THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: As criticism about his silence in the controversy triggered by Pala Bishop Joseph Kallarangatt grew, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday slammed the ‘narcotic jihad’ remark and said a man of his stature shouldn’t have made such a statement.
“When that statement was made, I had said it was unfortunate. A man of his stature shouldn’t have said that. However, our society did not encourage the statement. Only a couple of persons supported it,” the chie minister said while inaugurating the CPM local committee office at Peruvambu in Palakkad district online.
Referring to the second controversial remark by the Pala bishop, Pinarayi said the Central government had replied in the Lok Sabha that there was nothing called ‘love jihad’. “It is important to realise the facts. We need to present accurate facts before the society. We are all concerned about the menace caused by narcotic peddlers. Even around schools, peddlers are trying to trap small kids and make them drug addicts. We are trying our best to check the menace,” he said.
“This is Kerala, the cradle of secularism. Don’t think that the harmony here can be sabotaged. Such moves from anyone would be dealt with sternly by our society,” he warned. Earlier, while inaugurating the centenary observance of Travancore Student Protest, organised as part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, Pinarayi said the tendency of giving religious colour to social evils needs to be nipped in the bud.
Giving extremist forces a virtuous face will weaken our social unity, says CM
“Those who are involved in social evils are anti-social elements and criminals. It is not fair to identify such elements with any particular section. Such an act won’t help us strengthen unity against such evils,” Pinarayi said. Pinarayi also criticised the practice of eulogising extremist forces.
“Giving extremist forces a virtuous face will only lead to weakening our social unity. Some have upheld such movements as synonymous to freedom. They should understand that such retrograde perspectives will hamper our independence,” he said in an apparent remark against a few hard-line Muslim organisations in the state which had supported Taliban and hailed the capture of Afghanistan by the group as winning freedom.
The Travancore student protest held during August-September of 1921 was against the fee hike in schools introduced by the Travancore King. The protest by students gradually gathered the support of nationalist leaders and the Dewan used force to suppress the agitation. On September 21, there was a brutal police action against protesters on the University campus and three students were killed. Finally, the King was forced to roll back the fee hike and the protest concluded on September 27.
Ban conversion after marriage, demands BJP
T’Puram: BJP has urged the state government to enact legislation that curbs forceful religious conversion after marriage. BJP state general secretary George Kurien said ‘love jihad’ can be put to an end only through a foolproof legislation.
Suresh Gopi backs govt stand on controversy
T’Puram: BJP MP Suresh Gopi has landed the saffron party in a fix by supporting the government’s stance on the ‘narcotic jihad’ row. The actor-turned-MP said there was no need for the chief minister to respond on every issue.