Pinarayi Vijayan hopes PM Modi’s church visit on Easter was ‘atonement for past deeds’

The ruling CPI(M) in Kerala said attempts by the RSS to forge close ties with minority communities were a mockery.


Published Apr 11, 2023 | 1:41 PMUpdatedApr 11, 2023 | 2:04 PM

Pinarayi Vijayan Modi visit

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday, 10 April, took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his church visit on Easter, saying it would have been a good thing if it was an “atonement for the past deeds” of the Sangh Parivar.

Addressing a party programme at Angamaly near Kochi, Vijayan said people have seen the “true colours” of the Sangh Parivar and now they are trying to picture themselves as being closer to the Christian community.

The CPI(M) leaders, including ministers, have also criticised the BJP’s attempt to reach out to the Christian community ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

Also read: Kerala BJP leaders visit prominent bishops in Kerala for Easter

‘Atonement for past deeds’

“The Prime Minister of the country visited a famous Christian shrine in Delhi (on Easter day). That’s a good thing provided it was an act of atonement for the past deeds (against Christians)… We saw the BJP leaders visiting Bishop houses across the state. There is nothing wrong with it…,” Vijayan said, adding that it is necessary for them to create an impression that they are close to the community.

“But they (the BJP) should understand that people would only react in light of their experience,” the veteran CPI(M) leader said.

He said the BJP and the Sangh Parivar have tried all the “tricks in their book” to make inroads in the state.

People in Kerala have enough experience to understand the “true colours of the Sangh Parivar”, he said.

“It’s not necessary to have a bad experience to understand the agenda of the Sangh Parivar. People are witnessing the happenings across the country. The secular society of the country will understand that,” he added.

Higher Education Minister R Bindhu said that society has not forgotten the “Hindutva attacks on nuns, missionaries, and churches” across the country.

“It is clear that the purpose of the BJP’s Easter drama was to remain in power by creating communal division in the society. The Christian community will be able to recognise this hypocrisy of the BJP, and they clearly understand exactly what they are dealing with,” she told the media in Delhi.

Also read: Will Kerala Christians toe Sangh Parivar line, as PM Modi expects

‘Should question BJP’

Tourism Minister PA Mohammed Riyas asked people to question the BJP about whether they were ready to discard the Bunch of Thoughts.

Bunch of Thoughts is a book written by late RSS ideologue MS Golwalkar.

“Christians are listed as one of the major ‘internal enemies’ of India in the Bunch of Thoughts. Is the BJP in Kerala ready to discard its ideological literature? Are they ready to discard the book?” Riyas asked.

He said the Sangh Parivar still justifies the killing of Graham Staines, an Australian Christian missionary, and his two sons, Philip and Timothy.

“The people now have a chance to ask the BJP leaders questions related to all of these,” Riyas said.

The minister also cited the United Christian Forum (UCF) data and said there were 598 attacks by the Sangh Parivar against the Christian community in 2022.

Attacks against Christians

“At least 89 pastors and priests were attacked, 68 churches were destroyed. Even Christmas carols are under attack. In Uttar Pradesh, nuns were attacked. Hundreds of armed men attacked a church in Chhattisgarh. All these are pre-planned ones based on the ideology given in the Bunch of Thoughts,” Riyas said.

The ruling CPI(M) in Kerala said attempts by the RSS, which had earlier declared minority communities a threat to the nation, to forge close ties with them now were a mockery.

“There were a lot of attacks across the country against Christian establishments and places of worship last Christmas. It is against this backdrop that the Prime Minister and other BJP leaders are visiting churches and priests,” the CPI(M) said in its statement.

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