Will Sabarimala be a Game-Changer?
Sabarimala movement is the most tumultuous agitation the state has witnessed since the ‘Liberation Struggle’, which stormed against the first EMS-led Communist regime in 1959
Parliament election is neither a bolt from the blue nor a surprise at all, but a natural process the right thinking voters have been awaiting. They have been waiting for the golden opportunity to use their most powerful weapon, the electoral mandate, against the fascist rule of Pinarayi Vijayan’s CPM-led LDF and Opposition Congress-led UDF.
Since taking over the rule of the state in 2016 Pinarayi had stepped up his anti-Hindutva, anti-RSS and anti-Modi propaganda in full swing. Political violence and killings against RSS and RSS-inspired organisations became the cup of tea for CPM as well as GoK. Several Hindutva workers lost their lives. Several workers were hooked in fake cases. Political gains were top on the agenda.
Then came the most infamous CPM agenda - Young Women's Entry to Sabarimala Shrine. In this regard, they misused the Supreme Court verdict of September 28, 2018 to the maximum possible extent. Pinarayi had stated on the day of verdict itself that GoK would take all steps to permit young women to enter the shrine. He ridiculed the restriction on the entry of women between the age of 10 and 50. He pictured it as the blatant violation of gender equality. He did what he said when the temple was reopened for the season last year. Several women were brought to Sabarimala for breaching the tradition in Sabarimala.
Those women were atheists, Maoists and anti-Hindu activists, leaders of Kiss of Love and ‘Burn Your Tali” (wedlock women wear) movements and blind opponents of RSS, BJP, PM Modi, etc. Police gave escort to the aforementioned women to enter the shrine. Even though state-sponsored attempts took place several times, they did not work, thanks to the stiff opposition from the devotees from not only Kerala, but also from the neighbouring states. RSS-inspired devotees played active roles too. But, on the second day of this year, January 2, Pinarayi’s police forces tried to bring two activist women of the aforementioned catergory to the shrine. They spent couple of minutes there, got photographed and fled. But, it hurt the Hindu sentiments a lot.
Pinarayi's police arrested and jailed thousands of devotees who agitated against the breach of tradition. Arrests of state BJP and Hindu leaders leaders like K Surendran and KP Sasikala Teacher and other leaders when they were heading towards shrine for worship were too much for the Hindu community to digest. In the mean time, three human lives were lost during the agitation for maintaining the tradition of the Sabarimala temple. One was a deliberate murder ... dropping a big piece of concrete on the head of a worker while he was participating in a march near the CPM office. His entire skull was smashed like an egg shell. But, CM invited the wrath of the men of simple common sense by uttering that the man died of heart attack.
In short, Sabarimala is the most tumultuous agitation the state has witnessed since the “Liberation Struggle”, stormed against the first (EMS-led) democratically elected Communist regime in the whole country, in 1959 and resulted in the dismissal of the ministry.
Now, the political situation in the state can be boiled down that the Pinarayi regime is on defensive. Neither CM nor his party leaders succeed in convincing party cadres or rank and file regarding Sabarimala issue. They do fail in keeping other constituents of the LDF including CPI in good humours. On the other hand, people of Kerala cutting across party-caste-religious lines do not approve the GOK stand on Sabarimala. This is not at all a good music for the ears of Pinarayi and his caucus.
The much publicised “Women Wall for Renaissance” of the GOK was not even a miserable match to the Ayyapa Jyoti led by Sabarimala Achara Samiti which l looked like a human wall with lamps in hand from Kasargod to Kanyakumari. It spoke loud where the women of Kerala stand. Women of Kerala were taking it as revenge to
the CPM woman leaders who insulted the Hindu women by fabricating
false sexy remarks against the temple-going women.
LDF leadership has invited the wrath of the victims of the ‘natural’ calamities heavily. When Ockhi Cyclone hit the coasts of Thiruvananthauram, the capital, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitraman came to wipe the tears of the victims in couple of days. But, CM did not get time to go therefore more than a week despite the site being hardly 6 kms off his offices! There are strong allegations that the killer floods of August 2018 were man made. Because reports suggest that GOK had received timely meteorological predictions from Delhi regularly. But, GOK decided to open the dams very late when the storage had gone beyond the human control. And, dams were opened sans any necessary warnings to the people. The results are grave: Hundreds lost their lives. Thousands of houses underwent total loss. Belongings of lakhs people underwent total loss. Lakhs of people had to resort to relief camps without proper sanitations and drinking water. If they could survive there, it was due to the service activities of NGOs. RSS-inspired Seva Bahrati was the prominent one among them.
Still thousands of the victims of both Ockhi and August floods run pillar to posts to get the relief packages declared by the government. GOK miserably failed to avail the packages declared by the PM and his cabinet (and council of ministers) colleagues. On the other hand, CM Pinarayi used the situation for petty political games. One among them was blaming the union government for not giving “enough aid”. Another dirty game was blaming the PM for not permitting the state to avail 700 crores (Rs or dollars? No one knows) from UAE. At last it was revealed that he was quotiing from a telephone conversation he had with a Keralite businessman in Gulf!
Meanwhile, Metro Man E Sreedharan, the embodiment of professionalism and credibility, has moved a petition before the Kerala High Court complaining that August floods were man-made. Amicus Curiae's report submitted before the Kerala High Court is matching to what BJP and other opposition parties have been alleging, the killer floods of August 2018 were manmade. The HC-appointed Amicus Curiae report says that the state government failed in gauging the intensity of the rains. Report also demands judicial inquiry into the whole affairs.
Several cabinet colleagues of Pianarayi had to suffer the heat of allegations for appointing their relatives in government and government-controlled positions with fat salaries. One of the ministers had to pack up due to this allegation.
Now, reports suggest that GOK has decided to distribute welfare pensions of five months before LS polls. The idea is vote politics.
On the other hand, BJP and NDA are in comfortable positions. Since, they could expose the government whenever it sinned as narrated above, they (NDA) could bag the people's confidence. The genuine politics and flood relief activities of BJP workers rubbing the shoulders with the RSS and Seva Bharati workers have catapulted them to higher esteems. BJP's total support for Sabarimala agitation has helped it to gain the mandate of the believers of the state, the majority of the population. People have realised the hide and seek politics of Congress both in flood relief activities and in Sabarimala issue. In other words, voters of Kerala are going to create a novel history in Kerala.