A day after his social media posts on Vaman Jayanti raked up a storm in Kerala, BJP chief Amit Shah on Wednesday greeted the state on the occasion of Onam. In a post shared on both this Facebook and Twitter handles, Shah shared “Greetings to Malayali friends on Onam”.
On Tuesday, these handles had posted “Heartfelt good wishes to all on the occasion of Vaman Jayanti…. Vamana: the fifth incarnation of Lord Vishnu” which most of Kerala, including Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, saw as a bid to give religious overtones to what is essentially a secular festival. Incidentally, just days before, Kesari, the RSS Malayalam mouthpiece, had published an article with the same narrative.
Reacting to the Vaman Jayanti post, Vijayan said it is not right on part of responsible political leaders to hurt the sentiments of an entire community. In a Facebook post, the Kerala CM asked Shah to apologise to Malayalis for the post.
While Shah has not gone ahead with an apology, his latest post said: “May this auspicious festival shower happiness,peace and prosperity all around.” However, the imagery is devoid of any visualisation of either Vamana or Mahabali and just shows Kerala’s popular snake boat race and Kathakali.
BJP leaders in Kerala have been at pains to convince everyone that the Vaman Jayanti post was not meant for the state.