Thiruvananthapuram: Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah greeted the people of Kerala for “Vamana Jayanthi” instead of Onam — raising eyebrows.
State Public Works Minister G. Sudhakaran has asked for a correction. “No idea why he is trying to distort things as this is totally wrong. The need of the hour is to see that he corrects it immediately,” he said.
Shah’s Facebook post on Tuesday also carried a picture of the mythical Vamana placing his foot on the head of Mahabali.
Shah’s post received numerous reactions, mostly critical of the BJP leader for distortion.
State BJP president Kummanem Rajashekeran, however, downplayed the issue, saying it was just a matter of discussion and nothing more should be attributed to it.
Shah’s post came at a time when the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) magazine ‘Kesari’ ran an article calling for the worship of Lord Vishnu, through Vamana, instead of King Mahabali.
This is incidentally against the fundamentals of Onam celebration where Mahabali occupies the centre stage.
According to the legend surrounding Mahabali and Onam, it is said that Vishnu disguised as a dwarf — Vamana — had appeared before Mahabali acting like a poor Brahmin.
Mahabali, known for his generous nature, granted Vamana as much land as he wanted, when Vamana asked for only a piece of land.
Vamana said that he just wanted as much land as could be covered by his three steps.
The King was surprised to hear that but agreed, and soon Vamana began expanding to cosmic proportion.
With his first step Vamana covered the entire earth, and with the other step he covered the sky. He then asked King Mahabali where he should keep his third step.
Mahabali, realising that he was no ordinary Brahmin, with folded hands bowed before Vamana and asked him to place his last step on his head so that he could keep his promise.
The Brahmin placed his foot on the head of the King, pushing him to ‘pathala’ — the nether world.
The king requested Vamana to reveal his true identity, whereupon Lord Vishnu appeared before the King in person.
Vishnu explained to Mahabali that the exercise was a test, in which Mahabali had passed. Vishnu then granted him a boon.
Mahabali requested for a visit to Kerala each year on Onam to see his people.
Onam is a tribute to the sacrifice of King Mahabali.