Thiruvananthapuram: Congress president Sonia Gandhi Wednesday said that attempts were being made to "capture" the legacy of renowned social reformer Sree Narayana Guru by "communal ideologies and individuals" for political gain.
She also said there were attempts to communalise the Guru's teachings and this amounts to betraying him.
"I believe that there can be no greater betrayal of Sree Narayana Guru than the attempts being made to capture his legacy by communal ideologies and individuals whose motive is political power by spreading prejudice, bigotry and dividing our diverse society," Gandhi said in her inaugural address at the 83rd annual pilgrimage at Narayana Guru's abode at Sivagiri mutt here.
Gandhi said the Guru believed in respect to all faiths and motivated his followers to respect all religions. In 1924, at a congregation in Aluva in Ernakulam he had stressed "the need to abstain from religious conflict and to promote universal peace, harmony and prosperity of all religions," she added.
“Narayana Guru's teachings of equality, liberty and social justice were of "vital relevance even today," she said, adding, "in fact I would say that they are (teachings) are more relevant today."
Gandhi also said that it was sad that caste discrimination still existed in the country.
"Sadly caste discrimination still exists and we still have much work to do in the area. It is for all of us to work in fully eliminating discrimination in the country of any form. It is in our power to eliminate it," she added.
“SNDP had played a tremendous important role in promoting and advancing the Guru's teachings. It has contributed in transforming Kerala and this had led to "unprecedented" social reforms. An example of this is appointment of Sankar, an Ezhava leader, as chief minister by Congress in 1970,” she said.
Sonia Gandhi shared the stage with CPI General Secretary Sudhakar Reddy and Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, among others.