Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan condemns Israel’s bombardment of Gaza

"There were no Christmas celebrations in Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus Christ, this time. How will they celebrate?" Vijayan asked.


Published Dec 30, 2023 | 4:37 PMUpdatedDec 30, 2023 | 4:37 PM

Pinarayi Vijayan

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday, 30 December, condemned Israel’s bombardment of Gaza and said what the Israeli establishment is doing to the Palestinian people is an attack on humanity.

He was speaking after inaugurating the 91st Sivagiri pilgrimage in Sivagiri, Kerala when he made the remarks.

“There were no Christmas celebrations in Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus Christ, this time. There were no Christmas lamps or stars. How will they celebrate Christmas?” Vijayan asked.

He said that when one hears of Palestine, the images that come to mind are often of the Muslim faithful, but there is also a significant Christian community living in Gaza.

Speaking about Palestinians being unable to celebrate Christmas, which brings the message of peace, the chief minister said the social reformer saint Sree Narayana Guru, who founded the Sivagiri Mutt, had also spread the message of peace and harmony.

Also read: Anti-Hamas remarks by Shashi Tharoor spark a row

Sree Narayana Guru’s teachings

Emphasising the guru’s teachings, which uphold universal humanity, he even went on to say that “if the light of the guru’s message had reached that soil, the river of blood would not have flowed like this.”

Sree Narayana Guru had propagated the message of “One Caste, One Religion, and One God for Mankind.”

The 19th-century spiritual guru and social reformer was born into a backward Ezhava family in an era when people from such communities faced social injustice in the caste-ridden society of Kerala.

He went on to herald a major change in society, being at the forefront of the movement for universal temple entry and against untouchability.

The event organised at Sivagiri was attended by dignitaries including Kerala Cooperation Minister VN Vasavan, ISRO chairman S Somanath, and SNDP Yogam General Secretary Vellappally Natesan.

It was presided over by Sivagiri Mutt head Swami Sachidananda.

Also read: Israel-Palestine conflict: Kerala is at odds with the Union government

(Disclaimer: The headline, subheads, and intro of this report along with the photos may have been reworked by South First. The rest of the content is from a syndicated feed, and has been edited for style.)