Ram temple consecration: Malayalam film fraternity divided, with some pointing to Preamble

Several Malayalam film industry members posted the Preamble to the Constitution on social media as the Ram Temple was consecrated.

ByK A Shaji

Published Jan 22, 2024 | 7:52 PMUpdatedJan 22, 2024 | 7:53 PM

The Ram temple consecration ceremony.

Many activists, writers, actors, and public intellectuals in Kerala have denounced the BJP’s big political game behind the Ayodhya Ram temple consecration.

The move came close on the heels of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s statement calling upon people to reaffirm their commitment to the secular credentials of the nation and its Constitution.

Social media platforms witnessed heated exchanges between BJP activists in the state and those who encourage people to be guardians of democracy, plurality, and coexistence.

Also read: Karnataka Muslims remind PM he is custodian of Constitution

Mohanlal shows support

A highly visible political fragmentation over the temple inauguration happened in the Malayalam film world, where actors remained divided.

Right from the morning, pro-RSS-BJP social media handles propagated images of superstar Mohanlal, who expressed solidarity with the inauguration by attending a special puja held at Ayyappankavu Sree Dharmashastha Temple at Kacheripadi in Kochi.

Mohanlal and BJP-RSS workers attended the puja that took place early in the morning.

Actor Unni Mukundan went a step ahead by conducting a special puja and distributing sweets at the location of his new film Get Set Baby. The shooting is said to be progressing fast at Kakkanad near Kochi.

Unnimukundan said the consecration of the Ram temple provided him with a lot of gratification.

Also read: Pratap Simha labelled ‘anti-Dalit’ at Ram Temple groundbreaking

The Preamble posting

In the meantime, several celebrities, including pro-Left film stars, took to their social media accounts to express strong disappointment over the Union government’s overemphasis on the temple consecration, which they said challenged India’s secularism.

Marking their protest, they shared the Preamble to the Constitution on their social media pages to remind the Narendra Modi dispensation in Delhi about the importance of secularism in India.

Former MLA and CPI(M) leader M Swaraj claimed in a Facebook post that received hundreds of shares that the BJP had reduced Lord Ram to a mere political tool.

“Stolen God. Sri Ram’s devotees have been stolen. Godse, who killed the Father of the Nation, also ran off with Ram,” he said in his Facebook post.

CPI(M) leader and Kerala’s Minister for Local Self-Government MB Rajesh quoted  Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, and Ambedkar on the need to keep religion from politics.

He also quoted Malayalam writer T Padmanabhan’s recent remarks on turning Lord Ram into a bestselling commodity in India while sharing the Preamble of the Constitution on his Facebook page.

Malayalam film actors Parvathy Thiruvothu, Rima Kallingal, Divya Prabha, directors Aashiq Abu, Jeo Baby, Kamal KM, and singer Sooraj Santhosh were among the celebrities who dared to mark their protest by posting the Preamble to the Constitution on their social media accounts.

Also read: The art of shaming a Hindu who refuses to be a majoritarian bully

Political voices

On Sunday, Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) state president Sadiq Ali Shihab Thangal also criticised the BJP for using Lord Ram’s name for political gains.

The IUML is the second-largest constituent of Kerala’s Opposition alliance, the UDF.

“We love Rama, the embodiment of justice, while simultaneously opposing those who spread hatred and polarisation using his name,” he said.

“Amid the grand celebrations of the Ayodhya temple, the BJP government has come under fire for playing Hindutva politics behind the temple as well as consciously forgetting the controversial Babri Masjid demolition,” added Thangal.

Several Congress leaders in the state also used social media to distance themselves from the BJP game plan over Ayodhya.