Dangerous bid to split society

Aditya Aamir

By Any Means Necessary (BAMN)’ is a leftist group trying to push members of the caravan of Central American asylum seekers into the United States. And ‘by all means necessary’ is quite the motto of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in his quest to take Kerala out of obscurantism and into renaissance. Vijayan is that rare Keralite who is minus the Malayali-mandatory moustache! And he’s toughie, by all means…
Just when the BJP thought he had gone soft, defeated; no more with the spine to implement the September 28 Supreme Court order on the entry of females of all ages into Sabarimala, Vijayan went Chinese on them, declaring the formation of the ‘Great Wall of Women’ in Kerala. January 1, 2019, four lakh women will form a “wall”, stretching all the way from Kasargode to Thiruvananthapuram – a sheer drop of 577 km!
All in the name of ‘Navothana’ or ‘reformation’, Pinarayi’s answer to BJP’s ‘Namajapa’ – prevent Kerala from descending into the chaos of the ‘lunatic asylum’ Swami Vivekananda coined for Kerala when he landed in the region, later to be known as God’s Own Country, in 1892. Then, Kerala was a standing example of Brahmanical Patriarchy and Kshatriya domination.
Women and lower castes were on a daily dose of oppression and humiliation, the former forced to walk around half-naked and the latter not allowed to walk even in the shadow of the higher castes, their entry into temples barred. But the arrival of the British and the locomotive plus the desire for education resulted in mini-uprisings led by social reformers with even Mahatma Gandhi arriving in Kerala, desperate with cries to remedy the lives of the deprived and oppressed.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan wants to follow in the footsteps of social reformers like Ayyankali, Sree Narayana Guru and half a dozen more; be counted among the list of progressives of Kerala. He sees in ‘Sabarimala’ the catalyst to infuse a fresh round of ‘Navothana’ to truly reform Kerala, once and for all, rid the people of superstitions and kill age-old traditions and customs that discriminate between people. That he is a communist and an atheist helps.
December 1, he called a meeting of 173 social organizations and announced the ‘Vanita Mathil’ or ‘Women Wall’ and was promptly hailed and nailed! His admirers heaped praise on him for the progressive move. His detractors went to town with the charge that he was pitting caste against caste. Congress Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala said Pinarayi’s initiative was a “sugar-coated poison pill”. The Bharatiya Janata Party surmised he was playing with fire, and was out of his mind.
Among the “intellectual progressives” too there were a few critics. Why? Among the 173, at least 97 are dead against the entry of productive age women into Sabarimala, and leading the coalition is Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana (SNDP) Yogam General Secretary Vellapally Natesan. SNDP represents the politically decisive Ezhava community; which, according to some, has departed from the core values of Sree Narayana Guru.
“How can Pinarayi fight the ills of caste system when he’s embracing the very caste divides which hold Kerala back?” ask these progressive intellectuals, not happy with his choice of partners in the coalition. One of the organizations is the ‘Hindu Parliament’, whose leader CP Sugathan is in the “executive” that will work to fashion Pinarayi’s ‘Great Wall of Women’. And Sugathan has sworn to prevent entry of “fertile women” into Sabarimala by all means necessary!
Pinarayi also invited the powerful Nair Service Society to join him in building the wall, but the NSS didn’t show up and Vellapally Natesan had some harsh words for the arrogant Nair, proving right the BJP and Congress warning that the “Wall” is bound to harden caste divisions. Besides, Pinarayi has already branded “ready-to-wait” females aged 10-50 as “lunatics” along with their fathers, husbands and sons and “reforming” this lot will take more than a wall.
It’s also odd that Vijayan prefers ‘Wall’ to ‘Chain’ or ‘Curtain!’ ‘Wall’ and ‘Curtain’ are commie favourites. There is the Great Wall of China. There was the ‘Iron Curtain’ of Soviet Russia, and the Berlin Wall! Only the Great Wall of China’ built by long dead Chinese survives. The ‘Iron Curtain’ was a metaphor, an idea, not literal, but one which stood in the way of freedom. The ‘Berlin Wall’ doesn’t exist anymore. It fell in the wake of the Cold War but as long as it stood, it was real and had to be brought down by force.
Contrast the Berlin Wall to Pinarayi’s ‘Women Wall’ and it’s set on a different communist principle, one which neither Lenin nor Stalin would understand but Gorbachev might have. The ‘Women’s Wall’ may or may not usher in ‘Navothanna’ but it will take a huge effort to “build” it. For a state, which has a sex ratio favouring women, it will not be easy to cajole the vast number of them to join Pinarayi in making his wall. For all we know, Pinarayi might end up as Humpty-Dumpty… (IPA)

Monday, 17 December, 2018