Kerala Directorate of Medical Education has issued a circular saying that "events such as Rakshabandhan" could not be organized in colleges without prior permission, sparking a major controversy in the state.

Last month, Director of Kerala Medical Education Dr Ramla Beevi issued the circular which stated that "no such event will be held without prior permission".

The government's move drew flak from Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and some Hindu group that accused the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government of targeting Hindu festivals in the state.

Happy Rakshabandhan

The state BJP unit has slammed Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's government for not understanding the beliefs and traditions of Hindus.

Permission to celebrate Rakshabandhan

The ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist), however, sought to downplay the uproar by saying that the circular doesn't ban the Rakshabandhan events but only ask to seek "prior permission".

"Celebration of Hindu festivals has not been banned in the state, unlike what has been propagated in the public domain," CPI (Marxist) leader AN Shamseer was quoting as saying by Times Now.

He added, "No Hindu celebration has been banned. The circular only says that prior permission should be taken before holding such events".

The leader accused the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the ideological parent of BJP, of communalising the issue.

He said Rakshabandhan event are mainly organized by RSS and its affiliates in Kerala and accused the organisations of playing communal cards.