Thiruvananthapuram: As the Bharatiya Janata Party upped the ante on Sabarimala by sending a central team to the state, the Kerala government announced a million women march on the New Year’s Day to prevent the state from “sliding back into medieval madness”.
“Great Wall of Kerala, to prevent the state from sliding back into medieval madness, going to be raised by a million women from one end of Kerala to other on New Year Day. Come, join the Resistance. It will be very, very happy new year,” tweeted Thomas Isaac, the finance minister of Kerala.
Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, announcing 600-km long Women Wall on Saturday said, “No one can push back the progressive society of Kerala into the dark ages.” He was speaking after a meeting with over 50 socio-cultural organisations in Thiruvananthapuram, reports PTI.
On Wednesday Vijayan had said that Sabarimala “won’t be allowed to become an Ayodhya.” As the Kerala Assembly session started, legislators from the Congress-led opposition came with placards and banners demanding that the prohibitory orders in the temple town be lifted. During the entire question hour, the opposition shouted slogans and within 20 minutes the session had to be adjourned.
The four members comprising Saroj Pandey, Vinod Sonkar, Pralhad Joshi and Nalin Kumar Kateel will submit their report to Amit Shah within 15 days, the party said in a statement.
The team also plans to meet the Pandalam royal family, which traditionally is said to have a strong bond with Lord Ayyappa.
A large number of BJP and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) workers protested outside the residence of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan last week against the detention of over 30 people at Sabarimala Temple. Protests were also held at various places across the state in Aranmula, Kochi, Kollam, Alapuzha, Ranni, Thodupuzha, Kaladi, Malappuram and Idukki.
BJP state president P S Sreedharan Pillai said its leaders would launch an indefinite hunger strike before the Secretariat, to press various demands, including the lifting of prohibitory orders and providing basic amenities to pilgrims in and around the Lord Ayyappa temple.
“The party will launch indefinite hunger strike before the Secretariat from December 3, he said.
The saffron party has decided to go ahead with the agitation despite Kerala High Court’s order that no protests or demonstrations should be held at Sabarimala, holding that it was not a place for such activities.
Senior leader and state General secretary A N Radhakrishnan will kick-start the agitation,” he told reporters in Kochi. At present, we are planning a 15-day-stir, he said adding that the party would decide on further course of the agitation after taking into consideration the CPI(M)-led LDF government’s stand on their demands.
The Kerala government, meanwhile, is trying to garner support to implement the apex court’s verdict even as the Congress, BJP and several right-wing groups are up in arms against it.