For the first time in Indian history lakhs of women in Kerala came together to build what is known as a ‘Vanita Mathil’ or a ‘Women Wall’. The event started from the northern end of Kasargod and ended at Thiruvananthapuram. The women wall was a protest called up by the Chief Minister of Kerala which was held on 1st of January 2019 at about 4 pm. The CM suggested the protest after meeting with 176 Hindu Organizations.
The protest was suggested at a meeting called by the ruling government of Kerala i.e. LDF Government after a massive protest by the right-wing parties. This event was against the State Government’s decision of implementing the order of the Supreme Court which allowed the women of all ages to enter and worship at the Sabarimala Temple.
There were lakhs of women from every walk of life who participated in this 620km women wall crisscrossing many districts. Some of them were actors, politicians, athletes, homemakers, and government officials. They all stood shoulder by shoulder and took an oath to protect the state from being drawn back into the era of darkness. The event was an attempt to protect the secular values of the constitution, an attempt to bring gender justice and equality and to spread the light of awareness among all.
The event began when Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan garlanded the statue of the very famous social reformer ‘Ayyankali’. The first brick of the Women Wall was K K Shylaja, the Health Minister at Kasagod and the last one was CPM leader Brinda Karat at Thiruvananthapuram.
The State Government of Kerala had made several arrangements to ensure the participation of government officials as well as to ensure smooth traffic situation in the area of the event. Many schools had their afternoons off while the Universities postponed the examinations to ensure maximum participation in the protest.
The leader of the opposition party Ramesh Chennithala described the event as a ‘wall of contradiction’ in the assembly. Certain allegations were made stating that this event was politically driven and not for a social cause. Many statements also state that the women who were a part of the Women Wall were not even aware of the actual cause behind the event but they were merely following the crowd.
The main reason behind the drive was to send a message that the Women of Kerala will not allow the darkness to overpower them. They wanted to send an awakening call to the entire society to ask them to come together and ensure gender justice, equality and a bright future to all.
LEGAL NEWS WRITER-SHRISHTI MITTAL