Sabarimala row: Lakhs of women to form 620 km-long 'Women's Wall' in Kerala today

Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, IndiaUpdated: Jan 01, 2019, 01:30 PM IST

File photo of Kerala's Sabarimala temple. Photograph:(ANI)

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The Wall will be formed between 4 and 4.15 PM, with participants taking a pledge to uphold gender equality and renaissance values.

Lakhs of women from across Kerala are expected to form a 620 km state-sponsored 'Women's Wall' Tuesday to uphold gender equality and renaissance values, in the backdrop of frenzied protests in Sabarimala after the ruling LDF decided to implement the Supreme Court verdict, allowing all women to pray at the Ayyappa shrine.

The women will form the wall from Kasargod in northern Kerala to the southernmost district of Thiruvananthapuram.

Health minister K K Shylaja will lead the chain at Kasargod and CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat will be the last person at the end of the chain in Thiruvananthapuram.

In order to ensure the success of the proposed wall, meetings were held at various levels-from ward level to district and constituency level.

The participants will gather at the designated centres on Tuesday at 3 PM, where a rehearsal will be held.

The Wall will be formed between 4 and 4.15 PM, with participants taking a pledge to uphold gender equality and renaissance values.

The proposed wall was suggested at a meeting called by the Kerala government in the backdrop of frenzied protests by right-wing parties and a section of devotees over the states decision to implement the September 28 apex court order, allowing women of all ages into Sabarimala.

"Finding a solution to the issues faced by women is seen as part of the class struggle," Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said Monday, adding that ensuring gender equality was part of class struggle.

In Marxist ideology, class struggle is the conflict of interests between workers and the ruling class in a capitalist society.

"The protests by communal forces against women's entry in Sabarimala prompted the government and other progressive organisations to build Women's Wall in the state," Vijayan had said, adding that all women, cutting across castes and religions, would join the wall "to save Kerala from the being dragged back into the era of darkness."

The Universal Records Forum, the team which records amazing feats across the globe, is also understood to have reached the state to witness the exercise.

The pledge for the women's wall, which was released by the Chief Ministers office Sunday, calls for upholding gender equality and renaissance values.
It also bats for secularism and to oppose the move to turn the state into a 'lunatic asylum.'

Though the state government had initially claimed that it would extend all support to the proposed wall, it withdrew the order, allotting funds for it after a controversy erupted.

While senior Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala has described the initiative as a 'wall of contradiction', UDF MLA M K Muneer had has termed it as a 'communal' wall for inviting participation only from 'progressive Hindu organisations'.

The government has spared no effort to make the wall a huge success with all ministers given charge of either a district or a particular place for the success of the event.

The event is organised by the ruling CPI(M), along with over 176 other socio-political organisations, including the CPI, Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam (SNDP) and Kerala Pulayar Maha Sabha (KPMS).

The Nair Service Society (NSS), a prominent caste-based organization, RSS and the right-wing groups have opposed this move and formed Ayyappa Jyothi (lighting of sacred lamps) across the state on December 26 to counter it.

Thousands had taken part in the Ayyappa Jyothi, which was undertaken by the Sabarimala Karma Samiti.

The Kudambashree Mission had earlier informed that it alone will field over 1.25 lakh women on January 1.

Many prominent personalities from all spheres of life are expected to take part in the event.