Kerala speaker faces backlash for insensitive remarks on Hindu Gods, myths

Kerala assembly speaker AN Shamseer’s remarks on Lord Ganesha call for outrage from Hindu groups demanding apology

| Updated: 24 July, 2023 10:10 am IST
Kerala assembly speaker AN Shamseer

ERNAKULAM, KERALA: Angered by the controversial comments made against Hindu Gods and mythology by senior CPI(M) leader and Kerala assembly speaker AN Shamseer, Hindu groups and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have demanded a public apology from the speaker, citing the comments as ‘insensitive’ and ‘unacceptable’.

Speaking at a function organised by the state education department, the Shamseer criticised the medical education system in the country and stated that the students are taught that plastic surgery, which is an advanced form of surgery, was invented during ancient times (referring to it as ‘Hindutva age’) and that Ganapathi (Lord Ganesha), who possesses the body of a human being and the face of an elephant, is an example of plastic surgery. Shamseer also said that ‘Kauravas’ were born through in vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment.

The comments have sparked massive outrage on social media, where many have criticised the use of words by the Kerala Assembly Speaker. They questioned him as to why he ‘singled out’ one particular faith and has not mentioned similar remarks made by fundamentalists from other faiths.

The controversial remarks were made by the assembly speaker at ‘Vidya Jyothi Slate’, a programme conducted at a government school in Ernakulam.

Shamseer said, “When a question is being asked about plastic surgery, they (referring to exams conducted by the education department under the central government) expect us to answer that the first person to conduct the plastic surgery was Ganapati (Lord Ganesha), who possesses the body of a human being and the face of an elephant. They say ‘Kauravas’ are born through IVF treatment. During the times of Artificial Intelligence, our young children are expected to learn such myths that are unscientific and do not impart a scientific temperament.”

BJP state president K Surendran has harshly criticised the speaker, challenged Shamseer if he has the courage to make similar comments about other faiths and demanded a public apology from the Kerala assembly speaker.

Members of the ‘Hindu Aikya Vedi’, a Hindu welfare group in Kerala, have held a protest in Ernakulam and have demanded the resignation of Shamseer from the post of speaker for mocking Hindu Gods and mythology at a public function.

“It’s extremely shameful from the side of an assembly speaker to insult Hindu Gods on a public platform. Will he speak in a similar language about other religions? We are demanding an apology from AN Shamseer for the insensitive statements he has made,” said RV Babu, state general secretary, Hindu Aikya Vedi.

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