Marxists, Islamic radicals and certain Christian organisations have unleashed a concerted campaign against Hindu religious leaders. One of the prominent among those who figure in their hit-list is Mata Amritanandamayi, popularly called “Amma”, who enjoys huge following in India and abroad. The Amritanandamayi Math runs a chain of educational and medical institutions which have been rendering services to the deprived sections of the society. Her social service activities have been incredible.
The Malayalam social media is full of disparaging comments about her, posted mostly by Islamic radicals and Marxists, characterizing her as a woman of loose morals. She is being called “Kadappuram Sudhamani” — Sudhamani being her name in the poorvashrama. The CPI(M)-run TV channel and daily Deshabhimani have been churning out hate-reports with a vengeance. A few years ago, CPI(M)-run Kairali channel dispatched its then Editor John Brittas to Hawai to interview a disgruntled disciple, Gail Tredwell, who wrote a book about “sexual anarchy” within the Ashram. Recently, a Marxist leader went on record, saying the Math amassed wealth with the support of the RSS and BJP. But the whole exercise turned out to be a damp squib. Despite the hate mongering, Amma’s support base has only been growing.
The Marxists’ ire
There are political reasons behind Marxists’ hostility towards Amrithanandamayi. The ‘Hugging Saint’ as she is commonly called, hails from fishermen caste, a traditional vote-bank of the CPI(M), and holds considerable sway among fellow community members. Although she has followers across the political spectrum, a majority of them are supporters of the RSS-BJP. This is something the CPI(M) cannot digest. Also, the CPI(M) has been bending over backwards to woo minorities, especially Muslims, which it has failed to make much headway. With the BJP at the Centre, CPI(M) sees a ray of hope. It has been raising the Hindutva bogey to scare minorities. Also, of late, the CPI(M)’s attacks on Hindu traditions and culture have also become sharper, as it thinks these would placate the hardline elements in the Muslim community. The ‘Beef Festivals’ organized across the state should be seen in this light.
Why Amrithanandamayi is being singled out?
There is an economic angle also to this malicious campaign. The Amritanandamayi Mission has been successfully running medical and educational institutions in the country and they have been posing a huge challenge to the institutions run by minorities. The Christian community used to have a monopoly over these two sectors. The Church have been the biggest employer in the state. The Amritha Medical Mission hospital in Kochi and other institutions run by the Ashram have been giving Christian managements a run for their money. Several efforts were made by vested interests to create hurdles for Amritanandamayi’s projects.
Islamists have Marxists and media doing their donkey jobs
Islamists have been using Marxists and Left-liberal media to push their agenda. They are on same page with regard to their stance on Israel, US, Kashmir and ‘Savarna Fascism’ in India.
Awash with petro-dollars, radical Islamic organisations have launched a vicious campaign against Hindu belief systems and religious leaders. Egged on by Marxists, they turn around controversies to their advantage and attack Hinduism. The Muslim organisations use a carrot-and-stick policy while dealing with the media. Using their muscle and money power, they prevent the media organisations from taking up issues detrimental to their interests. The vernacular media, which usually go whole hog over even minor incidents in other states to target BJP, turn a blind eye to even more alarming issues of ISIS recruitment of youths from the state or ‘Love Jihad’ by Islamic radicals. Besides, Islamists co-opt Left-liberal intelligentsia to raise their issues to gain public acceptance. Jamaat-e-Islami, which is working for the establishment of Islamic state in Kerala, uses their media outlets to rope in Left intellectuals in their fight against “Savarna Fascism”. They are paid hefty amounts as fee for their contributions. Besides, intellectuals are given awards with hefty cash prizes and trips to West Asian countries. Prof MN Karassery, noted liberal Muslim scholar, tells Open magazine: “Following the 1979 Iranian Revolution, the Jamaat-e-Islami began to aggressively preach among young Muslims in Kerala that it was time for an Islamic state along the lines of Iran in India. Many young people were swayed by it. Then, the organization zealously propagated the myth of monotheism among the state’s Muslims. That is when the radicalization of Kerala became deeper.”
For temporary electoral gains, the CPI(M) has unleashed a Frankenstein. Weakening of Hinduism will lead to the end of secularism in the state.