutva website HaindavaKeralam gives this information about VSDP( based on a JanmaBhumi Report )– “It is now confirmed- the scheming designs behind the untimely resignation of the MLA from Neyyatinkara, R Selvaraj are nothing but those of the Catholic body. The confidential and clandestine meeting that was held between Chief Minister Oomen Chandy and the 5 senior Bishops of Neyyatinkara has been the sole cause of Selvaraj’s resignation. It has also been gathered that the Chief Minister has extended the promise that all who convert to the Latin Catholic community will be granted special privileges. Following this, the Catholic body gave their assurance regarding something: that Selvaraj will be made to submit his resignation, following which the resignation was indeed tendered…”
Janma Bhumi report gets its facts right regarding the Catholic angle and also its reasons one like the ‘Caste Certificate’. But it surely errs when it stresses on this alone– “Recent times saw a spate of conversions take place from other Christian communities and Hindu Nadar communities into the Latin Catholic community. The document that is being furnished as proof when asked for by village officers is the letter provided by Bishop of Neyyatinkara. This is taking place, when the government has issued stringent orders never to resort to any written document from any community leadership or religious body for obtaining a caste certificate. In fact many organizations including Hindu Aikya Vedi have protested against the issuing of these fake certificates. However, in spite of obtaining the fake certificates and converting members from other divisions of Christianity into the Latin Catholic segment, they were not eligible for reservation benefits owing to the standing government orders. This led to a mini uprising of those who converted, against the Catholic body. In between, VSDP that was constituted with the aim of organizing all the divisions of Nadars gathered strength. Scores of Nadars, who had converted to Christianity joined VSDP and proclaimed their avowed support. This led to the waning of strength earlier displayed by the Latin Catholic community, which used to project the votes obtained from Nadar community for any kind of bargain.”
This explanation does not give us the accurate picture and it goes completely wrong regarding waning of strength of the Church. This mistake might be due to a very simplistic understanding of the Church or its working. Church works on a long time basis and it is very adept in playing from both sides. Besides, it works only on a SAFE plan. You have to read this curious religious phenomenon that is happening around this place to understand this. Will you be surprised to know that an equal number of Christians gets ‘converted’ to certain ‘Hindu’ Communities as well? Are you Surprised? Well, don’ t be . It’s certainly not due to efforts of the hindu ‘missionaries’. Read this blog to get a feel of this ‘new religious phenomenon’.
That’s how ‘Church’ plays their game. Definitely, one of its main aim is to facilitate easy conversion. But they also know that direct ways are never easy and it is often easy under various other ‘indirect techniques’.
Again, coming back to VSDP, If VSDP was formed as a revolt against the Catholic body, why was it ‘christened’ Vaikunta Swami Dharma Pracharana Sabha (translation in English – Society for the Propagation of Vaikunta Swami’s Dharma).
Vaikunta Swami, going by the ‘current history’ was supposed to be the earliest reformer from Nadar Community who resisted the conversion efforts of Christian missionaries (Now this is as per Church ‘history’). Now why would reverends and pastors become active participants of an organisation, which is named after a ‘pagan’ and why would they want to propagate these beliefs of a pagan??
Is it any surprise to any of us that that they don’t want to join in any alliance with ‘local’ pagans?
It is also very interesting to read this ‘HIS story’ of Vaikunta Swami, which seems to have been manufactured in a very subaltern fashion, straight out of Missionary archives.
Just read this ‘Wikipedia article’
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayyavazhi; ) to understand the ‘missionary appeal’ of the whole stuff.
“Ayyavazhi began to be noticed initially by the large number of people gathering to worship Vaikundar (known historically as “Mudisoodum Perumal”) (1809 CE – 1851 CE) at Poovandanthoppe. The Thuvayal thavasu (washing penance) of 1840 is the origin of Ayyavazhi as an alternative religio-cultural phenomena.
Arul Nool, the first Ayyavazhi work in print was released in 1927, followed by the Akilam in 1933, almost a century after it had been written down. As a result, Ayyavazhi abandoned active oral traditions in favor of literary scriptures.
The Anbukkodimakkal Thirucchabai, a democratic bureau, was established by the religious headquarters in the early 1990s to organize and govern the religion. Organisational conferences are held in various cities in South India including Mumbai, Chennai and Thiruvananthapuram.”
It is very interesting to know that History of this ‘religion’ began around 1840’s and a written history conveniently written after a century, which resulted in the abandonment of oral traditions in favour of literary scriptures.
Now let us see why these ‘literary scriptures’ were favoured. From the WP article ‘Ayya Vaikundar” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayya_Vaikundar) –
“The transformation, In his twenty-fourth year, Muthukutty was struck by a severe illness and suffered for a year. His mother took her sick son to the temple at Thiruchendur, during a festival in Thiruchendur. There, Muthukutty went in to the sea and disappeared. The parents searched for his body for a whole day. According to legends, on the third day, Vishnu appeared on the sea-shore. On seeing him, Muthukutty’s mother mistook him for her son and tried to embrace him. But the god told her that he was no longer her son, but the son of Narayana.
Kaliyan claimed, it was impossible to destroy him in this yuga as in the previous ones as he held the boon from gods, it was impossible for Narayan, or any others, to incarnate in the world to destroy him. Since God could not incarnate directly, He incarnated as Ayya Vaikundar in three stages.
The first stage of Avatar was the born dead child (birth of the Body). Next, immediately the soul of Sampooranathevan was installed into the body, along with the Spirit (not Soul) of Narayana kept in Parvatha Ucchi Malai (a mythical mountain believed to be in this region) after the completion of the Krishna Avatar. This was the second stage of the Avatar. Then in the sea (during the 24th year), the soul of Sampooranathevan was granted moksha (liberation from the cycle of death and birth, synonymous with heaven), unified to the Ultimate Soul. Now, the Spirit of Narayana along with the Ultimate Soul (Paramatma) incarnated in the body of a human being (Muthukutty)
According to Akilam Ayya Vaikundar was not merely a human, not merely Narayana, and not merely the Ultimate Soul, but on the other hand he was a human and he was the Ultimate Soul and he was Narayana. He was the one who had the responsibility to destroy the evil of Kali.”
Disappeared, third day, son of yhwh, Soul and spirit getting installed .. looks like a very familiar story stuff. Is it not??
If someone isn’t still convinced, the last sentence containing ‘both son and human’ should dispel all their doubts.
Now this is ok. India is a free and a ‘secular’ country. Anyone can develop their cute stories, philosophies and religions and practice them as they desire. But the only problem is if this is misused to disrupt or destroy the existing cultures of the land.
Scholars need to make a study of this and to understand the implications of this seemingly harmless religious history. They should also study in detail the introduction of ‘Ayya Vaikundar’ as a social reformer into our history books. It is highly possible that this was done after the 1990’s and for this, a study of school history text books of Kerala and Tamil Nadu from the 1980’s should be done.
Coming back to elections and VSDP, it can be seen how Church won its case even before the elections. The bit about VSDP in this election was just a ‘cameo’ phase. There is no doubt that VSDP is going to get an increasing role in the politics of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Itwill be useful to note VSDP’s demands after ‘their’ candidate won , esp. ‘demand for reservation without religion as a benchmark’. Unlike these direct demands, there might be still more hidden ones coming, Hindu Nadars needs to understand these forces behind VSDP before it’s too late.