The Nair Service Society, an umbrella organisation that represents the upper-caste Nair community of Kerala, has announced that they will be equidistant from both the LDF and UDF this election. The NSS, which has locked horns with the LDF on the Sabarimala issue and was vocal against the entry of women, was expected to lend support to the UDF or the NDA.
However, in an editorial, published in Service, the NSSâ€™s magazine, the NSS has not spared any of the three fronts -- LDF, UDF and the NDA. Criticising all the three for the stance they took on Sabarimala, the NSS declared that they would be equidistant from all political fronts and have left it to the believers to decide who deserves their vote.
Nairs constitute between 10 and 14% of Keralaâ€™s population. Though they do not vote as a bloc, the NSS does have a considerable hold over the community. Right from the time the Sabarimala judgment was announced, the NSS has spearheaded the conversation against the entry of women, with its leader G Sukumaran Nair emerging as a vociferous critic of the government.
The editorial begins by explaining that the NSS has been equidistant in previous elections. It goes on to describe what each of the three political fronts in Kerala did after the Supreme Court verdict in September 2018.
The NSS alleged that though there was an amicable relationship with the Kerala government and despite it asking for time for the review petitions to be heard, the government was in a hurry to ensure entry of women into the sanctum sanctorum of the temple. It then goes on to say that the Left government saw Sabarimala as an opportunity to decimate faith in god and traditions. It adds that the government used its might and money to crush the peopleâ€™s agitation supported by the NSS.
However, surprisingly, the criticism was not limited to the LDF alone but was extended to the UDF and BJP with whom the NSS had spearheaded the Sabarimala agitations in Kerala.
The NSS has alleged that both the Congress and the BJP exploited Sabarimala for their own political gains. They accused that the BJP, instead of paying attention to the legal procedures, tried to stop the entry of women by protesting on the streets. It further adds that in a political atmosphere, all fronts are trying to use Sabarimala and the protection of faith for their own electoral gains, and it is up to the secular voters to decide who they want to vote for.