You can go to moon: BJP leader tells Adoor Gopalakrishnan

Thiruvananthapuram: Renowned film maker Adoor Gopalakrishnan faced the flak of State BJP leaders after he raised voice against violence in the name of religion.

BJP spokesman B Gopalakrishnan condemned Adoor for his comments and said he should register at Sriharikota and go to the moon if couldn’t tolerate ‘Jai Sri Ram’ chanting. As this is the Ramayana month (17 July to 16 August), people will chant the mantra.

The BJP leader had said if Gandhi was alive today, he would have observed a fast in front of Adoor’s house. While West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had put behind bars those chanting ‘Jai Sri Ram’ while Vijayan ‘detained’ Ayyappa devotees for chanting ‘Ayyappa sarnam‘ and had imposed prohibitory orders against devotees at the height of the Sabarimala protests last year over women’s entry.

He further asked why Adoor failed to react when a student was stabbed in the university college here and asked if it was a case of sour grapes.

Adoor replied to the BJP leader’s comments saying that his concern was against incidents of lynching using the chant as a war cry and not against the government or on those chanting ‘Jai Sri Ram.’ Adoor and 49 eminent citizens had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi raising concern that ‘Jai Shri Ram’ chanting had become a war cry with many lynchings taking place. Aparna Sen, vocalist Shubha Mudgal, historian Ramchandra Guha and sociologist Ashis Nandy were among other prominent people who signed the letter.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and the Malayalam film fraternity came in support of him. but he cannot ‘insult’ the culture of the country.

Speaking to reporters, he said, “In the letter we have mentioned that members of the minority community are are being attacked by mobs for minor incidents and forced to chant Jai Sri Ram. I feel so sad about it. I am a devotee. Its sad to see that Lord Ram, who is considered “mathruka purush” (model man), being insulted in such ways.” Defending his move, he said attack on minority community does not fit in a democratic country.

“None of us are politicians. All are into various fields. We just have democracy in front of us. Everyone has got their right to live. Violation of this Right is wrong. If the government fails to take action against this. It will cause unrest in the society. We will have to pay a huge price,” he added.

The CM issued a statement saying, “None need think that they can oust those having a contrary opinion. There is no question of allowing any such moves.” The filmmaker had brought international accolades to Kerala through his movies and that the sangh parivar threat against him was not acceptable and condemnable.

People involved in lynching escape without facing any penal action and more such incidents may come up. Such people think that they could escape on the pretext of a mob attack. He urged that people of a violent mob should be given capital punishment.


NT Bureau