Suprabhatham, a daily owned by EK Sunni faction, criticised Pala Bishop for making his ‘narcotic jihad’ speech.

Kerala CPI(M) Minister VN Vasavan in a full white attire arriving at Pala Bishop House PC/Asianet News Screengrab
news Controversy Saturday, September 18, 2021 - 18:34

Suprabhatham, a Malayalam daily owned by Muslim Sunni EK faction has slammed CPI(M) Minister VN Vasavan for visiting Pala Bishop Joseph Kallarangatt, who had made the controversial 'narcotic jihad' speech. A prominent leader of the CPI(M) in Kottayam and currently the Minister of Cooperation and Registration VN Vasavan had visited Bishop Kallarangat at the bishop house in Pala, that falls under the Kottayam district, on Friday, September 17. The visit happened even as the CPI(M), which leads the ruling coalition in Kerala has been slammed for its soft stand on the Bishop’s comments. 

Titled ‘Vettakkaranu hallelujah Padumupol’ (When hallelujah  is sung for a hunter), the article by Mustafa Mundupara and published in Suprabhatham’s editorial page on Saturday, September 18, criticised the bishop for making his speech 'without being backed by any facts or evidence'. Without naming Vasavan, the article also hits out at the CPI(M) Minister.  "It's stark injustice that different communities get different justice in the same land, which is new to a state like Kerala. Someone (the bishop) blurted out without thinking and the authorities don’t care about it. People including a minister visiting him in person, rather than visiting the victim (here the Muslim community) raising zindabad for the hunter. What more is there to shame," the article reads.

"The move of the minister giving a good certificate to the controversial hate preacher of Pala is humiliating and objectionable. I would like to know if this is the official stand of the Pinarayi government and that of the Left Democratic Front," the article further reads.

On September 9, Pala Bishop Joseph Kallarangatt had alleged that Christian women were falling prey to 'love jihad and narcotic jihad'. The bishop made the remarks while addressing a gathering in a church. He claimed that non-Muslims are subjected to 'narcotic jihad' in the state which he explained as spoiling the life of non-Muslims particularly young people, by making them addicted to drugs. However, he failed to provide any proof for his Islamophobic comment. The same Bishop had days ago issued a circular warning the laity to be cautious about the attempts to befriend and lure young women.

The bishop’s speech had triggered widespread condemnation, with Muslim Aikya Vedi workers also staging protest in Pala. While Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan initially said that people holding responsible positions shouldn't cause religious divisions, he later said that the government had no intention to initiate legal proceedings against the bishop. CPI(M) acting state secretary A Vijayaraghavan in a press meet on Friday, September 17, said that there was nothing wrong in the bishop's statement. "The bishop had no ill-intention and that the BJP was making use of the issue," Vijayaraghavan said.

Read: No action by Kerala govt against bishop who made 'narcotic jihad' remark sparks row

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