Kadakampally Surendran, Minister for Cooperatives, Tourism and Devaswom in Kerala, made news recently for removing a throne intended for the chief of the Sringeri mutt at a public function in state capital Thiruvananthapuram.
According to a report in the Malayalam newspaper Mangalam, Surendran, upon arriving at the function, noticed a big throne on the dais. When told by the organisers that it was meant for the religious chief, Surendran, assisted by MLA and former minister VS Sivakumar, immediately pushed the throne to the back of the dais and replaced it with ordinary plastic chairs. It is reported that while the Sringeri mutt chief never arrived at the function, another swami came but never sat on the dais. He simply blessed the pool that was to be inaugurated and left the place.
Surendran’s act has been praised by many on social media including Congress MLA VT Balram. Balram said such acts abhorring displays of grandeur and opulence especially accorded to religious heads are welcome.
The ruling CPM and its leaders espouse frugal lifestyle and austerity measures although exceptions have been reported. Recently, a CPI MLA was questioned by her party after photographs of her daughter’s wedding appeared online in which the bride was covered in gold jewellery. The MLA countered saying that she only did the duty of a mother.