Kerala prohibition takes communal turn: Hindu groups see Christian, Muslim hand

A Hindu organisation claimed that the 'impractical decision' stemmed from the rivalry within the Congress.

Written by Shaju Philip | Thiruvananthapuram | Updated: August 24, 2014 2:18 am
capture6 Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said all bars, except 16 five-star ones, will be closed by the end of 2014. (Source: Nandagopal Rajan)

The  debate over a  ‘liquor-free-Kerala’ has taken a communal turn with two powerful Hindu organisations questioning the Congress government’s steps towards imposing prohibition, which have found support from leaders of Christian and Muslim communities.

Vellappally Nateshan, the leader of backward Hindu organisation Sree Narayanad Dharma Paripalana Yogam, has said the government’s move would affect members of his community in the liquor business.

Taking on the Catholic bishops who had threatened to bring down the Congress government if steps for prohibition were not initiated, Nateshan has even asked whether the Church was ready to stop using wine during mass. He alleged that those bars which have been shut belonged to Hindus and those open belonged to Christians.

Archbishop Francis Kallarackal said Nateshan’s  comment smacked of communalism. “Wine is used in mass as part of Christian faith. That practice will continue until the end of the world,” he said.

On Saturday, another influential Hindu leader, G Sukumaran Nair, general secretary of upper class Hindu outfit Nair Service Society, joined the issue. Nair said the government decision was impractical.

The decision for liquor-free Kerala stemmed from rivalry within the Congress, and was driven by pressure from Christian and Muslim allies.

“This is the outcome of a battle to enhance one’s image. Chief Minister Oommen Chandy was forced to succumb to the pressure from allies Kerala Congress (a regional Christian party) and Indian Union Muslim League. A practical approach to enlighten people to abstain liquor is required to address the liquor menace,” Nair said.

On the other hand, Jamaat-e-Islami’s Kerala chief T Arifali said the government should have the courage to implement the decision to close down bars as the bar lobby would try every trick to defeat the government’s decision.

Christian and Muslim outfits in Kerala have been at the forefront of agitations demanding complete prohibition. Their community leaders have stood behind Congress state president V M Sudheeran on the issue.

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  1. B
    Bhaskar
    Nov 29, 2015 at 10:51 am
    Kerala is the only place where Hindu Muslim Christians live like one family. All other places Muslim talk Hindi or Urdu at home . who made Vellappilly as a leader of all Hindu communities? Every fire starts from a spark, there are good and bad people in society and there may be very bad day for Kerala if people allow Vellappilky talk all against Muslims and Christians in Kerala . Vellappilly is a suspect of a murder case so he should not be allowed to this kind public meeting that will poison people's mind. He is doing all this because of MODI and Amith Sha, they really do not know any thing about Kerala .
    Reply
    1. S
      Sonu Mandal
      Jan 3, 2015 at 6:14 am
      Christians there are playing trick,that if you want to drink alcohol and wine,convert into Christianity & drink as much you can,bloody hypocrite Christians,bring down Christianity & also Congress led government in Kerala,ban on alcohol will affect our Hindu's business,& they don't like if Hindus earn money, & personal liberty is also been violated there in Kerala,by Christian led Congress,when western Christian dominated nations don't have any problem with alcohol,then why should they have problem,actually they want to make Kerala as Christian dominated state,I was planning a 15 days holiday in Kerala,but,cancelled it,due to those anti-national Christian's discriminatory move .
      Reply
      1. V
        Vishnu
        Aug 24, 2014 at 8:13 am
        Modi will speak in next embly election. Once natesan son takes charge the g unity of SNDP and Nss will be success. U Commis can pack and leave or join or in next 50 years Muslims will be majority and christians will be extinct.
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        1. V
          Vishnu
          Aug 24, 2014 at 8:50 am
          The problem is after closing of bars cannabis has made huge comeback. it is fully driven by brutal mafia. they are easily grown in hill districts of kerala. a society with plenty of disposable income will simply switch to next available intoxicant. In this case it will be cannabis and spurious liquor. I believe women are more oppressed in middle east than Europe but liquor is more available in Europe. Alcohol cannot be reason for poor woman empowerment and lax law enforcement. European women are far more educated and better emplo and know rules and hence live a better life. Church which has most hospitals and schools in kerala but never bothered to pay its nurses and teachers decent ry(most of them are christians, kottayam-TSR-Ekm belt, and hence become victims in libya, iraq, nigeria etc). Huge plantations are owned by church on tribal lands but no word on tribal plight. In bar business church has no stake so its very convenient to play angel here. I am not mentioning anything about muslim because islam stands for peace and development- ask Prof.T.J Joseph, hindus of marad. Want international example just google terrorism u will get answer. Muslims will ban liquor to protect women but want to mary 14 year old girls. Will marry of their girls to 60 year saudis to make quick buck. Come on guys who u r fooling. By the way natesan is head of SNDP not BJP.Wine comment was by him. Read carefully. Its democratic society - My life my choice. NO Sudheeran /Vicar/imam should dictate on peoples choice .
          Reply
          1. V
            Vishnu
            Aug 24, 2014 at 9:13 am
            next on the ban list are cosmetic surgery, contraception/ abortion, mountain climbing , love marriage,standing on foot-board,acids and poisons in labs and colleges,paracetamol, cough syrup,snakes, dogs. Kerala govt was dead against helmet and seat belt and constant pressure of court finally did the job.
            Reply
            1. D
              deepu
              Aug 25, 2014 at 6:58 pm
              I am an advocate, The reason why Oommen Chandy has retained the five star bars is because of a recent decision of the supreme court in State of Kerala Vs Surendra Das and others, in which the supreme court has said that the state goverhment cannot impose restriction on bars especially five star bars as that will affect the tourism and hotel industry. The supreme court further says that as liquor is being sold by the government in it's outlets, the state government has no business to impose restrictions on private bar hotels. It is to get over this judgement that the chief minister has been legally advised to reduce the number of government outlets selling alcohol. Since Sudheeran iis trying to create an image for himself, maligning the chief minister in the process, the chief minister had to do something fast.
              Reply
              1. K
                KRISHNASWAMY VENKATASUBRAMANIA
                Aug 24, 2014 at 5:32 am
                Religion ,its other name is hypocracy.I strongly feel somebody in the ministry wants to encourage bootlegging and get part of the booty for next election expense.
                Reply
                1. K
                  KRISHNASWAMY VENKATASUBRAMANIA
                  Aug 24, 2014 at 5:23 am
                  The christian church here should think of the treatment of christians in stan and other islamic majority nations.Here at least the hindu majority so far has not imposed its will on the minority.It is double standards to have liquor for religion and prohibition outside.The free run given to muslims in kerala and UP has to stop or stopped
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                  1. A
                    Anoop Anoop
                    Aug 23, 2014 at 9:17 pm
                    no ban is req. only awareness is good enuf.
                    Reply
                    1. R
                      Ripple
                      Aug 24, 2014 at 8:54 am
                      @Shaju Philip: mI would suggest Shaju Philip not to create a communal turn in Kerala by publishing such kind of article. Please don't write something against the ethics of Journalism for few dollars or for the bone from Middle east.
                      Reply
                      1. R
                        Ripple
                        Aug 24, 2014 at 8:54 am
                        I would suggest Shaju Philip not to create a communal turn in Kerala by publishing such kind of article. Please don't write something against the ethics of Journalism for few dollars or for the bone from Middle east.
                        Reply
                        1. A
                          Asok
                          Aug 24, 2014 at 6:45 am
                          Why is this so-called Hindu leader not going to Modi's Gujarat to demand removal of liqour prohibition in that state.
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                          1. A
                            Atul Wassen
                            Aug 24, 2014 at 7:26 am
                            The best part is, now on only Christian church can make liquor, because it is a tradition. So hindus are officially 2nd cl citizens in Kerala
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                            1. M
                              martin
                              Aug 27, 2014 at 7:22 pm
                              sick of these guys. why prohibition at all? empower women so that if her husband becomes a drunkard she can leave him and start a new life. Those who know how to drink and stay in control are in millions so why torture them? and who the said that tourists only use five star hotels? most of the tourists in India are middle or low middle cl westerners and they use cheap lodges and places to stay in.
                              Reply
                              1. R
                                RK
                                Aug 31, 2014 at 11:23 am
                                Go and read history and situation under which SreeNarayanaGurus movement came into being.. The days when prasadam from temples were kept on the temple walls and the ezhavas had to be out of sight when the prasadam was being kept. were not that far...
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                                1. R
                                  RK
                                  Aug 31, 2014 at 11:28 am
                                  Good point.. But I will convert back to Hindu if you let me be a brahmin... I don't want to end up as a social outcast...
                                  Reply
                                  1. H
                                    H1N1
                                    Aug 23, 2014 at 7:30 pm
                                    Close down wine serving churches and preachers practicing pedophilia and terror producing madrasas in kerala. I am sure if police really looked hard they can find plenty of violations.
                                    Reply
                                    1. C
                                      Cp Nair
                                      Aug 23, 2014 at 4:10 pm
                                      Few points on your report...1.The accompanying photo is not of a bar, but a lowly toddy shop where toddy made out of coconut or palm is sold at cheap rates to the working cl. These shops are not effected by the present ban.2. Vellapally Natesan is not leader of the Hindus.He runs a personal fiefdom in the name of a backward caste. When he says that his community people, who are traditional toddy tappers who have nothing to do with bars, will be hit by the ban; he means only he and his family members who own number of bars along the length and breadth of the state.3.The bishop who proclaimed haughtily that the church will use wine, prohibition or no prohibition, vindicates scant respect to the laws of the landstead of showing arrogance, he should have said that he would request the Govt to exempt the use of wines for religious rituals, from prohibition policy.4. while, the Muslim clergy is for prohibition, it is a fact that a large number of their followers frequent the bars in the state.
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                                      1. J
                                        Justice Katju
                                        Aug 24, 2014 at 4:36 am
                                        I am reporting to the Information and Broadcasting Ministry and PRess Council of India against the editor and Shaju Phillip the author of this newspaper article for trying to instill communal hatred in the people.
                                        Reply
                                        1. D
                                          Deepak Singh
                                          Aug 26, 2014 at 3:29 pm
                                          Bigotry knows no limits. Gujarat is a dry state and look at the political influence of Muslims and Christians there. For dimwits, the answer is 'nothing'.About the prohibition, Kerala does have a severe alcohol problem but outright prohibition will harm families this policy aims to protect. Because the alcoholics will resort to bootleggers and spend a greater part of their meager incomes on more dangerous form of distillate. And just like Gujarat, underground alcohol will become a cash cow for the Mafia and Corrupt cops my opinion, bars should be allowed to operate and the liquor shops should be under tight control.
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                                          1. K
                                            Kesav das
                                            Aug 24, 2014 at 12:51 am
                                            Why not make people God conscious,this would automatically wean them off all kinds of intoxicants.I know this is a sharia agenda.Holding a sword over the head may work for a short time but making a person a Vaishnav is much happier and permanent way of tackling this problem.No other technique will work.
                                            Reply
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