Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 25: CPI-M, heading the ruling LDF in Kerala, today launched a campaign against "communalism and religious extremism", coinciding with the 'Shobha Yatras' of Sangh Parivar outfits to mark the Janmashtami celebrations.
Though the five-day CPI-M campaign, titled 'Namukku Jathi Illa' (We have no caste) featuring cultural processions and conventions, is officially to mark the birthday of social reformer Chattambi Swami, opposition Congress took a dig at the ruling party for organising celebrations on the occasion of Janmashtami (birthday of Hindu Lord Krishna).
In a Facebook post, CPI-M state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishan said cultural processions and conventions would be held in more than 5,000 centres till August 28.
The campaign was to uphold and spread the rich renaissance ideas, he said. "I appeal all people who believe in secularism and democracy to participate in the programmes organised as part of the campaign," he added.
Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Ramesh Chennithala said, "Let the CPI-M evaluate their decision as a political party to organise celebrations on the occasion of Sreekrishna Jayanthi (Janamashtmi). It shows that they are facing ideological bankruptcy and lack of policies."
RSS-backed Balagokulam, a children's outfit, organised nearly 10,000 colourful processions, in different parts of the state. Children dressed up as Lord Krishna in glittering robes and ornate headgear depicting various stages of his life took part in the processions to the beats of 'chendamelam', a traditional Kerala percussion instrument.
Amid tight security and tension, the Janmashtami processions were held in different places in politically sensitive Kannur district. Participants in the CPI-M processions in Kannur waved placards with pictures of former President APJ Abdul Kalam, freedom fighter Bhagat Singh, Mahatma Gandhi, Sree Narayana Guru and social reformer Ayyankali.
Heavy police force was deployed in the district as a precautionary measure. Meanwhile, temples across the state witnessed heavy rush of devotees on the occasion of Janmashtami, celebrated here today. The famous Sree Krishna Temple at Guruvayoor and Sree Krishna shrine at Ambalapuzha saw heavy rush of devotees right from early morning.