THRISSUR: The participation of jumbo king Thechikottukavu Ramachandran at this year’s Thrissur Pooram has been hanging in the balance after the authorities put the ball in the court of the High Court, which is scheduled to hear the case on Friday. However, there is some uniqueness to the fight for Thechikottukavu Ramachandran as it reveals the rarely witnessed camaraderie between two political parties. These two parties, which were fighting it out in Sabarimala in the name of ‘protection of tradition’, are not in touch through official channels. Instead, they are fighting for a common cause through two different ways.
The ‘save Raman’ campaign has been dominating social media these days and the BJP played a pivotal role in leading a campaign both inside and outside the social media for the elephant as the pooram day nears. Even more interesting is the fact that the BJP is waging a campaign for Thechikottukavu Ramachandran which is owned by the CPM-ruled Thechikottukavu Devaswom. But this doesn’t mean both parties have buried their ideological hatchet over a jumbo.
Sources said the BJP’s intervention has made things more knotty for the elephant owner, with the party trying to capitalise on the issue. The BJP even staged a protest gathering in Thrissur on May 6, demanding the lifting of the ban imposed on Thechikottukavu Ramachandran along with other demands, which was inaugurated by P C George MLA. If BJP had not intervened on the issue, it would not have complicated matters to such an extent. Each time the elephant faced a ban in the past, the Thechikottukavu Devaswom tactfully saved the elephant as it is its main source of income.
When the BJP intervened, the two main participating devaswoms of Pooram -- Thiruvambadi and Paramekkavu—also kept a distance from the elephant owners’ federation. Following this, the federation announced its decision to keep away the other elephants from the pooram as part of the strategy to pressure the government. In the meantime, when the issue seems to have become a long drawn affair, Thechikottukavu Devaswom approached the High Court and now all parties are pinning their hopes on the court verdict.