Invitation to Islamist fundamentalist Abdul Nasr Madani, the main accused in many bomb blast and terror cases, to address a function and participate in religious rituals organized in connection with the consecration of a renovated temple in Kochi has invited the wrath of the Hindu community in Kerala.
After reports appeared in the press that the authorities of Thykkaatu Shiva temple in Vennala, Kochi, wrote a letter to Madani who is lodged in a Bengaluru jail for his role in Bengaluru bomb blast case, seeking his consent to be the chief guest at the function, Hindu devotees are up in arms.
Madani, who preached extremist Wahabism and started Islamist army Islamic Sevak Sangh, has been involved in many anti-Hindu campaigns. He somehow managed to escape punishment after being jailed for nine years in Tamil Nadu in connection with the shocking Coimbatore blast case of 1998.
Madani, in a reply to the authorities, expressed his gratitude and desire to attend the programme and sought more details about the function so that he could include them in his bail application in the court.
Thyakkattu Siva temple is believed to be more than 2000 years old. It belonged to a Brahmin family. But later it fell into the hands of a trust after several litigations between the Brahmin family and locals. The trust has many influential locals. One Nandakumar, a powerbroker, is one among them. Kumar, born to a modest family, amassed huge wealth owing to his political connections. He is said to be a senior PR man of the Reliance Group. He has close links with former CM V.S. Achuthanandan’s family. When the CPI(M) civil war between Pinarayi Vijayan and VS touched the peak few years back, Kumar was termed as a persona non grata by Pinarayi loyalists. They had alleged that he was controlling the strategies of VS.
Kumar have fingers in many pockets: he was close to many UPA ministers. He used enjoy huge political clout during UPA-II. He used to be the fundraiser for the temple. He threw crores of rupees on temple renovation. Although the invite to Madani was sent on the temple letter pad, the committee members were unaware of the development till it became a controversy. However, no one is ready to take up the matter because of Kumar’s clout.
There are different versions to the controversy. Some believe it was publicity stunt played out by Kumar, as he knows well that Madani won’t come for the function. Others believe it is an effort to help Madani win his case by projecting him as a “secular man”.
Whatever the case, Madani will have the last laugh. “The very invitation from the temple committee is going to help him in his legal procedures. His lawyer can argue that Madani is a secular man hence a temple committee from Kerala invited him to participate in the consecration of a renovated ancient temple. Definitely it will weaken the position of the prosecution. How can someone even think to invite a person who had all these years spat venom on Hinduism and India. He is an Islamic terrorist,” said a local leader of the Hindu Aikya Vedi.
However, Hindu organizations are livid. They have declared that they would not allow Madani to come to the temple. People say it was an avoidable controversy in a Hindu temple.