Kummanam Rajasekharan (born December 1952) is an Indian politician from the State of Kerala. He is also a journalist. Rajasekharan began his media career in 1974 by working in Malayalam daily Deepika and then switched on to other jobs. He was the sub editor of Rastravartha daily, Kochi, Keraladesam daily Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala Bhooshanam daily, Kottayam and Kerala Dhwani daily Kottayam. In 1976 he joined the Food Corporation of India, Kochi.
Rajasekharan became the district secretary of Vishwa Hindu Parishad in 1979 going on to become its state secretary within a span of two years in 1981 and later was associated with many Hindu organisations in Kerala in various capacities.
Early Life and Education
Kummanam Rajasekharan was born in Kottayam to Advocate V.K. Ramakrishna Pillai and P. Parukutty Amma. He did his Botany from CMS College, Kottayam and also did a Post Graduate Diploma in Journalism.
Rajasekharan’s political career had begun when he had joined the Vishwa Hindu Parishad. However, he came to limelight with his lead role in the historical ‘movement against encroachment of Nilakkal temple land’ as General convener of Nilakkal Action Council[i], a joint committee of all Hindu organisations in Kerala. In 1985 he became the general secretary of Hindu Munnani (Hindu front). In 1987 resigned from Food Corporation of India to become a full time pracharak of Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh. He proactively participated in the Paliyam Declaration[ii] pronounced by prominent Hindu religious scholars. In 1987, he contested from Thiruvananthapuram constituency as Hindu Munnani candidate and got second position in the election.
In 1988 he was appointed as General Secretary of Guruvayoor Temple Action Council and led an agitation against the managing committee of Guruvayoor Temple. The same year he also led agitations against Elavoor Thookkam and Palazhi untouchability. In 1989 he was appointed as editor of Janmabhumi daily, Kochi. In 1992 he was designated as General Convenor of Hindu Aikya Vedi (Hindu Unity Forum). In 1996 he was appointed as organising Secretary of Vishwa Hindu Parishad. In the year 1998 he was appointed as General convener of Sivagiri Samara Sahaya Samithi[iii] to assist the agitations led by Swami Prakashananda against the removal from presidency of Sivagiri Madom.
In 2003 lead a mass agitation against the Marad Hindu massacre[iv]. In 2007, was designated as Managing director of Janmabhumi daily. In 2009 was selected as General Secretary of Sabarimala Ayyappa Sewa Samajam. In 2011 he was appointed as the chairman of Janmabhumi daily. In 2012, he took another monumental struggle on his shoulder, Agitation against KGS Aranmula International Airport.[v] Now he is the Chief Patron of Aranmula Heritage Village Action Council which protests against the said Airport. He is the Chief Patron (Mukhya Rakshadhikari) of Aranmula Heritage Village Action Council that leads a mass agitation against KGS Aranmula International Airport project. He holds the responsibility as General Secretary of Hindu Aikya Vedi. On 19 December 2015 he took charge as the new State President of BJP, Kerala.
[i]. On 24th March 1983, a church priest proclaimed that two members of his parish had unearthed a stone cross established by Jesus’ apostle Saint Thomas in 57 AD from near the Mahadeva temple at Nilakkal, near Sabarimala. While the priest staked his claim, proposing to build a Christian church on the site, Hindus mounted a protest by forming Nilakkal Action council that lasted for six months and finally resulted in the relocation of the proposed church. These agitations against the temple land encroachment gave impetus to the Hindu uprisings in Kerala in the 1980s and 1990s. Kummanam Rajasekharan played a pivotal role in the agitation with the support of his organisation.
[ii]. It was a revolutionary declaration made under the initiative of Sangh leaders in Kerala. The “important essence” of what is known as “Paliyam Declaration” of 1987 following the congregation of Kerala’s Vedic Pundits and scholars at Paliyam, near Chennamangalam in Thrissur District was that a person could attain “Brahmanyam” through performance of duty and not by right of birth i.e. anybody can attain “Brahmanyam” through “Karma” (duty), even if he was born in a different non-Brahmin caste. All such Brahmins through performance of duty can also become priests to perform “Pooja”, including in Temples, according to the “Paliyam Declaration”. The organisers of the community “Upanayanam” claimed that the function was a fulfilment of the 14-year old “Paliyam Declaration”. It was a land-mark event in Kerala’s history of social progress to eliminate caste.
[iii]. The CPM led Left Democratic Front in Kerala forcefully took over Sivagiri Sree Narayana Dharma Sangham Mutt with the state Police in 1998, when there was a rift between two groups in the Matt. Sivagiri Samara Sahaya Samithy (committee to help the strike for Sivagiri) was formed with the help of Hindu organizations. Many members of the Hindu community agitated against this conspiracy of the Marxist government to take control of this religious institution. Swami Prakashananda, then 74-year-old leader of the Mutt, had conducted fasting strike in front of the Thiruvananthapuram secretariat. Swamiji was arrested and taken to hospital. Finally on the 31st day of strike, High Court of Kerala decreed against the government stand.
[iv]. On the evening of 2 May 2003, a group of fishermen, some of whom had been accused of involvement in an earlier communal attack in the area, were sitting on the beach near a temple when suddenly, they were attacked by a mob of armed with swords. After a chaotic ten minutes, nine people were massacred. Many were seriously wounded. The killers escaped into the local Juma Masjid, the Marad enquiry commission’s (Justice Thomas P Joseph) report notes the submission of then Kozhikode Police Commissioner T. K. Vinod Kumar that hundreds of local Muslim women converged into the mosque to prevent the police from entering it. After the mass protest carried out by various Hindu organisations under the banner of the Hindu Aikya Vedi, Kerala government decided to announce compensation for victims’ families and a judicial inquiry to the incident. As the general secretary of Hindu Aikya Vedi, RSS, Kummanam Rajasekharan played a tremendous role in this movement.
[v]. In 2012, Government of Kerala permitted KGS group to construct an International Airport at Aranmula. There was a mass agitation by the villagers against this, since more than 1500 acres of paddy field has to be converted and it is detrimental to the centuries old Aranmula Parthasaradhy temple. Two streams would also disappear. Major landscape of this world heritage village will be changed. Aranmula Heritage Village Action Council was formed to protest against the said Airport.