M V Govindan's fumble adds to myth mess

At Wednesday’s press conference, Govindan had stated that believers have every right to believe in what they think is divine.
M V Govindan. (Photo | Express) 
M V Govindan. (Photo | Express) 

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: CPM’s attempts to clear the air on the ‘myth vs science’ controversy ended up adding to the confusion with party state secretary M V Govindan on Friday making an apparent volte-face when caught off guard by reporters in Delhi.

Govindan said neither he nor Speaker A N Shamseer had said Ganesha is a myth. However, he later asserted that there was no change in his stance on the issue. 

In a tit-for-tat with journalists on Wednesday in Thiruvananthapuram, Govindan had retorted: “If not myth, is Ganesha science?” The remark was widely circulated by CPM’s political opponents. On Friday morning, Govindan said, in reply to questions from reporters, that he had never said “Ganesha was a myth, and Allah was not a myth.” Neither has Shamseer, he said.

This led to intense debates, with a section of media and opposition parties saying that Govindan had retracted his earlier statement.

Speaking to TNIE in the evening, the CPM state secretary, however, said he has not changed his stand. “If we look at the remarks that I had made (on Wednesday) before and after this so-called myth mention, you would get a clear picture. I did indeed say that it was a myth. For believers who view it as divine, that is what it is. The CPM is not opposed to anyone’s beliefs,” Govindan said.

“I referred to the myth related to Parasurama and the formation of Kerala to clarify this. However, that Parasurama donated the land to Brahmins cannot be termed as a myth. It is more on the lines of a Brahmanical thought process,” he said.

At Wednesday’s press conference, Govindan stated that believers have every right to believe in what they think is divine. CPM is not against believers and CPM has always rooted for the right to hold beliefs, he said.

“At the same time, CPM disagrees with several matters believers raise as part of a belief system. Myth should be treated as myth and not as science,” he had said. “The faithful have every right to live in accordance with their beliefs. It is their right to consider certain things divine, and we don’t question that right. But then there are myths and things that are not myths,” he had said.

With the controversy showing no signs of abating, the UDF said on Friday that with Govindan correcting his statement, Shamseer too can now follow suit.

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