CPM leader Thomas Isaac hurts Hindu sentiments, calls Lord Vamana a ‘cheater’

Kerala Finance Minster and CPM senior leader Thomas Isaac has triggered a major row after he referred to Hindu God Vamana as a “cheater” in one of his tweets about the festival of Onam on Monday. The Minister, without any prior provocation decided to take a dig at the Hindu God, and this now appears to have landed him in trouble. Hindus from across Kerala and other parts of the country have voiced strong objection to his choice of words.

“We celebrate Mahabali who did not discriminate by caste or creed, not Vamana who cheated him,” the Minister said while putting his own personal interpretation of the Keralite Hindu festival. This interpretation, however did not go down well with majority of faithful Hindus who accused the Minister of hurting their religious sentiments.

Hitting out at Isaac for his tweet, well known Hindu pontiff from Kerala, Chidananda Puri sought an apology from him. “Thomas Isaac has defamed Hindu beliefs. What right he has, to tweet that Vamana has cheated Mahabali. This is intolerable. He should apologise for his contemptuous remark”, said the pontiff through a video on Facebook.

Whereas Kerala BJP state president K Surendran also lashed out at the communist leader. “Is it possible for the minister to take similar stand against other religions?” K Surendran asked through a Facebook post.

Later when surrounded, Isaac sought clarify himself by citing the excuse of variations in narratives. He asked those upset with him to accept that there can be “many narratives.”

However what Isaac failed to clarify is whether is is within the ambit of constitution for an elected public representative to hurt the religious sentiments of a particular community, despite vowing to uphold secularism.

Vamana is considered to be the 5th incarnation of Lord Vishnu by Hindus. He is remembered for busting the ego of Mahabali, the demon king who was benevolent but proud of his generosity. Lord Vamana is said to have reminded Mahabali that everything belongs to God alone and hence one must not become proud of even their generosity. When realised, Mahabali repented for his mistake and in return Vamana blessed him that he would be the king of heavens in future.

Thomas Isaac is the currently serving Finance Minister for the state of Kerala, a central committee member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist). He represents Alappuzha constituency in the Kerala State Legislative Assembly.