KOTTAYAM: Even as the divide between the LDF Government and the Nair Service Society (NSS) is widening over the Sabarimala issue, the NSS leadership has once again hit out at the government for disregarding its founder Mannath Padmanabhan.
In the latest edition of its mouthpiece ‘Service’, NSS called upon the community members to distinguish the double standards of the LDF Government towards Mannath Padmanabhan. According to the article, even while the government highlighted Mannam as a reformer, it did not include Mannam even in the list of 32 reformers of the state, which was published in the diary of the Kerala Sahitya Akademi. Moreover, the government also turned down the request of the NSS to bring the holiday on Mannam Jayanthi under the Negotiable Instruments Act.
“Mannam was a social reformer, who played a significant role in eradicating superstition and unethical practices in his own community, ending caste-based hierarchy and untouchability and in ensuring temple entry and freedom for travel. Even though his efforts were concentrated on the Nair community, people belonging to various other religions and communities got its benefits, which is why he was honoured with the Padmabhushan award in 1966,” the article stated.
Though it was a bit late, the previous UDF Government honoured him by declaring Mannam Jayanthi day (January 2) as a public holiday in 2014.
However, the present government turned down a legitimate request of the NSS to declare the holiday under the Negotiable Instruments Act. At the same time, the Akademi excluded Mannam from the list of reformers in its ‘Keralam Orma Soochika-2019, it said.
“Yet, the government has highlighted Mannam as one of the important persons when speaking about renaissance. And also it announced the present NSS leadership was deviating from ideals of Mannam. This is absolutely politically motivated,” the article stated.
“Though the NSS protested through the media and other means against issues of public holiday and the diary, the government didn’t give a satisfactory reply but also neglected the protests. The community members and those who love Mannam should recognise the double standards of the state government,” it said.
Special Branch inquiry
Even as the government and the NSS have locked horns over the Sabarimala issue, there are reports the government is trying to get a picture of the impact of NSS’ stance in the upcoming election with the help of government machinery. It is reliably learnt the Special Branch wing contacted some NSS taluk unions seeking details of Karayogams and community members under the union. “When the Special Branch persons approached some taluk unions, they contacted the head office. However, head office authorities said there was no need to share the details with the Special Branch,” said sources close to the NSS.