On the surface, it appears as though a lot is changing after Sitaram Yechury became the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI(M)) General Secretary. In the only state that the party is in power, the Kerala state committee decided to observe Ramayan month from July 17! The party is conducting a convention on July 25th on Ramayan and the decided to go to the booth level observing Ramayan month by taking classes on Ramayan. The party’s student wing Student Federation of India (SFI)’s former President and now party’s state committee member Shivadasan has been given charge of this surprising mission.
As per the reports in Malayalam media, the party will assign teachers and Sanskrit experts to conduct classes across the state to explain and debate on Ramayana. For the past three years, CPI(M) has been conducting rallies across the state on Sri Krishna Jayanthi. All these attempts were done by the Left party which once preached atheistic philosophy to prevent the growth of RSS, which grew in the state through Sri Krishna Jayanthi rallies for the past five decades.
For the past few months, the CPI(M)’s ideological leaders were recruiting and finding Sanskrit teachers for this purpose. The party’s state committee member and former SFI President Shivadasan was coordinating with CPI(M) teachers wing on how to conduct Ramayan Month and daily reading of Ramayan and explaining the contents to the common public in Malayalam language. There are debates going on inside the party to present different versions of Ramayan.
Till the 1980s, the CPI(M) card holding members were not allowed to visit temples. However, in those days the leaders’ wives used to go including the party General Secretary EMS Nampoothripad’s wife Arya Antharjanam. Slowly leaders also used to visit temples and offer prayers. Then the party found that RSS and Congress leaders are heading the temple committees and changed the rule that the party members should also enter into temple committees. This was after a long debate that temples are the mass point areas and party should enter into these points.
In Kerala, mid July to mid August is observed as Ramayan Month and in all temples and in Hindu homes Ramayan is recited in the evenings. Elder people will recite Ramayan on all days and explain the content in Malayalam language to younger generations. Now CPI(M) has found that this is a mass programme and wanted to enter into this arena too. According to party insiders, the CPI(M) is planning to launch this project through some of their frontal organisations.
Recently after conducting annual Sri Krishna Jayanthi rallies, the party also found good catch words for Lord Shri Krishna. Red banners were used to put pictures of Lord Sri Krishna and even depicted him as a mass Yadav leader and even called him a revolutionary leader of shepherd community!!!
The Left party is planning to give apt slogans on this Ramayan month project. Whether they will at last shout Jai Shri Ram at last is to be wait and watch.