'Drive out radical Hindu Governor': Campaign in Mizoram against Kummanam Rajasekharan

While PRISM, a political group, issued a statement against Kummanam, others have said that Mizoram has, in the past, seen other Hindu Governors.
'Drive out radical Hindu Governor': Campaign in Mizoram against Kummanam Rajasekharan
'Drive out radical Hindu Governor': Campaign in Mizoram against Kummanam Rajasekharan
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Just days after Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Kummanam Rajasekharan was sworn in as the Governor of Mizoram, a campaign, labelling him as ‘anti-Christian’, to remove the senior leader from Kerala seems to have been initiated.

The resistance against him tags the 65-year-old leader as a radical Hindu leader, who is against Christians.

The People’s Representation for Identity and Status of Mizoram (PRISM) - an anti-corruption organisation that turned into a political party in 2017 - has reportedly started a campaign to oust Kummanam Rajasekharan from the poll-bound state.

According to reports, PRISM has appealed to churches, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and political parties to come together to oust the "radical Hindu leader" from the state.

According to The Mizoram Post, the letter was sent to Mizoram Kohran Hruaitute Committee (MKHC) - a conglomerate of 13 major churches in the state - and political parties and civil organisations. In the letter, they called Kummanam "anti-secular".

The New Indian Express reported portions from a statement released by PRISM that listed how Kummanam has headed various Hindu organisations in Kerala:

"We all know that Mr. Kummanam Rajasekharan was newly sworn in as the Governor of our state. He is well-known for his anti-secularism that goes against the Indian Constitution. He has been a hardcore member of RSS, Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Hindu Aikya Vedi; well known as being against Christian missionaries and Christians in general. He was the general convener of Nilakkal Action Council and was directly instrumental in the Nilakkal Hindu-Christian conflict of 1983.”

The statement issued by the party's president Vanlalruata and general secretary Lalrinzuala Chawngthu added that Kummanam was also one of the key accused when the American missionary Joseph Cooper was attacked and injured.

"He was actively involved in attempting to drive out about 50 Christian missionaries they had listed in 2003. He was the person who had asked the then Governor to take action against the then Chief Secretary when Kerala Chief Secretary delivered God’s word in the bicentenary celebration of Malankara Orthodox Church in 2015," the statement read.

Even as Kummanam Rajasekharan maintained that his role "henceforth will be apolitical", PRISM felt that appointing Kummanam as the Governor was a political tactic by the BJP.

Even as the campaign is underway, several people have also questioned the fairness of arguing that a Hindu leader cannot hold the post of a Governor in a state that has a majority population of Christians.

While some argued that the people of Mizoram were being intolerant to a Hindu leader, some others argued that they were not against Hindus, but against Hindutva.

Some pointed out that Vaikkom Purushottaman, the Kerala leader who previously served as Mizoram Governor, was also a Hindu, as was Nirbhay Sharma who preceded Kummanam.

When TNM reached out to K Surendran, BJP's general secretary in Kerala, he said that the party does not consider the campaign seeking to 'oust' Kummanam Rajasekharan seriously at all.

"This is being carried out by certain fringe elements and not by mainstream political parties. Nowhere have we heard about such a campaign against a Governor; there's no basis for this campaign," Surendran said.

He added that PRISM's stand of opposing to Kummanam Rajasekharan because of his RSS roots, does not make sense.

Surendran asked: "Our Prime Minister and President have RSS roots, and now some people are raising objection to Kummanam Rajasekharan's RSS connection?"

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