Thiruvananthapuram: The Metropolitan (Bishop) of Niranam Diocese of Jacobite Syrian Church has called the histories of many old ‘high-caste’ Christian families in Kerala 'fabricated'.
The Metropolitan, who is known for rebellious stands on various topics, expressed this view on his Facebook page.
In an appendix to the post, he also appealed to the laity not to address him as 'Thirumeni' (your lordship) as it is 'a myth created by the elite castes'.
"I am taking a decision today. I will not attend the annual family get-togethers in Kerala conducted in the month of May and December. Most of them are programmes only to cement the elite identity and legacy which are fabricated (by the families),” he said.
“The roots of all would reach Pakalomattaom and Kalliyangal (two ancient Christian families in the state). Their forefathers belonged to the Brahmins of those films (the house of Brahmins) who were converted by St Thomas! These blunders will be compiled to make family history. These baseless regressive upper caste myths must be bust. I had to attend many such programs due to the personal relationship with some of the family members. I feel guilty. I can’t repeat it," he added.
Noted historian MGS Narayan in his book ‘Kerala Charithrathile 10 Kallakkathakal’ (The ten lies in Kerala History), had stated the visit of St. Thomas was a baseless fiction.
The Bishop, who also serves the World Council of Churches as moderator of its Commission on World Mission and Evangelism (CWME), later added, "Many address me as 'Thirumeni', a myth created by the upper caste. They can call me a friend or father. If they want it to be formal, it can be Bishop. We have to change and should change many things," To make his point, the Bishop quoted writer OV Vijayan's statement "The English language is the best weapon to challenge the caste".
The bishop had also supported the hartal organised by Dalit outfits on Monday. "Normally, I do not support hartals as such protests in Kerala have not served their purpose. But I support the Dalit hartal wholeheartedly as it is against the atrocities faced by the marginalised sections under the fascist and feudal system. The people who are opposing the strike should introspect over their approach and mentality to the caste system and Dalits,” he posted on Facebook.