Joseph Marthoma Metropolita calls Kummanam a prophet

Kerala Marthoma Church cozying up to the BJP Is there more than what meets the eye
news Kerala2016 Saturday, January 16, 2016 - 21:12

Kerala BJP state president Kummanam Rajasekharan has been labelled a prophet by Reverend Joseph Marthoma Metropolitan –head of the Marthoma Church- at a function held in the former’s honour in Aranmula in Pathanamthitta on Friday.

The surprising allegory has had political analysts in Kerala go into overdrive trying to read between the lines at a time when religious intolerance is reportedly on the rise in the country.

Talking to The News Minute, Advocate A Jayashankar of “Varanthyam” fame (a popular Malayalam weekly news analysis programme that used to air on India Vision channel) prefers to see it as a double-edged weapon.

“If one wants, one can describe the usage as loaded with sarcasm. Or maybe it is a genuine attempt to reconcile earlier differences that had cropped up between the Metropolitan and Kummanam, especially with the proposed Aranmula airport. The Metropolitan was all for it, while Kummanam was one of its strongest opponents,” he said.

Now that the project has been more or less scrapped, Jayashankar opines that the Metropolitan must have decided –taking into consideration the changing political equations in the state and upcoming assembly elections- it would be better for the Marthoma Church to flow with the times rather than adopt an antagonistic stance.

Since taking over as the BJP state president, Kummanam –Jayashankar observed- has been meeting various religious heads, especially Christian bishops, almost on a daily basis. This he feels could be to supplement the efforts of the RSS to set up a Rashtriya Isai Manch on the lines of the Muslim Rashtriya Manch in a bid to integrate minority votes too into their burgeoning votebank in Kerala.

When asked whether the minority tag was beginning to worry the Christians in the state, Jayashankar begged to differ, saying that Christians in Kerala have always made an effort to jell well with those in power, citing examples of church authorities cutting across all Christian denominations sharing a good rapport with Prime Minister Narendra Modi right from the time he was the chief minister of Gujarat.

Left sympathizer and political analyst Sebastian Paul however termed the prophetic usage by the Metropolitan as completely unwarranted bordering on the weird.

Terming it highly objectionable, Paul outrightly decried the Metrpolitan’s use of the term “prophet” in describing Kummanam of all people. He was quick to point out how highly regarded a word it is among Christians, given its biblical connotations.

That the Metropolitan used it to describe someone associated with a party who has been consistently accusing Christians of trying to indulge in a conversion spree is hard to digest, Paul reiterated to The News Minute.

“RSS has consistently opposed the conduct of the Maramon Convention –one of the largest Christian conventions in Asia organized by the Mar Thoma Evangelistic Association, the missionary wing of the Mar Thoma Church on the banks of the river Pampa which is incidentally revered as a holy river by the Hindus,” Paul was quick to point out.

Analysts feel that the Marthoma Church apparently seems to be -at least for the time being- responding positively to the concerted effort by the RSS to concretize its dream of shaping the Rashtriya Isai Manch.

With Kummanam leading the Kerala BJP into the state assembly polls due to be held in April 2016, the RSS may just be a step away from clothing Kerala too in their saffron robes.


Become a TNM Member for just Rs 999!
You can also support us with a one-time payment.