On Wednesday, Kerala and bordering districts of Tamil Nadu witnessed a second Diwali this year, when several Right wing Hindu organizations across Kerala and Tamil Nadu came out to stage an unique protest. As part of the protest, large chains of lamps were lit up across stretches connecting north and south Kerala. It indeed was a sight to remember, when thousands of lamps were lit up along the streets for miles.
Another video capture of #AyyappaJyothi to #SaveSabarimalaTradition by common #Ayyappa devotees (no goons no polititians) just DEVOTEES both men & women alike,could be seen with the Jyoti in hands #SwamySharanam – WakeUp India 🙏 Angamali to Koratty on NH 544(old NH47) pic.twitter.com/fGkDKrE0fn
— Baburaj Varma (@baburajvarma) December 26, 2018
The protest was against Kerala’s incumbent LDF government’s attempts to make women of reproductive age enter the Sabarimala shrine.
Ayyappa Jyothi protest, which received support from BJP and Sangh parivar, is being seen as a counter to the Kerala state government backed Women’s wall protest, slated to take place on 1st January.
A great number of women also participated in Jyothi protest. Apart from prominent Hindu organizations, the protest was also supported by several caste based groups such as the Nair Service Society (NSS) which represents Kerala’s dominant Nair Caste. Lamps were lit outside of the NSS headquarters.
The protests were also observed in several bordering districts of Tamil Nadu. BJP Kerala state President, PS Sreedharan Pillai along with MLA O Rajagopal and leader Sobha Surendran, lit lamps outside of the state secretariat at capital Thiruvananthapuram.
Meanwhile, reports of violence came from Kannur district, the place often referred to as the communist fort, where volunteers, who were a part of the Ayyappa Jyoti, were reportedly attacked.