Rattled by the unexpected resistance against his Government’s heavy-handed attempt to forcefully implement the SC verdict, while overruling peaceful street protests by lakhs of Ayyappa devotees, CM Pinarayi Vijayan has resorted to disturbing anti-Hindu rhetoric, mirroring the brazen abuses heaped by other lower-ranked Communist leaders in recent days. Accompanying this are reports of state-wide raids last night on houses of Ayyappa devotees identified during the protests.
While addressing a Left Democratic Front (LDF) rally in Pathanamthitta on Tuesday evening, Vijayan said that ‘Sabarimala priests are involved in prostitution’. He made this wild allegation on the back of a 12-year-old incident when the former Sabarimala Thantri (head priest) Kandararu Mohanaru was arrested along with two women from a Kochi flat – a court later discharged the priest from the case when his innocence was proved.
Displaying his ignorance about Hindu customs and beliefs, Vijayan said “only celibate priests are allowed to perform pooja in temples where the deity is a celibate”, and that there are “other such temples in North India where the ‘idol’ is an eternal celibate like Ayyappa and where married priests are not allowed.”
What he distorted in the above comment is the practise followed in monastic temples across Bharat – these temples are established by sadhus (monks who are celibate), but the deity they serve could be an eternal celibate (like Sri Hanuman) or married (like Bhagwan Shiva). In regular temples, the priests are householders, and this includes priests serving in temples devoted to a celibate deity like Sri Hanuman.
The Kerala CM also mocked the “Pandalam Royal family going bankrupt and being forced to join the Travancore Kingdom.” What he left unsaid was the real reason for the heavy financial burden on the Pandalam kingdom – Tipu Sultan’s brutal invasion of Malabar in 1789 CE – and that the merger of the two kingdoms was a wise, mutually acceptable decision when faced with a fanatical foe.
Pinarayi Vijayan has even resorted to unseemly casteist and divisive rhetoric to discredit the Sabarimala protesters, claiming that the Sabrimala priests are “just a bunch of Brahmins who migrated from Andhra Pradesh”, or that the protesters are “RSS-backed attackers motivated by casteist and feudal ideologies”.
Vijiyan had even said that the Government controlled Devaswom board ‘owns’ the Sabarimala temple and nobody else could claim authority over it. Is this secularism, or separation of religion and state, as enshrined in the Constitution?
Lok Sabha MP, former minister, and CPI(M) central committee member PK Sreemathi ‘Teacher’ disparaged temple-going Hindu women & men on October 9 by saying that Hindu women who go to temples in wet clothes after taking dip in temple ponds do it thus to display their body parts to men in those temples, and men come to temples to enjoy this.
Earlier, Kerala Marxist leader Saju MR in a Facebook post said “we will not rest till we bury Hindu culture”
Despite a police crackdown led by Thiruvananthapuram IG Police Manoj Abraham and Pathanamthitta District Collector PB Nooh, and the CPM Government’s attempts to facilitate entry of controversial feminist activists like Rehana Fathima, Liby CS into the Sabarimala shrine, devotees have thus far managed to avoid the Sabarimala tradition from being broken.
There are several reports that hired goons had been infiltrated into regular police ranks to assault devotees at Nilakkal and Pamba. Marxist leader and Kumbazha LC member P R Prakash was caught while transporting 5 bottles of liquor.
Since yesterday, there are disturbing reports coming of a midnight-crackdown on Ayyappa devotees & #SaveSabarimala protesters, with raids across the state. RSS and ABVP offices and volunteers are also under attack.
With the Sabarimala temple scheduled to re-open on 17 November and Supreme Court setting a date of 13 November to hear 19 petitions challenging its verdict which ended the ancient Sabarimala tradition, the CPM Government is going all out to ensure that it crushes Hindu resolve and succeeds in its aim of forcing women activists into the temple.
New rules have been drafted ostensibly for crowd control and a ‘safe, hassle-free darshan’, mandatory online reservation is being proposed for pilgrims with the stated aim, ironically, of ‘preventing troublemakers from entering the shrine in the guise of worshippers.’ Devotees without internet access will be ‘vetted’ and given ‘security clearance’. Pilgrims time at the temple will be strictly rationed – no more than 16 hours. Artificial intelligence programs will analyse video surveillance to monitor the trekking path. A small army of 1200 police officers will be deployed on peak days, and recruitment of ‘temporary male staff’ has also been announced.
In short, Pinarayi Vijayan is meticulously plotting to ensure that Ayyappa devotees are unable to defend their tradition in the next bout of this long-drawn war. As this Swarajya article asks, are Hindus ready?
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