S amatva Munnetta Yatra (Yatra for Equality) led by Shri Vellappally Natesan, the general secretary of Shree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam (SNDP), powerful community organisation of Kerala’s OBC Ezhavas, is in central Kerala on its traverse to the state capital. The attendance of every reception it gets is growing in geometrical proportion as it inches southwards. The Yatra is expected to change the contours of existing political scenario in the State in favour of BJP. Naturally, the worries of both the ruling Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) and the opposition CPI (M)-led Left Democratic Front grow in the same proportion. Therefore, a case has been registered against Shri Vellappally, under IPC 153 (A), for allegedly spreading enmity on ground of religion in the society.
T Satisan of Organiser spoke to Vellappally Natesan one hour before his Aluva speech. Excerpts:
Samatva Munnetta Yatra has covered Malabar region and reached Ernakulam. Expectations and achievements so far.
The Yatra is a tremendous success, much beyond our expectations.Kasaragod programme was super despite heavy rains. We did not expect much in Kannoor, the bastion of CPI (M). But we were taken by surprise to witness the mammoth turn out there. CPI (M) had left no stone unturned to reduce the gathering, but in vain. The people gathered were cutting across the party and caste lines. 85 per cent of the gathering was men while women strength was 15 per cent. It is a welcome trend. Formerly it used to be the other way around. That means, men have taken this movement seriously. Both LDF and UDF are making the rich further richer. See, 52 per cent of the Hindus are under BPL group.
- What is the prime aim of the Yatra?
We want the political, educational and economical equality. All sorts of discriminations should be weeded out.
- What reaction does the Yatra get from the society and the media?
The attendance in the reception is turning bigger and bigger when the Yatra inches towards southern region. Programmes in Trichur and Palakkat were huge. But, the media spread animosity against it. They do not cover the Yatra properly. They always avoid publishing the pictures of the audience including women in large numbers. Politicians and media are utilising Hindus against a Hindu movement.
- As soon as the Yatra set out, court cases were reported from Pathanthitta about Micro Finance, the ambitious project of SNDP. Do you expect for mischieves like this when the Yatra moves towards the capital?
Very much. But, I am least bothered. I am like an Abhimanyu trapped in Chakravyooham even before the Yatra was kicked off. My opponents wanted me to backtrack from the Yatra. But, I am different. Once I take up a mission I never backtrack. I will see that goal is achieved. The UDF and LDF are trying their level best to belittle the Yatra and reduce the turn out, but they fail. DYFI plans their Secular Yatra on December 5, the day of our Yatra’s culmination at Thiruvananthapuram. CM plans programme in Vizhinjam port the same day. Both aim at the same goal. DYFI posters in connection with their Secular Yatra display the pictures of Swami Vivekananda and Sree Narayana Guru and other Hindu monks or leaders. No Christian or Muslim priests or leaders were showcased still they claim to be secular!
- Do you aim at the formation of the new party by carrying out a Yatra like this? Does Hindu Aikya Vedi help you in this regard? Expected result?
Party will be formed. Not much discussion has taken place in this regard. We still have time.
- What is your priority – Parliamentary or social interests?
See, no social justice and equality can be won sans power. That is how Kerala Congress and Muslim League protect the interests of Christians and Muslims respectively. And, CPI (M) and Congress call those parties secular. Our motto is to uplift Hindus spread from Nayati (poor Dalits) to Namboothiri (priestly Brahmins). Until now, LDF and UDF have been exploiting our strength. Now, let us protect the Hindu interests.
- You replied LoP VS Achuthanandan that you would not join RSS. Have you studied RSS ideologies and policies before replying VS? If so, what part of RSS ideology remains unacceptable to you?
See, It is not the question of serious disagreements with RSS. But, we are in the midst of forming a new party hence do not join RSS or BJP.
- Few years before, you had made a working alliance with NSS, the community organisation of Nairs. Later on it broke up. Any more plans for a patch up with NSS?
Stop the double standards!
Organiser had attended the reception the Samatva Munnetta Yatra was accorded in Aluva, near Kochi, where Vellappally Natesan had made the speech in question. He was referring to the financial benefits CM Oommen Chandy had declared after visiting the house of Noushad, the poor auto driver who died during his adventurous efforts to save two migrants labours who died while cleaning the drain manhole in Kozhikode. While paying respects to the noble gesture of Noushad, Shri Vellappally denounced the government’s policy towards three students who were killed in an accident while coming back from a sports programme. Shri Vellappally blasted the government for not visiting their houses and for not declaring any financial benefits for the families of the deceased students. Because, Noushad is Muslim and the children are Hindus! (Organiser : No minister has visited the house of our martyr soldier Subinesh who was killed in Kashmir last week. His dead body had been brought to his Kozhikode home on November 29). He said, it is blatant religious discrimination the state government practises.
We will try again. Even now, their rank and file are co-operating in our endeavours.
- If LDF or UDF gives you some “concessions” will you be ready for co-operation with them?
We have to see what they will do for us. So far we have not got anything from them despite our support they enjoyed. So, it is too early to say.
- Where do you see credible leaders – in UDF or LDF?
None. No credibility is seen. We got only promises which were hollow. SNDP passed a resolution just before the assembly polls of 2006 in favour of an LDF win. And, that time LDF came to power with VS as the CM. But, they did not do anything for us. And, UDF gave some bits and pieces here and there. Both did betray us.
- You have welcomed Kerala Public Service Commission (PSC) recruitments to your institutions. It is conditional or unconditional?
We are in favour of PSC recruitments to all positions drawing salaries from government exchequer. It is absent only in Kerala. Don’t we have to change it? We should. Of course, we are ready to do it if all other institutions like Church, NSS and Muslim organisations follow this system.
- Chief Secretary Jiji Thomson IAS has openly called for taking up the mission of spreading Christianity and adds that it was Biblically imperative to bring people into Jesus. In other words, he had called for conversion, of course, in the presence of the Hon. Governor.
We condemn it. Government should take actions against him. See, what would have happened if a Hindu bureaucrat had delivered a similar speech. This is the secularism we do enjoy here.