• RSS Continues Attacks in the Name of God


    January 28, 2019

    Sabarimala pilgrimage came to end for the season on December 27, and yet the Sabarimala issue remains as heated as ever in Kerala. On January 27, Dalit activist Ammini’s elder sister, Shantha, and her son were attacked by RSS activists in Sultan Bathery, Wayanad. The attack was carried out by the Right-wing fringe group in Wayanad who entered her residence early morning on Sunday. Her son, Prafulla Kumar, was also attacked while he was travelling to the city the same morning.  The attackers manhandled Kumar, and forced him to chant “Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa”. Talking to The News MinuteK V Prakash, District Committee member of the CPI (ML) of Wayanad said, "Their target was Ammini. But since her house is not easy to reach as it is located at the bottom of a slope, they attacked her relatives. The threat was there for a while."

    Ammini, a Dalit activist based in Wayanad, along with five others attempted to enter the Sabarimala shrine on December 23. She expressed her wish to enter the temple premises after the Supreme Court judgement in favour of women’s entry into the temple.  The activists asked for police protection before they entered the temple. However, they couldn’t succeed in entering the temple as the protest lead by Sabarimala Karma Samiti turned violent.

    In a similar case, noted Malayalam director Priyanandan was attacked by RSS activist in front of his residence on January 25. The National Film Award winner was attacked by RSS activists on Friday morning over his “controversial” Facebook post on Sabarimala. The director was beaten up and water mixed with cow dung was flung on him.

    Priyanandan’s Facebook post, which he took down the same day he posted it, infuriated the Right-wing groups across the state. Some days before the attack, the Sabarimala Karma Samiti marched up to his house protesting his views on Lord Ayyappa. The Right-wing groups called his post as “blasphemous”.  The attack on the director was led by Sarovar, RSS activist from Kodungalloor. While carrying out the attack the assailants can be heard saying, “How can you say something derogatory about our Lord Ayyappa.” Speaking to Manorama News the director said, " People can oppose my views through debate, not through physical attack. This is a democratic country and I can't live with fear or under police protection because people have threatened me."

    The attack on the director has been condemned by the Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. “This is an attack on the freedom of expression. The right wing groups like RSS are behind such attacks,” said the Chief Minister.

    Earlier this month, Kerala celebrated Arpo Arthavam – an event celebrating mensuration, and entry of women in religious places. The event was attended by various people including Bindu Ammini and Kanakadurga, the women who successfully entered in Sabarimala. Even though, they were welcomed for the event at Kochi, Kanakadurga underwent a great personal ordeal after entering the temple. She was attacked by her mother-in-law and was hospitalised. The increasing threat to her life from the Right-wing groups has also led her to seek protection from the court. Kanakadurga has also been disowned by her family. Recently, in a counter event organised by the Right-wing groups, Ayyappa Bakhta Sangamam, at Thiruvananthapuram, Kanakadurga’s brother Bharat Bhushan said, “Unless my sister atones for her sins, we won’t let her enter into our family.”

    Such attacks have become regular in Kerala since the Sabarimala judgment and the intensity has only increased since the two women entered the temple. Though the women have found great deal of support from many quarters, the Right-wing groups continue opposing the judgment as well as the people who are vocal in their support of the women attempting the feat.


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