While BJP’s Sreedharan Pillai claimed that the Ayyappa Jyothi event was the “writing on the wall” for the Kerala government, the CPI(M) said that the Women’s Wall will see people’s participation because of their strong conviction.

BJP says Ayyappa Jyothi event bigger than Womens Wall CPIM says wait for Jan 1
news Sabarimala Thursday, December 27, 2018 - 11:40

The politics over women’s entry into the Sabarimala temple continues in Kerala with the BJP organising a counter campaign on Wednesday against the Kerala government’s Women’s Wall, which is scheduled to take place on January 1. PS Sreedharan Pillai, the BJP state president tells TNM that the Ayyappa Jyothi event which was organised by the Sabarimala Karma Samithi on Wednesday, was the “writing on the wall of the present times”. “I hope this writing on the wall will open the eyes of the Kerala state government,” he said.

During the event, Ayyappa devotees and volunteers from various Hindu organisations lit thousands of lamps, forming a chain that stretched for several kilometres. The lamps were lit up on the roadsides, from Manjeswaram in Kasargod to Kaliyakkavilai in Kanyakumari district in the Kerala- TN border - the same route which the state government’s proposed Women’s Wall intends to take.

“The emotions of the devotees as well as their strength have been showcased through the Ayyappa Jyothi event on Wednesday. A good number of women also participated in the event. Even the Women’s Wall won’t be able to gather so many women,” Sreedharan Pillai said. He also added that the people who participated in the Ayyappa Jyothi came out of devotion and that they were not forced to by any political organisations.

The Women’s Wall is a human chain which will be organised by the Kerala government on January 1 to raise awareness about the government’s stand on the Sabarimala issue.

“Initially, the Kerala Govt said that it was a wall made by Hindu women. When they later realised that Hindu women will not come for this, they started inviting minority parties also to join the wall,” said Sreedharan Pillai.

However, countering the BJP, Palakkad MP, MB Rajesh of the CPI(M) said, “I think people should wait till January 1 and witness the Women’s Wall before making any comparisons with the Ayyappa Jyothi.”

On reacting to the BJP’s claims that the state government is forcing the people to participate in the Women’s Wall, Rajesh said, “Women’s Wall is an event where people will be participating because of their strong convictions. We are not forcing anyone to come for the event like how the BJP and RSS claim. We treat humans as humans and not as cattle, whom we force them to do what we want to. Many of the people who participated in the Ayyappa Jyothi yesterday (Wednesday) are people who were mislead in the name of beliefs.”

Speaking to TNM, CPI(M) state secretariat member, KN Balagopal said, “It is true that there were a few people who gathered in various important junctions but that is basically it. It wasn’t there continuously and cannot be called a human chain.” Balagopal said that the Ayyappa Jyothi event cannot be compared to the Women’s Wall, where all the people who believe in the progressive values of the state will be participating by themselves.

“The people of the state have come to understand that BJP and RSS are using the beliefs of the devotees communally by turning Ayyappa mantras and Ayyappa Jyothis into a form of protest. People of the state have understood this and will reject this,” said Balagopal.

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