By P. Sreekumaran
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: It is not easy to out-Goebbels Goebbels. But the Kerala BJP leaders are tantalizingly close to achieving that feat!
If Adolf Hitler’s propaganda chief were alive, he would turn green with envy marveling at the vehemence and eloquence with which the BJP leaders in the state are peddling patent falsehoods over the sensitive Sabarimala issue.
The favourite whipping boy of the Sangh Parivar these days is the combative chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan. The Parivar leaders would have the people of Kerala believe that Pinarayi is solely to be blamed for the controversy embroiling the hill shrine. The key to the Sabarimala solution, they repeat ad nauseum, is with Vijayan. If only the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government files a review petition or go in for an ordinance, the Sabarimala skein would stand untangled! That is the unadulterated lie the Hindutva outfits are touting these days a la Goebbels.
A closer look would expose the sheer absurdity of their claim. Their contention is nothing but fantastic nonsense, to borrow a favourite expression of India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
The fact of the matter is that neither a review petition nor an ordinance can override the Supreme Court’s order. The verdict of the constitutional bench says that the practice of barring entry of menstruating women to the temple amounts to a violation of their fundamental right.
Any ordinance seeking to negate this order would, ipso facto, be violative of Article 14, which guarantees the right to freedom of individuals. And even if Parliament succeeds in promulgating an ordinance, the apex court has the right to set it aside on the ground that such an ordinance goes against the fundamental right for equality of women.
This being the legal reality, it is nothing but chicanery to repeat day in and day out that a legislation is possible to negate the apex court’s historic verdict, which has been widely welcomed. All stakeholders have no option but to implement the SC order, as per Article 141 and 142.
However, conveniently ignoring this reality, the BJP-RSS and the Congress are continuing to take the believers for a mighty ride when they contend that it is possible to undo the SC order! Nothing is farther from the truth. Therefore, the very debate on who has the powers to nullify the order itself is, to say the least, meaningless and ridiculous. It is also tantamount to committing contempt of court.
What adds to the absurdity of it all is the fact that these parties had initially welcomed the apex court order. But they abruptly changed their stance when they saw what they thought is a golden opportunity to increase their vote bank.
But the firm and unequivocal stand taken by the Pinarayi government is proving to be a stumbling block in the path of the Hindutva brigade, which is hell bent upon subverting the apex court judgment. That the government means business is evident from the arrest of more than 2,000 Parivar activists who indulged in violence on the premises of Sabarimala.
Interestingly, the Sangh Parivar leaders are frothing at the mouth over the large-scale arrests of ‘believers’. The BJP-RSS has been claiming from day one that those who indulged in violence are not their members or activists. If that is the case, why are they rushing to legally defend the so-called believers who have been booked? Their anxiety to back these elements gives their nefarious game away.
The Hindutva brigade has also unleashed a massive misinformation campaign: that the CPI(M)-led LDF government is out to destroy the unique character of Sabarimala. The boot is on the other leg. It is the Hindutva hoodlums who are trying to destroy the serenity and sanctity of the shrine by indulging in violence and issuing frequent threats to shed blood if need be.
The Sangh Parivar tactics would have had an impact in states like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat. Not in Kerala. The enlightened voters of God’s Own Country are too intelligent to be taken in by their poisonous propaganda.
Their frustration at being thwarted is already manifest in the heinous attack against Swami Sandeepananda Giri, a trenchant critic of the Sangh Parivar and a thorn in their flesh. Fortunately the Swami escaped what he believes to be an attempt on his life. But his ashram in Thiruvananthapuram has suffered considerable damage.
Such tactics can only steel the resolve of the secular-minded people of Kerala and the government to protect the secular fabric of the state at any cost. It is a matter of gratification that the people have started seeing through the sinister game of the Hindutva forces to alter the secular ethos of the state. (IPA Service)