Days after violent protests blocked bids by women to enter the Sabarimala temple, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said his government was committed to implement the Supreme Court’s order and would not “tolerate any such acts henceforth”.
In an interview with The Indian Express, he said the BJP was trying to “subvert the sanctity and authority of the Supreme Court verdict” allowing women of all age to enter the Sabarimala temple, and the RSS “used the abode of Ayyappa” as a “camp for anti-socials and criminals”. He accused the Congress of acting as the “B team” of the BJP and RSS, and said they were all trying to whip up caste sentiments.
“We have maintained restraint, considering the sanctity of the place. Let me make it very clear that the government of Kerala will not tolerate any such acts henceforth,” said Vijayan. Stating that his government wants to protect the interests of the believers, he appealed “to all sections to see through the evil designs of RSS”.
“It is the ruling party at the Centre that is trying to subvert the sanctity and authority of the Supreme Court verdict,” he said. “These forces (RSS and BJP) have a long history of adopting such diabolic political games. Their only intention is to polarise society on communal lines. For this, they have gone to the extent of indulging in violence and creating strife. Even the abode of Ayyappa was used as a camp for anti-socials and criminals,” he said.
“The CPI(M) is steadfast in its stand of protecting secularism. We have support from all sections. The RSS and Congress may confuse people, but I am sure even the people who are misled by this propaganda will understand the facts,” he said. Vijayan said the Left Front, “being an egalitarian political force, has always supported removing untouchability and discrimination in society”.
While both the BJP and Congress are looking at splitting the CPI(M)’s Hindu support base, Vijayan said his government’s stand on Sabarimala would not have an adverse impact.
He also ruled out any discussions with Hindu outfits on implementing the court’s order. “There can be no discussion to take a view on the Supreme Court verdict that is final, unless the Supreme Court itself amends it. The government has no difficulty in involving anybody to remove their apprehensions, if they are genuine. How can we discuss with such forces which know everything, but are bent on exploiting the situation for narrow political gains,” he said.