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The Vancouver chapter of Malyali Samajam has set an example of how to preserve diversity and pluralism when religious fanaticism continues to grow in India under a right wing Hindu nationalist government.

A body that represents Canadian citizens and immigrants from Kerala celebrated Onam Festival inside a Church in Surrey this past Saturday. Apart from that Eid was also celebrated alongside Onam that is largely seen as a Hindu festival. Among the audience were a few Sikhs.
By bringing all faith groups together under one roof, the Malyali Samajam has sent across message of secularism that continues to be threatened by the Hindu Right since Modi came to power in 2014.

Even otherwise Kerala is a diverse state of India where all the establishment religions are practiced openly. This has never changed even under the communist governments and Kerala is frequently referred to as “God’s Own Country”. Recently when beef was being banned across India and there have been attacks on Muslims suspected of carrying beef by the cow vigilantes, the Kerala government stood up against it. Though the Malayali Samajam General Secretary Shah Jaya Saheb won’t acknowledge it but the gesture has been well received by those concerned over growing attacks on religious minorities in India.

Gurpreet Singh is a Canada- based journalist who publishes Radical Desi- a monthly magazine that covers alternative politics.

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One Comment

  1. K SHESHU BABU says:

    Kerala has people from different religions practicing their own faiths. They live with communal harmony. Their Malali Samajam celebrating Onam with other religions and inside a church reflects their communal harmony despite all odds as India is facing communal hatred everywhere. The message of secularism and harmony must be spread

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