THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The state government, which has gone all out to implement the SC verdict on Sabariamala, has turned a blind eye to a similar judgement delivered by the apex court in favour of the Orthodox Church in a centuries-old dispute between the Jacobite and Orthodox factions.
This stance by the government has not gone down well with the Orthodox Church which has extended unconditional support to the CPM in the last assembly elections, giving the party huge electoral rewards in Aranmula, Chengannur and Tiruvalla seats.
The spokesperson of Orthodox church Fr Johns Abraham Konattu told Express: “The police had promised us support both in Piravam and in Kothamangalam and while we came to enter the church, things were different, and we could not enter and conduct the rituals. We have come with an order from the Supreme Court and still the government has not given us any support citing untenable reasons.”
Asked on the comments made by Baselious Marthoma Paulose 2, the head of the Orthodox Church in the state, at Niranamam Bhadrasanam the other day, Fr Johns said: “He was in pain on the wrongdoing committed to the church even after we have got a court order in favour of us. We have supported the CPM and this is what the government and the party has given us in return”.
Orthodox kept UDF at bay
It may be noted that during the previous UDF Government’s tenure, the Orthodox Church had kept the Congress and UDF leaders at bay from the functions of the Church, citing that injustice was meted out to them. The Church did not even allow the then Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and the then KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala to attend the functions of the church and was not even ready for any talks with the UDF leadership, making an open statement of the Church’s support to the CPM and LDF. The Orthodox Church had gone to the extent of openly supporting the LDF candidates during the 2016 assembly elections and had declared that the LDF candidate from Aruanmula Veena George as the”Daughter” of the Church.
Asked whether there was a betrayal feeling on the treatment after supporting the LDF, Fr Johnas said: “It is natural to think on that line, even after the Church had supported the CPM candidates, we have got nothing in return other than brickbats”
He also said that the the believers of the Church are offended and this can effect the LDF in the next general elections in South Kerala.
Asked whether the LDF government did not take a pro-Orthodox action or rather implement the Supreme Court order owing to the huge support base of the Jacobite faction in Kothamangalam and Piravaam areas, Fr Johns said: “In Ernakulam district the CPM wants their support and it may be the reason, but in other constituencies of South Kerala our support base is very strong and can tilt the election results.”
Fr Johns’ statement is a clear indicator that the church is miffed at the Left Government and there are chance of the it giving a befitting reply to the the LDF in the general elections. The church has clout in Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Idukki and parts of Kollam and Alappuzha constituencies, and in the event of a neck-and-neck contest, the stance taken by the Church will be crucial.