In the judgement on the writ petition filed by Indian Young Lawyers Association versus The State of Kerala dated 28.09.2018, the Supreme Court has allowed entry of women aged 10-50 to enter Sabarimala the world’s largest pilgrimage by striking down the provisions of the Kerala Hindu Places of Public worship (Authorization of entry) Rules, 1965 in a 4-1 majority ruling (WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 373 OF 2006).
The judgement failed to take cognizance of the fact that the customary restrictions on women in the age group 10-50 was not in violation of Article 15(1) [The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them] or Article 25 [Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion].
This was quite evident from the ground reality when lakhs of Hindu Women by their own volition came out on the streets to protest against the decision of the SC on one hand and on the other only 6 activists who were known more for their ‘little stunts’ than for their ‘belief in the Lord’, turned up to visit the holy shrine.
The formation of new laws by entertaining PILs is in gross violation of the powers entrusted in the Legislature and Executive who are chosen by the people and are more accountable and this is a classic case of judicial overeach. According to the ex-CJI Shri Dipak Mishra, 3.3 crore cases were pending in Indian courts (The figure has come down to 2.85 crores. Instead of clearing the humongous pending cases, Courts are entertaining PILs that have an impact on masses.
While this writer appreciates Judicial activism benefitting the poor, aggrieved and the needy but thoroughly opposes Judicial overreach. It is high time that Judges are made accountable and also to dismiss the collegium system of appointments. Any court in India does not have the power to enact new laws via PIL route that affect the lives of millions since the power as per the Constitution wrests with the legislature and executive for the same.
Communist Party of India and Shabarimala have a long standing relationship. The Shabarimala temple was desecrated by the proselytizing mercenaries in 1950 by setting it on fire. Communist Party campaigned throughout the state proclaiming that culprits will be booked and later won the elections riding on the pro-hindu wave. Though there was a plethora of incriminating evidences as suggested in the K Keshava Menon report, no action was taken by the Left government and other successive governments.
In 1987, the proselytizing machinery raised its ugly head once again by installing their religious symbol in Nilakkal and proclaiming that it is an ancient artefact which led to widespread protests from the Hindu Community. The entire false propaganda was later exposed thoroughly. Repeated attempts were made to denigrate and destroy the Shabarimala Pilgrimage as it is the single most obstacle that prevents harvesting of souls in Southern India.
The left party through its iron hand has been able to control the day to day life of a common man especially in Malabar through a particular narrative. The left party’s biggest failure was its inability to remove Lord Ayyappa from the hearts of its cadres especially in Malabar area and thus was forced to exist in constant fear of attrition of cadres into the Hindutva fold. The SC’s verdict came as a shot in the arm for the Left front and viewed it as an opportunity to further their unfinished task. The Kerala Government tried to implement the verdict in haste that was seen never before, be it in the case of Karuna Medical College or in the case of prohibition of Bars along Highways.
What followed was a mix of false flag attacks, police brutality against the protesting devotees, offering even the police uniforms and helmets to female activists that finally culminated into a big political, spiritual and legal quandary. The left government has realized its folly but by then too much water has already flown from the Pampa. It has become quite evident that Hindutva forces have gained ground even in the strongest of Red Bastion (read Kannur).
As a result, Communism is on its natural decline in Keralam, the last stronghold of the party in the country. The only hope for the left front for its survival is to do a high voltage appeasement of minorities so that the left party aquires the lost hindu votes in the form of new Christian and Muslim votes. Will IUML and KCM allow that to happen for short term benefit of containing BJP and thereby dampening their long term prospects is to be seen. With the waning power of the Kannur lobby of the Left in kerala, the only sections which are delighted apart from the BJP are the Bengal and Andhra Lobby of the Left.
Pinarayi is no Stalin and has exacerbated the decline of communism to such a low that there is no revival. Now, what remains to be seen is whether BJP emerges as the TMC of Kerala or will Pinarayi choose to eat Biriyani with a prominent family of Malabar for his political survival. The writer feels that whatever the outcome may be, it is the devil and deep sea for the Left.