Thiruvananthapuram: The Congress on Sunday condemned the ‘women wall’ protest from Kasargode to the Kerala capital announced by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan for January 1, saying it it will only whip up communal passions. Addressing the media, Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala said it was rather strange that Vijayan was doing what no Communist Chief Minister in the state had thought of.
“This ‘women wall’ will only help to polarize communities and compartmentalize people in the name of caste. What is even more strange is that this was decided at a meeting of representatives with dozens of Hindu social organisations where the Chief Secretary was also present. Vijayan should see that this is not a state-sponsored programme,” he said.
Saturday’s meeting was an attempt to garner support following recent protests by Hindu groups in Kerala over the entry of women of all ages to the Sabarimala temple post a Supreme Court verdict. Vijayan sent out invites to over 150 social groups, of which around 70 took part and it was decided to use the #hashtag that the purpose of the ‘women wall’ would be ‘not to turn Kerala into a lunatic asylum’.
“Vijayan should release minutes of the meeting... Reports have surfaced that while Vijayan said all have pledged support for the state government on the stand taken by them on the Sabarimala issue, some leaders who took part later said they disagreed,” added Chennithala. The apex court on November 13 refused to stay the September verdict, three days before the two month long Sabarimala pilgrimage season began on November 16.
The Left Democratic Front government led by the CPI-M has been trying to implement the apex court’s verdict even as the Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party and several Hindu groups are up in arms against it. “The talk of renaissance is not by bringing ladies to Sabarimala as there is no ban on ladies. Instead, there is restriction, which is part of tradition and the rituals associated with the Sabarimala temple. “The BJP and RSS are trying to create a terror situation in the temple town,” added Chennithala. Meanwhile, the Nair Service Society, which represents the Hindu Nair community and which did not attend Saturday’s meeting, on Sunday said that the Vijayan government was trying to make political capital out of the Sabarimala issue. (IANS)
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