After a day of brainstorming and feedback from ‘intellectuals’ of Kerala, the Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam (Council for Sree Narayana Philosophy) said its planned new political party will not be a ‘Hindu Party’.
“When we say, from Nayadi (hunter) to Namputhiri (Brahmin), we do not mean that it will be a Hindu only party. Our platform will be social justice and there will be place for everyone (from all communities) in it,” Vellappalli Nateshan said.
SNDP is arguably the second biggest community-oriented organization in Kerala after the Catholic Church, and has felt left out of power over the past four years when Kerala has been under the rule of the Congress Party.
SNDP was formed by the followers of saint Narayana Guru, who lives about a hundred years ago in Kerala. The organization is estimated to have around 2.5 mln members in Kerala and thousands of shakhas or branches. In Kerala, it is more widespread than the RSS.
Vellappalli Nateshan had come under severe criticism from established political parties such as the Congress Party and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) for his move to form a political party.
The new party will be predicated on the need for ‘social justice’ and will, in some ways, be like the Bahujan Samjwadi Party or the Samajwadi Party of Uttar Pradesh. Besides SNDP, most of whose members are from the OBC Ezhava caste, the new party will also have connections with certain smaller community organizations representing Dalits and other OBCs.
Nateshan, however, has faced extreme criticism for trying to patch together a ‘social justice’ party and ally with the BJP, which has traditionally faced criticism for being dominated by upper caste Hindus. However, with most of the power and money belonging to the Muslim and Christian communities in Kerala, that is a criticism that Nateshan has been willing to take head on.
However, after today’s brainstorming with intellectuals — many of whom are reported to have expressed their alarm at trying to color the new party as ‘Hindu’ only — Nateshan was at pains to point out that the new party will not be for “Hindus” alone.
Till about three years ago, Nateshan had proposed the idea of a Bahujan party aimed at bringing together the OBCs, SCs and STs of Kerala. He had been approached for support by the BJP in recent years.
Kerala is ruled by a combination of largely three parties — the Indian Union Muslim League, the Kerala Congress and the Congress Party.