Opposition criticism demolished

P. Sreekumaran

A deft political move from the CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) has knocked the stuffings out of the criticism levelled by the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) and the Sangh Parivar against the move to organize a women’s wall on January 1, 2019.
The State Secretariat of the CPI(M) has successfully blunted the edge of opposition criticism that the women’s wall is aimed at dividing communities by deciding to invite organisations of the minority communities as well to join the campaign. The decision has taken the sting out of the criticism that the wall seeks to deepen the communal divide by enlisting the support of Hindu community forums alone for the event.
In a development that must boost the spirits of the LDF, women belonging to the minority organisations have since expressed their readiness to participate in the event in large numbers. In another significant development, the Head of the Syro Malabar Church Cardinal George Alencherry has justified the government’s move to organize the women’s wall by saying that it had every right to do so. Any programme that seeks to create awareness in society about the women’s rights is welcome, the Cardinal opined.
Needless to say, the Cardinal’s statement has come as a shot in the arm of the LDF. Indications are that a formal invitation to the Church to join the event may be issued soon.
The expression of readiness to participate in the event by minority organizations must have dismayed the Sangh Parivar and the UDF, which have been pulling out all stops to ensure that the women’s wall is a big flop. The frustration of the Congress is clear from the directive issued by Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Mullappally Ramachandran. The KPCC circular has warned Congressmen against joining the women’s wall “being formed by the CPI(M) using government resources.”
The LDF’s invitation to minority organisations amounts to a stinging rebuff to the Nair Service Society (NSS), the powerful organisation of the Nairs in the state. The NSS, it may be mentioned, had asked its members not to participate in the women’s wall programme.
Understandably, the NSS decision has soured its otherwise warm relations with the LDF government. LDF leaders have made no secret of their displeasure over the NSS decision. Both CPI(M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan and CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran have criticised the NSS stance. By deciding to abstain from the wall, the NSS has shed its much-hyped policy of equidistance, Kodiyeri and Kanam pointed out. The NSS betrayed its bias by also giving the go-ahead to its members to participate in the “Ayyappa Jyothi” organized on December 26 by the Sabarimala Karma Samithi, which enjoys the support of the Sangh Parivar.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has demolished the malicious opposition propaganda that the LDF is misusing government funds to finance the programme. There is no truth in the allegations that the government is pumping in huge amounts of money to organize the programme. The propaganda was the figment of imagination of the opposition parties and the Sangh Parivar frustrated and alarmed by the certainty of the programme’s success, Vijayan asserted.
The 550-km-long women’s wall from Kasargod in the North to Thirivananthapuram in the south symbolises the state’s determination to safeguard the renaissance values.
In another development that must further lift LDF spirits, the state leadership of the Kerala Pulayar Mahila Federation (KPMF) has decided to field five lakh women for the programme. The convener of the women’s wall programme, Punnala Sreekumar, who is also the secretary of the Kerala Pulayar Maha Sabha (KPMS), expects over 28 lakh women to participate in the event, which seeks to promote the concept of gender equality and empowerment of women. (IPA)

Friday, 11 January, 2019