Kerala MLA's Ramayana recital goes viral, becomes huge hit

By PTI Published on Jul 23, 2018 11:28 AM IST

Thiruvananthapuram: A video of a ruling CPI-M woman MLA's recital of 'Ramayana' has become a hit on social media days after a controversy surfaced over a pro-Left outfit's planned seminar series on the holy epic in Kerala.

U Prathibha Hari, who represents Kayamkulam constituency in the state Assembly, recently posted in facebook a video of her reading the verses of the epic as part of annual observance of 'Ramayana' month, marking Karkkidakam, the last month in Malayalam calendar.

Clad in a traditional Kerala saree and sitting cross-legged on the floor, she is seen reciting the verses in a mellifluous voice. "Ramayana month has begun. Let each faith and reading (of Ramayana) propagate virtues...," the first-time MLA said in the post uploaded on July 18.

No sooner did she post the video, it was shared by many on other social media platforms. During the Ramayana month, which began on July 17, verses from 'Adhyatma Ramayana,' authored by medieval devotional poet Thunchath Ramanujan Ezhuthachan, are chanted in front of lighted 'nilavilakku' (traditional lamps).

The woman legislator's Ramayana recital has assumed significance in the wake of recent controversies over the Ramayana seminar series organised by 'Sanskrti Sangh,' a pro-Left outfit.

Though a section of media reported that CPI(M) was sponsoring the programmes of the 'Sanskrti Sangh,' party state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan had said the outfit was an independent one and the Left party had no plans to observe Ramayana month.

'Vichar Vibhag,' a Congress-led cultural organisation, had also announced plans to observe the Ramayana month to counter the attempt to 'hijack' the epic by the BJP-RSS, but dropped it later.

'Karkidakam,' is the lean season ahead of 'Chingam' that ushers in Malayalis' most colourful festival of 'Onam.' According to tradition, elders in conservative hindu houses would chant verses from 'Adhyatma Ramayana,' authored by medieval devotional poet Thunchath Ramanujan Ezhuthachan, on all the 30 days in front of lighted 'nilavilakku' (traditional lamps) during Karkkidakam.