THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s presence at the Thrissur Pooram is undoubtedly meant to be an unspoken social message directed at brushing up Kerala’s secular psyche. Pinarayi could be one of the first Left Chief Ministers to attend the very popular religious festival.
At a time when there are major communal attempts from various corners to hijack Hindu festivals, the Chief Minister has underscored Pooram is and should remain a cultural extravaganza, and that the state government is committed to preserving its core essence. Earlier, Pinarayi had also visited Sabarimala.
Pooram being the state’s biggest tourism event, there is nothing wrong in the Chief Minister attending the same, opined CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan. “The CPM is not against leaders attending such events. It is part of their responsibility. Pooram is the festival of Kerala,” he pointed out.
On Wednesday, Pinarayi tweeted “Thrissur Pooram is Kerala’s foremost cultural extravaganza. A celebration of arts, Pooram brings together our minds with a harmonious blend of colours and sounds. Harmony is its essence. With its abundance of colours and rhythm, Pooram is sui generis.”
In a later tweet, he said, “Pooram deserves to be recognised at a global level. The government will take necessary steps to showcase it before the world. We are also committed to preserving the essence of Pooram.”
Political thinker Sebastian Paul is of the view the very fact the Chief Minister attended the mega festival will send out a message.
“Thrissur Pooram is being viewed as the state’s own festival, and one with a secular nature. Keeping away from such festivals would create a gap in which other unwelcome elements may gradually creep in. Now with the CM attending, he is giving a clear signal this is Kerala’s festival and we are not going to hand it down exclusively to just a few,” he opined.