Materialist Communists need not be godmen’s foes

published on May 19, 2008

VR Jayaraj | kochi

Communists in Kerala are categorised into Left and Right (CPI(M) and CPI, respectively), but when it comes to the matter of keeping the company of fraudster godmen, it seems they do not have much difference.

While video clippings have come out showing godman Himeval Maheshwara Bhadranandaji, who was arrested the other day for anti-social offences, actively participating in the marriage of the son of CPI leader and MP Pannyan Raveendran, CPI(M)’s Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan is still in the shadow of suspicion as he was being referred to by the Swami as Balettan (elder brother Balan) and for his son’s links with the transnational fraudster godman Santosh Madhavan alias Amrita Chaitanya.

Interestingly, the stories of this bizarre similarity between the CPI(M) and CPI leaders have come out when the two parties are engaged in heated arguments against each other on the proposed food security programme. Both Raveendran and Balakrishnan have denied allegations of any links with godmen, but they are yet to be trusted by their own partymen.

The story of Bhadranananda’s active participation in the marriage ceremony of Pannyan’s son at the Chamber Hall in Kannur, where Kodiyeri is accused of precipitating murderous political violence, on August 5 last, has come out just when CPI(M)’s Cooperation Minister G Sudhakaran alleged that there were people in the ruling and Opposition fronts who had connections with these godmen.

In the viedeo clips published by a private television news channel on Monday, Bhadranandan and the woman he terms as his mother are seen everywhere in the marriage hall, talking to guests, wishing the couple, blessing them and posing for photographers and videographers.

However, Pannyan Raveendran, known as the Che of CPI for his long locks which Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan described the other day as ‘beard in the back’, tried to wriggle out of the controversy saying Bhadranandan had not come to the marriage on invitation. Indeed, there is no way to prove otherwise, and Bhadranandan, if asked, might admit that he had gone to the wedding on his own.

“I had not invited him to the ceremony. I could not just ask someone who had come for the marriage to get out of the hall. Everyone knows me. I don’t keep company with fraudster swamis. My life is an open book,” said Pannyan. He added that he had to apologise to community leader and Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam general secretary Vellappally Natesan, who was at the marriage, after Bhadranandan had an altercation with him.

It is in this context that Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha’s Kerala State president K Surendran has challenged Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan and senior CPI(M) leaders to arrange for an examination of the visitors’ book at the Home Ministry. “I challenge them to examine the visitors’ book at the Home Ministry will reveal how many Swamis had visited him.”

Surendran, undeterred by the legal action for defamation he is facing from Kodiyeri’s Gulf-based son Bineesh Kodiyeri, renewed his allegation against him and said, “The Yuva Morcha stands by its allegation that Swami Amrita Chaitanya (Santosh Madhavan) had participated in the marriage party of Kodiyeri’s elder son Benoy at Sree Mulam Club in Thiruvananthapuram last month.”

The Yuva Morcha and BJP had accused Bineesh Kodiyeri of having close links with real estate business deals of godman-astrologer Chaitanya, who was arrested last week on several charges including sexual persecution of minor girls, porno-movie production, transnational financial fraud and even possession of narcotic substances. Bineesh has sent a lawyer’s notice to Surendran demanding an open apology or Rs 2 crore in compensation.

Before his arrest on Saturday, Bhadrananda had referred to the Home Minister as Balettan, and had said that he had met him in top Congress leader Oommen Chandy’s company. “What can I do if someone calls me Balettan. Anybody can call me so, but I can’t stop them,” was how Kodiyeri responded to this.

But the fact is that this defence has failed to convince the people, especially after Kodiyeri’s police had been all humility towards Bhadrananda when he kept an entire police station, about 60 police personnel and an army of mediamen, at the needlepoint of panic on Saturday morning by threatening to commit suicide by pointing a silver-plated pistol at his own temple.

Even those in the CPI(M) say that such an incident could not have taken place if he had not been sure of protection from higher-ups.

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