Around 10 journalists were attacked near the Sabarimala temple in Kerala as protests against women’s entry into the temple turned violent on Wednesday. However, when asked who was responsible for the violence, the political class in Kerala passed the buck.
Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran addressed the media and insinuated that the Supreme Court’s verdict allowing women of all ages into the temple was in itself a “conspiracy by the RSS” to polarise the state.“The government has no choice. In reality, if media investigates who were the people behind the verdict in the SC and what was their political agenda, you can find out in 30 minutes and put to rest the concerns of true devotees here. They (devotees) think that the government has gone and asked for this verdict. The forces of the BJP and the RSS are trying to justify the verdict this way as well. But, the BJP leaders of RSS were the ones who in 2006, went to the Supreme Court for this case. And then they said that the Supreme Court was approached by a few liberal left women lawyers,” he said.
K Surendran, Kerala BJP’s General Secretary, alleged in a press statement at Sabarimala on Wednesday that the government was in cahoots with the Devaswom Board and was ‘attacking and manhandling’ devotees.
“They have taken a stance of attacking Ayyappa devotees, in a very cruel manner. Since 2 am last night, the government has been in cahoots with the Devaswom Board while attacking devotees. This has not happened in the history of Sabarimala, they are turning it into a battlefield,” K Surendran said.
He also alleged that the government was intentionally targeting the Ayyappa Devotees during the attack.
“This was the stance adopted by the government. They were intentionally turning a blind eye to attacks on the media persons. They were not taking action against miscreants who were trying to ruin the protest. But they were fully targeting devotees assembled for the protest,” Surendran added.
Meanwhile, state opposition leader from the Congress party, which also staged a protest at the base camp in Nilakkal, Pathanamthitta, said that this was a question of faith and that cannot be questioned.
“There is no ban on women entering into the Sabarimala temple and offering prayers. Because the Ayyappa deity is considered to be the Nysthika Brahmachari (eternal celibate), that is why this rule exists. This is a question of faith, and faith can not be questioned by anybody.”
The party leaders gave these statements following the recent mob attack that took place at the Nilakkal base camp. Several media persons, particularly women, were violently attacked by the mob.