Picture: Geevarghese Mor Coorilos, the Metropolitan of Niranam Diocese
Geevarghese Mor Coorilos, the Metropolitan of Niranam Diocese, Jacobite Church, has said the Christian belief that St. Thomas had converted Namboothiri-Brahmins is a myth and it should be busted. Although there has not been any evidence, a section of the Syrian Christians have been promoting this hoax to claim exalted status in the society.
Christians of central Kerala have been propagating that they are the descendants of the Namboothiris St. Thomas had converted when he landed in Kerala. He expressed his views through a Facebook post.
Coorilos stated that he would hereafter not attend any ‘Kutumba Yogas’ (family get-togethers) proclaiming their lineage to some Namboothiri family. Speaking to Indus Scrolls, he said they usually take place during May and December every year. In most such meetings, family members tell fabricated stories about their glorious past. They make it a point to say that their ancestors were Namboothiris who were baptized to Christianity by St. Thomas himself. “It is an attempt to create ‘caste’ superiority in the community. It is meant to strengthen the “upper class’ identity and traditions which are artificially created. They cite the family names of some reputed Brahmin families to establish their arguments. They even prepare fake family histories linking them to Namboothiri ‘illams’.” All these are false, fake and reactionary, he added.
Mor Coorilos said he regretted for having participated in family get-togethers in the past. “Enough is enough,” he said.
He also said he doesn’t like to be addressed as “thirumeni” (his highness), a mandatory prefix for the names of bishops and superiors in Christian clergy. He believes, it is again caste based myth.
Coorilos said though Catholicos, his superior, asks him about his unusual post, he would stand by what he has said. He has not discussed the matter with his fellow bishops so far.
Historians, including the Christian ones, have dismissed St Thomas visit to Kerala as a myth. In November 2006, Pope Benedict XVI’s remarked that the saint had preached Christianity in “western” Bharat from where it spread to other parts of the country. In another words Pope’s remarks weakened the theory that the saint had been to Kerala and converted Namboothiris to Christianity. It stirred a hornets’ nest those days.