Distorted Last Supper’s shadow over Kerala Marxist meet

via VR JAYARAJ | KOCHI- Daily Pioneer published on February 7, 2012

The Kerala CPI(M) had planned to make its four-day State conference in Thiruvananthapuram a memorable event with exhibitions, seminars, discussions and demonstrations but that plan has suffered a severe setback even before its start on Tuesday due to controversies regarding a distortion of Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper by party activists.

The conference got to an informal start on Monday evening with the unfurling of the party flag at the Chandrasekharan Nair Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram. However, the caricature of the Last Supper, in which Jesus appeared as US President Barack Obama and his Apostles as Congress and BJP leaders, has almost defeated the big Red plans.

The Catholic Church, which had already been enraged by the display of a Jesus picture at a historical exhibition held as part of the Marxist conference, reacted sharply with protest demonstrations and dharnas by believers and furious statements by the senior clergy. The Congress and its allies in the UDF have taken it as an opportunity to attack the Marxists.

Seeing no easy way out of the tangle, the CPI(M) leadership offered indirect apologies by saying that the party had nothing to do with the Last Supper “parody” but it was put up by those who had no idea about the party’s approach to religions. The hoarding was seen Thrikkannapuram near Thiruvananthapuram by the Building Construction Workers’ Union (CITU).

The Last Supper parody in which Obama was featured as Christ with Congress leaders flanking him on his right and BJP leaders on his left was seen by the Church and the ruling parties as an outrageous and scandalous act of the atheists to ridicule the Christian faith, religion, its icons and believers.

CPI(M)-watchers say that the party had resorted to using Jesus Christ for its programmes with the obvious intention of making inroads into the Christian community in Kerala, especially in the context of the Assembly by-poll to be held in Piravam, a constituency with heavy Christian population, but the strategy seems to have backfired with the Last Supper row.

In the Marxist Last Supper, a bluish Obama occupied Christ’s chair, and to convey the Marxian view of America, his ears were made longer to give him Satan’s look. In the place of the Apostles on his right were Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh, Oommen Chandy, Rahul Gandhi, AK Antony and Ramesh Chennithala and on the right were BJP’s Advani, Modi and others.

The controversy over the hoarding, captioned “The Last Supper of Capitalism – Only Hope is in Marxism”, came within two days of the protests raised by believers against the featuring of a ‘Christ Crucified’ picture in the Marxist exhibition held as part of the conference and this generated a general feeling that there was a deliberate move to tarnish the Church.

Marxist leaders had vehemently justified the featuring of the Christ picture at the exhibition arguing that Jesus was not the Church’s private property but was one of the greatest martyrs of the struggle for human liberation. However, no amount of justifications was able to pacify the Church with regard to the Last Supper caricature.

What is worrying the CPI(M) – and therefore the entire Left – is the consequences this row could have on the LDF’s prospects in the by-election to be held in the Piravam constituency. “That is perhaps why the CPI(M) decided to be apologetic on the Last Supper issue,” said an LDF worker in Piravam. “Winning that one seat would make all the difference for the front,” he said.

To make matters worse for the CPI(M) in the LDF it leads, the CPI has come out with criticisms against the hoarding. State CPI secretary CK Chandrappan termed the “vulgar” representation of Last Supper as “cheap political campaign”. He warned that such campaign tricks would only help in hurting the sentiments of the believers.

Welcome to Haindava Keralam! Register for Free or Login as a privileged HK member to enjoy auto-approval of your comments and to receive periodic updates.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available

5 × two =


Latest Articles from Divisive Agenda

Did You Know?