Thiruvananthapuram: Suspended Kerala Vigilance DGP Jacob Thomas Friday said there was nothing wrong in associating with the RSS and termed chanting Jai Shri Ram as a "normal thing."
Thomas, who was at loggerheads with the previous Congress-led United Democratic Front government and the present CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front, said the RSS was not a political party but the largest NGO engaged in "nation-building."
The Central Administrative Tribunal had on July 29 ordered the reinstatement of Thomas, who was suspended in December 2017 over his remarks against the LDF government on handling of the Ockhi cyclone situation.
"Yesterday, I participated in a Ramayana fest, a cultural event at Thrissur. There I was talking about the values which Lord Ram symbolises.
Ram was a person who lived long ago. But how's Ram being represented now? So what's he representing? He is the model man. He is the Mathruka Purush.
"In Kerala, wrong things are happening for some time.
When wrong things are happening, Ram should come and intervene," Thomas said at a meet-the-press programme, organised by the Thiruvananthapuram press club here.
He said chanting Jai Shri Ram was a normal thing everywhere. "He (Ram) is the Sankalp Purush. He was a man with morals, values.
What I am asking is that why can't we chant Jai Shri Ram? If go to some function of the Army, we say Jai Hind or Jai Shri Ram. That's a normal thing," he said.
When it was pointed out that eminent personalities, including Adoor Gopalakrishnan, had opposed the chanting of Jai Shri Ram being used as a "war cry," Thomas said "Adoor has the right for (expressing) his opinion, so do I."
Adoor had said their voicing concern was neither against the government, nor against those chanting 'Jai Shri Ram', but against incidents of lynching using the "chant as a war cry".
When asked about joining the BJP as he was frequently seen in programmes organised by the RSS, Thomas said he did not have anything against the saffron party.
"BJP is a political party, whereas RSS is not. It is an NGO. BJPgave two PMs who were re-elected by the people.
So I don't have an opinion that the political party which has given two prime ministers for the country is not good. If anyone has got such an opinion that the party is not good, its because of their ideology.
"Why would the people of the country give mandate to the party for two of its prime ministers a chance to rule again. I don't have anything against that party. Those who oppose that party might have," he told reporters.
The former Vigilance head asked the media what was wrong in joining the RSS.
"The people with whom I have interacted with in RSS are leading a simple life, not working against our country. They spread the culture of India.I can relate to it," he said.
He said he is an Indian and culture of the country is even embodied in the National Anthem Jana Gana Mana.
"RSS upholds the same. It upholds the culture of India.
If any other organisation in the state also come up with such simplicity and upholds the culture of our country, I will happily associate with them," he said.
When it was pointed out that the minorities were not feeling safe under the Jai Shri Ram chant, he said he also belongs to a minority community.
He said only bad news from North India comes down to South and vice-versa.
"Bad news travels fast but for good news it is the other way round. So the bad news of North India travels fast and far. Here state government constructed houses for fishermen after Ockhi cyclone but it won't reach North India.
Likewise the good news from north India won't reach here," Thomas said.
Thomas is also facing a case for penning his autobiography 'Sravukalkkoppam Neenthumbol' (Swimming With Sharks) without seeking permission from the higher-ups.
The complaint was filed by the general administration department on the direction of Chief Secretary Tom Jose.
The police's Crime Branch wing is probing the case.
In the 240-page book, the 1985-batch IPS officer had attacked many leaders, including former chief minister Oommen Chandy, and alleged how the investigation of some controversial corruption cases were sabotaged.
Thomas denied the alleged rift with the Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan over his suspension.
I don't think the Chief Minister has got any role in my suspension.H e is the last person to sign the order," Thomas said.
He said he has not joined any political party despite receiving invitation.
Thomas said at the time when he joined the civil service, politics was not having much perks.
"When I joined the civil service, MLAs or MPs were not getting much salary or perks. But that is not the situation today. So politics is good option," he said.