Why The Church Is Annoyed
- LDf swept polls in ’06 taking along with them strong minority support.
- Christians make up 19% of the population and have the most stake in the state’s education sector.
- The former Congress government opened up the private professional education sector. Now benefactors are being accused by the CPI(M) of reneging on merit quota seats.
- The LDF brings in a well-intentioned piece of legislation to ensure social equity. But it’s shot down by HC.
- The Church sees it as an attack on the community. Has decided to take the battle to the streets, parishes.
***The Communists are supposedly winning brownie points with Muslims across India for their anti-US line. But in Kerala, one of their two bastions, the LDF government is in serious trouble with another minority community—the Christians who are 19 per cent of the population. Less than a year after strong Christian support added to their sweep in the last assembly and LS elections, the Left has managed to alienate large sections of the community. Political observers here believe if a snap poll is held now, the LDF—with 19 of the state’s 20 LS seats—would be badly hit.
The Church’s main grouse is what they see as government meddling in minority institutions, a big sector in Kerala, and hence something directly undermining its economic independence. Influential Archbishop Soosaipakiam says there is a belief that the Left is promoting atheism and "spawning the seeds of sexual anarchy among the young". The battle has become particularly heated in the last two months. The Christian clergy has issued several rounds of pastoral letters during Mass on Sundays, asking the flock to beware of the commies. Under the circumstances, there will be no need for the customary pre-poll sermon about who to favour in the event of a mid-term poll. Moreover, the anti-US stand of the Left may please Muslims, but cuts no ice with the Christian community.