Lakhs of women participated in the 620 km-long ‘Women’s wall’, organised by the Kerala government, which stretched from the northern tip of the state in Kasaragod to the southern end in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday.
State health minister KK Shylaja led the chain at Kasaragod while senior CPM leader Brinda Karat was the last person at the end of the chain in Thiruvananthapuram. Several prominent personalities, including film actors, took part in the event.
Participants took a pledge to uphold gender equality and renaissance values.
At Thiruvananthapuram, Karat addressed a public gathering after the wall was formed and said, “Kerala has built a wall of resistance against the dark forces that wish to push women back to the dark ages. This message of the wall is not just for the women of Kerala, but for all the women of India.”
The ‘Women’s wall’ was conceived in the backdrop of protests at Sabarimala after the CPI(M)-led LDF government decided to implement the Supreme Court verdict, allowing all women to pray at the Ayyappa shrine.
What is the Women’s Wall?
The LDF government expected over 30 lakh women to take part in the event.
The idea was suggested at a meeting called by the Kerala government following the massive protests by right-wing parties and a section of devotees over the government’s decision to implement the September 28 apex court order, allowing women of all ages to offer prayers at Sabarimala.
“The protests by communal forces against women’s entry in Sabarimala had prompted the government and other progressive organisations to conceive the idea of a Women’s Wall in the state,” Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said.
Women, cutting across caste and religion, would join the wall “to save Kerala from being dragged back into the era of darkness, he said.
Though a controversy had erupted following reports that the government had set apart Rs 50 crore for the event, the Chief Minister had categorically denied it, saying no government fund would be utilised for the same.
The event was organised by the ruling LDF along with over 176 other socio-political organisations, including the Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam (SNDP) and Kerala Pulayar Maha Sabha (KPMS).
(With PTI inputs)