Does Church alone represent the Culture of Kerala?

The Union Minister of Culture for state, Mahesh Sharma recently tweeted four images out of twenty eight paintings representing the cultures of different Indian States. The Minister Tweeted the images of the representative paintings of Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamilnadu and Kerala.

All the paintings represented the culture of respective states but what attracted the attention of the Twitterati was two contradicting facts:-

  1. Church alone representing Kerala
  2. India has 29 states, not 28.

It really shows the Union Minister in poor light that he had tweeted that India has only 28 states and not 29, clearly his Social Media team should be taken to task for this mess up.

In the painting that represents the culture of Kerala, many people on Twitter objected over the fact that a church alone has been used to identify Kerala. Kerala is known to many as the Land of Parashurama, Land of Adi Shanakaracharya or the Land of many popular Hindu saints. Many people asked the question that how come Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Guruvayur Temple or Sabarimala Temple couldn’t be used to represent the culture of Kerala but a church alone does?

They had raised the question what made the Government of India to think that the culture of Kerala can be represented by a church alone? Is this a continuation of the cultural digestion that is currently being done by several Communist/Congress Governments in the state?

We also believe that the questions raised by people on the Twitter are valid. One can’t raise such a question if Church is also used in the painting of Kerala, but how come is that the Christian influence over the Malayali culture is clearly depicted in this picture?

Just because there is a good presence of a community in a place that does not mean the culture of that particular community becomes the culture of the land. In West Bengal there is almost 30% Muslim population but still it is the Durga Puja which is the identity of Bengal not mosques. Another example is Indonesia which is a Muslim majority country now, but still Hindu images and symbols are used to represent Indonesian culture because of its Hindu past. We believe this painting may or may not represent the culture of Kerala but it indeed does represent the new Christian friendly policy of BJP in Kerala.

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