“The godmen are here to stay, until social consciousness undergoes a qualitative change,” writes Marxist historian Prof KN Panikkar in The Hindu.
Communists, ever since the inception of the Communist party in India, have been toiling day in and day out to bring about this ‘qualitative’ change in the minds of the people. They have not only failed but are faced with the reality of more and more Communists falling into the abyss of “irrationality”.
Recently, reports of two senior ministers in the Pinarayi Vijayan government – Dr Thomas Isaac and G Sudhakaran — paying obeisance to chief of Sringeri Mutt have left many hard-core Communists red-faced. Swami Sandipananda Giri is a regular fixture at party functions. He is the Marxists’ answer to Sangh Parivar’s swamis. However, there is no dearth of swamis in the Marxist stable. During DYFI’s much-hyped Beef Festivals, a swami was seen serving beef curry to cadres. Then there is one Thokku Swami (gun swami) whose expletive-filled diatribes on Sanghis will make even the gods in the heaven run for cover. His fan-base include even hard-core jihadis.
While lesser mortals in the party troll Mata Amritanandamayi on social media, senior Marxist ministers have no qualms in embracing the Hugging Saint.
Marxist firebrand leader Chintha Jerome, who was trolled over a matrimonial advertisement that appeared in her name on a Christian matrimonial website recently, was seen visiting churches. The allegation against Marxist ideologue MA Baby is that he slams the church during the day and visits bishops when it is dark.
Panikkar further writes: “Rationalists and liberals looked upon education which promoted scientific temper and rational thinking as the antidote to what they conceived as a result of cultural and social backwardness. But education has not adequately fulfilled this role. …Popular media, either consciously or unconsciously, promotes and reinforces irrationality and superstition. The reading material available in almost all Indian languages is replete with accounts of the charismatic personae and spiritual qualities of godmen. Not only religious channels, but some secular channels too telecast programmes eulogising their qualities and achievements. From these popular representations, and patronage they seem to enjoy from the state, they derive considerable legitimacy.”
The Marxist historian finds “irrationality and superstition” only in Hinduism. He has nothing to say about faith healing, charismatic treatments or vomit-inducing ‘spit healing’ of Kanthapuram Musaliar.
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