If faith is above law, why not have a temple in Ayodhya: Pinarayi
If faith is above law, why not have a temple in Ayodhya: Pinarayi

If faith is above law, why not have a temple in Ayodhya: Pinarayi


Thiruvananthapuram: On the eve of the opening of Sabarimala for monthly pujas, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said that the Supreme Court verdict allowing the entry of women into Sabarimala was as progressive and radical as the abolition of 'sati', the rooting out of untouchability and the legislation that allowed a lower caste woman to cover her upper body. Meanwhile, the atmosphere near the shrine is more charged with the threat of violence than devotion. 

The CM was inaugurating a political rally organised by the CPM here on Tuesday, a day before Sabarimala opens for the first time after the Supreme Court verdict. Vijayan's counter strategy was clear: paint the BJP as an entity straight out of the Dark Age, and belittle the Congress as having lost its marbles. Nonetheless, he carefully desisted from saying anything that would provoke those who had taken to the streets on the Sabarimala issue.

The day's most politically potent utterances came when the CM directly addressed the Congress party. “If faith soars higher than even the Constitution, why can't you people stand for the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya. Haven't you realised the folly of aligning with the BJP on this issue?” He asked. “The BJP has set its sights not just on Ramjanmabhoomi but on many other places in the country. If everything is to be based on faith, just imagine what our future would be,” he said.

Whenever he ridiculed the Congress, the CM was automatically framing the BJP as something that should be shunned. “None of us want the Congress to have an RSS mindset,” he told the crowd. “But see what has happened in the Congress on this issue. Have you heard one note of protest in the Congress party? All of them, unitedly and without a murmur of protest, are against the entry of women into Sabarimala. The RSS thought has become so entrenched in the Congress. See the level to which this national party has fallen. We can only sympathise with the party,” the chief minister said.

Given the volatile situation in Sabarimala, the CPM bigwig was not brazen enough to nakedly state that it was quite fitting to junk the custom of banning women of a certain age group from Sabarimala. He came to it subtly, through history. “Our renaissance leaders had taught us to cock a snook at age-old customs. When Sree Narayana Guru installed a Siva deity at Aruvippuram, or when Ayyankali set out on a 'villuvandi' through the roads till then used only by the upper castes, they were defying customs. Customs are there to be broken,” Vijayan said. This was the closest he came to delivering a punch line.

The essence of his political argument was that the Sabarimala women entry is one of a piece of social reforms brought about by the Renaissance movement; the abolition of 'sati', the widow remarriage, covering of the upper bodies of low-caste women, and the woman's right to inheritance.



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