CPM rejects claims of observing 'Ramayana month' in Kerala as Sanskrit Sangh outfit gears up to hold seminar series on epic

Thiruvananthapuram: As yet another 'Ramayana month' is around the corner, a Kerala-based outfit of Sanskrit scholars and historians are gearing up to hold state-wide seminars on the epic to counter the alleged attempt by the Sangh Parivar to 'misinterpret' ancient texts.

'Karkkitakam', the last month in the Malayalam calendar beginning on 17 July this year, is generally observed as 'Ramayana month' in the southern state by the Hindu community.

The outfit, 'Sanskrit Sangh', which has a number of pro-Left scholars, academicians and Left sympathisers as members, plans to hold seminars on the topic 'Ramayana Chintha' (thoughts on Ramayana) in all 14 districts on a convenient day between mid-July and August.

However, office bearers of the outfit rejected media reports that it is a feeder organisation of the ruling CPM and the seminars are part of the Left party's observance of the Ramayana month.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan also rubbished the reports, saying that the party had no plans to observe 'Ramayana month'.

"The media reports stating that CPI(M) is organising the observance of Ramayana month is baseless. Sanskrit Sangh is an independent outfit and not a feeder organisation of the CPI(M)," he said in a statement.

Thilakaraj, state convener of Sanskrit Sangh, said the outfit was set up last September with an objective to check the growing trend of 'misinterpreting' ancient texts by right wing forces.

"Ours is an independent organisation of progressive and secular minded scholars,historians and academics," he told PTI.

"It's aim is just to give an interpretation of the ancient texts from a scientific and secular perspective through various programmes, including seminars and lectures by experts. It has nothing to do with politics," he said.

Asked whether the outfit has any connection with CPM, he claimed that it has Left as well as anti-Left sympathisers as members.

"I am a CPI(M) activist...a number of others in the outfit also have the Left leanings. But that does not mean that it is a feeder organisation of the Marxist party," he said.

Thilakaraj also said that holding the one-day seminar during the mid July-August period does not have any connection with the Ramayana month.

CPM state committee member K Sivadasan, an active participant in the 'Sanskrit Sangh' programmes, said the outfit was formed with the aim of intervening in social matters and was working beyond politics.

"They are organising several programmes to check the right wing forces' attempt to misinterpret religious texts and misuse it for communal politics," he told PTI.

"Not just Ramayana, they are planning lectures and seminars on the Vedas and Puranas, along with the theories of Copernicus and Hegel," the leader added.

In the statement, Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said that in the name of 'Sanskrit Sangh', a section of the media was trying to propagate that CPM was all set to observe the Ramayana month.

He also alleged that RSS had been misusing Karkkidaka month projecting it as 'Ramayana month' for communal polarisation and political purpose.

'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 would also arrange recital of the epic and special poojas during the season.

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Updated Date: Jul 12, 2018 07:16:58 IST

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