Kerala

CM questions NSS stance on equidistance

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Says its leadership has forsaken storied fights of predecessors

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday told the leadership of the Nair Service Society (NSS) that its claim of equidistance from political alignments of all hues smacked of doublespeak.

He said at a press conference here that the helmsmen of the NSS had forsaken the storied fights of their predecessors for social reform and embraced the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) which sought to push Kerala back into the dark ages of caste subjugation and obsolete religious custom in the name of preserving religious traditions.

NSS singled out

The Chief Minister singled out the NSS for attack on the eve of the women’s wall for gender equality, the flagship political programme of the Left Democratic Front (LDF) to unleash what it described as the enduring might of 19th century renaissance principles to counter the relentless assault by revisionist forces on Kerala’s secular ethos.

Mr. Vijayan said the NSS had supported the communally charged Ayyappa Jyothi programme sponsored by the RSS on December 26. It had warned that it would take action against NSS members who participated in the women’s wall on January 1.

The NSS had leaned to the far right under the excuse of protecting religious custom, he said. Social reformer and founder of the NSS Mannathu Padmanabhan had fought against the tradition of Namboodiri men marrying Nair women and then abandoning them.

The children from such marriages had no right to property. “They could not even touch their fathers. Mannam put an end to that inhuman tradition,” he said. He also changed the disruptive matrilineal descent system to a patrilineal one.

Bolstering wall

The NSS nor any other organisation could take action against those participating in a programme to protect constitutional values from forces which seek to undermine them. He hoped NSS members would turn out in strength to bolster the wall. Some regressive custom were meant to be changed.

The Supreme Court judgment on September 28 allowing women, irrespective of their age, to worship at Sabarimala stressed, foremostly, the universal principle of gender equality. For Communists, emancipation and empowerment of women was very much part of their class struggle, he said.

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 1:06:20 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/cm-questions-nss-stance-on-equidistance/article25874918.ece

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