STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

Here, ‘lost’ souls are brought back through yoga, training 

An untarred pocket road at Choorakkad, near Kandanad, in Tripunithura leads to a nondescript two-storey building.

Published: 27th September 2017 01:05 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th September 2017 07:29 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

KOCHI:  An untarred pocket road at Choorakkad, near Kandanad, in Tripunithura leads to a nondescript two-storey building. For many local residents, the office-cum-training centre of Sivasakthi Yoga Vidya Kendram, which has been functioning here for the past four years, was just another yoga training centre. 
But the centre has now grabbed the headlines after a Hindu woman, who married a Christian, termed it as a ‘reconversion centre’ and filed a police complaint alleging illegal detention. Express visited the centre, which imparts training in spirituality and counselling, and found many youths who had embraced Islam have returned  to Hinduism after undergoing sessions there. 


Interestingly, many people from north Kerala and even outside the state are approaching the centre. “This is not a reconversion centre as portrayed in many reports. The recent issue in which a 28-year old woman filed a complaint stating she was detained in the centre for 22 days seems to be a retaliation to the ‘Ghar Wapsi’ of 23-year-old Kasargod native Athira who left her home to embrace Islam,” said Jayesh, a local resident. According to Sruthi, the course coordinator at the centre, the rescuing of Sukesh Poojari, 24, a native of Kundapura in Karnataka, from the hands of fundamental groups is another example.
 “If he had continued in Islam, he would have been recruited to Syria or other countries,” she said. 
Earlier, Sukesh was involved in propagating ideologies of Islamic fundamentalist groups across the country.  Sukesh got attracted to Islam during his college days. 


“I was associated with Jamaat-e-Islami, Salafi Association, and Dhawa groups. I was converted to Islam in Bengaluru at the age of 18 and became Thayab Shiyan. Somehow, my mother came to know about it and she used to call me over phone, asking me to come back. However, others in the centre advised me to switch off the phone. I was involved in preaching their ideologies,” said Sukesh. Moreover, he was added to several WhatsApp and Facebook groups operating from abroad.“Even after joining the yoga centre, I continued to be part of a few WhatsApp groups. I was an ardent fan of controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik. However, I exited the WhatsApp group after the role of Zakir Naik in the Dhaka blast was exposed last year,” he said.  Sukesh said venomous fundamental ideologies are being propagated via these social media groups.


 Sukesh said he was admitted to the Sivasakthi Yoga Vidya Kendram on March 23 last year. “My relatives knew about this centre and brought me here.Manoj sir taught the lessons of Sanadhana Dharma which never disparages or denigrates other religions. I felt Islam as a religion which has no freedom, especially for women. Hence, I returned to Hinduism,” he said.  The centre conducts a course ‘Comparative Religion’, which has four levels, explains Sruthi. Interestingly, the course coordinator of the centre, had also embraced Islam in the past, before returning to Hinduism. Sruthi was working as a school teacher in Kasargod.Coming from a Brahmin family in Perla, she was attracted to Islam and got converted to become Rahmath. “However, I realised my fault and returned to my family after coming here,” she says.

Even after joining the yoga centre, I continued to be part of a few WhatsApp groups. I was an ardent fan of controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik. However, I exited the WhatsApp group after the role of Zakir Naik in the Dhaka blast was exposed last year Sukesh



Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp