Claiming that it is a move to counter strategies of right-wing organisations and political parties, the Communist Party of India (CPI) in Kerala is all set to organise a seminar on ancient Indian scriptures like Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas and ancient Hindu epics. The three-day seminar, starting on October 25, will be conducted by the NE Balaram Memorial Trust in Kannur district. The trust is an arm of the CPI.
The decision to conduct the seminar, CPI officials say, was taken to counter right-wing political parties and organisations who have claimed traditional Indian literature, scriptures and epics to be their sole bastion.
CPI members say that unlike right wing organisations which often make unscientific claims based on such works, the CPI is trying to critically analyse them through a scientific lens.
Talking to TNM, Kannur district secretary of CPI and executive trustee of NE Balaram Memorial Trust advocate P Santhosh Kumar said that the seminar is aimed to break the myth around Vedas and Upanishads that the right-wing organisations are propagating.
“It is being widely disseminated that everything in the universe is associated with Vedas and Upanishads. Various myths have also been associated with these scriptures and it is even propagated to be holy. We are aiming to revisit these scriptures critically so that people are not carried away by what the right-wing propaganda,” said Santhosh Kumar.
He also says that such critical analyses have been done in the past by Communist organisations of India.
Responding to criticism about a Leftist organisation conducting such a seminar, CN Chandran, chairman of the NE Balaram Memorial Trust says that, these scriptures are not anybody's sole bastion. “It is a common property of India and is not anybody's private asset. Organisations like RSS are trying to deem it as their own to misinterpret and misuse it,” he says.
The seminar will also cover topics on the association of ancient Indian scriptures with Buddhism, Christianity and Sufism.
CPI also rejected criticism that this is being done to increase party’s Hindu vote bank. “We do not have such an aim and we don’t think people vote for a particular party by listening to any seminar. If so, how easy it would have been for the political parties. This is purely academic and a step to break the myths which the right-wing has created,” says Santhosh Kumar.
CPI general secretary D Raja will inaugurate the seminar on October 25 in Kannur.