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Friday, April 12, 2024

Facing flak for police brutality against Ayyappa devotees, Pinarayi Vijayan plays caste card

A clearly rattled Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan, shocked by the groundswell of support for the #SaveSabarimala campaign and the rising public disgust at the brutal crackdown by Kerala police against Ayyappa devotees at Nilakkal, came out with a series of tweets calling the protesting devotees as ‘RSS-backed attackers obstructing believers and spreading terror’.

Resorting to usual Communist rhetoric, he claimed ‘these attackers are motivated by casteist and feudal ideologies’.

The CM has refused to listen to pleas of countless devotees, mostly women, who have taken to the streets of Kerala in recent days, chanting ‘Swami Saranam Ayyappa’, asking the government to file a review petition in Supreme Court, or to hold off on implementing the SC verdict with such haste.

To the surprise of many, Pinarayi Vijayan decided to proceed with a 4-day state visit to UAE at such a troubled time in his state. The day that he left saw an allegedly unprovoked charge by Kerala Police on devotees protesting peacefully at Nilakkal, the base camp for the trek to the Sabarimala hill shrine.

Sabarimala is arguably the most important Hindu shrine in Kerala, and Sri Ayyappa devotees and temples are spread across the length and breadth of the country. People across caste and community lines, from poor to rich, hold Sabarimala sacred and approximately 20 million flock to it every year after undertaking the arduous 41-day vrata (pious observances).

It is mostly poor, devout Hindus who have taken to the streets and braved the police crackdown to uphold their timeless tradition at Sabarimala. And women have been at the forefront of the protests, just as women are central to Ayyappa devotional practises elsewhere (Sabarimala is the only Ayyappa temple where women in the 10-50 age group are restricted as Ayyappa there is in the form of a Naishtik Brahmachari i.e. lifelong celibate).

And despite the best efforts of majority Malayalam & national media to censor the peaceful protests by devotees and the brutal crackdown by Kerala police, in this day & age of social media the truth cannot be hidden for long –

While cynically playing the caste card to discredit the Sabarimala protests, CM Pinarayi Vijayan has followed the standard Communist template which is to destroy Hindu society by creating internal divisions. But his cynical ploy becomes all the more painful when one hears of simple Ayyappa devotees ending their lives or dying heartbroken seeing the state-sponsored attempt to decimate their tradition –

Now, after the CM first played the caste card, a Dalit Congress leader Manju, who has multiple pending criminal cases against her, is said to be preparing to barge her way into the #Sabarimala shrine.

But what is driving CPM Government’s actions in the whole Sabarimala issue is pure, unadulterated hate for Hindu Dharma. And again, it is social media only which brings out this stark, but hidden, truth –

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