Kerala's renaissance protection wall collapses

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan initiated the renaissance protection steps to resist the criticism against it for the adamant stand taken during the last Sabarimala pilgrimage that the Supreme Court order of September 2018 lifting the years long ban on women in 10-50 age group to the temple would be implemented.

The renaissance protection initiatives of the left-front government in Kerala, which began with a women's wall across Kerala on January 1, has literally collapsed with the Kerala government making a U-turn in its stand on Sabarimala women entry issue.

While the Kerala government has now taken a stand against the entry of women in the 10-50 age group to the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple, a prominent leader of the renaissance protection initiatives openly flayed the government's stand.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan initiated the renaissance protection steps to resist the criticism against it for the adamant stand taken during the last Sabarimala pilgrimage that the Supreme Court order of September 2018 lifting the years long ban on women in 10-50 age group to the temple would be implemented.

The first renaissance protection initiative was the formation of a women's wall across the state on January 1 as a symbolic gesture of upholding gender justice. Within hours after the event two women aged around 40, Bindu Amminni and Kanaka Durga, entered Sabarimala Ayyappa temple with police cover.

However, as the left-front government's stand on Sabarimala invited widespread criticism, especially from Hindu outfits, the renaissance protection initiatives were kept in the cold storage.

Within months after the women's wall, Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam (SNDP) general secretary Vellapally Natesan, who was one of the key leaders of the initiatives revealed that the Chief Minister himself wanted to shelve the renaissance protection initiatives as he feared that the stand taken on allowing women at Sabarimala would adversely affect left-front's prospects in the Lok Sabha polls, which turned out to be true.

Soon after the polls, Vijayan initiated revival of the renaissance protection forums and decided to conduct activities up to the grass root level on renaissance protection. But with the present U-trun of the left front government that the SC order allowing women of all ages to Sabarimala need not be implemented until a final decision of SC seven-member bench on the review petitions, the renaissance protection initiatives seemed to have shattered.

Kerala Pulayar Maha Sabha leader Punnala Sreekumar, another key leader of the renaissance protection initiatives, openly flayed the government for not implementing the SC order of 2018 allowing women of all ages to Sabarimala even as the SC did not stay it. Meanwhile, Natesan had backed the government stand and said that it would ensure a peaceful pilgrimage this time.

Meanwhile, the Opposition, Congress, also demanded that the left-front government should withdraw the affidavit filed before the SC favouring entry of women of all ages to the hill shrine in the wake of its present stand against entry of women in 10-50 age group.

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