Thiruvananthapuram: ‘Samam’, a collective which intends to start democratic dialogues on the Sabarimala issue, started with folk songs. One of the songs was “Mmakkum ambalam teendam/ Edi daivathe thottu thoyame” (We too can enter temples and pray before god), sung animatedly by vocalist Shailaja P Ambu. Before singing, she said that the song had emerged during the time of Temple Entry Proclamation.
“When I as a woman sing it now, it assumes a special significance,” she said.
It was because only one kind of voice was getting prominence, that they started the initiative, according to Meera Velayudhan, the academician who co-founded it. She said that they were yet to be an organisation, and would serve as a forum for democratic dialogues as well as dialogues on constitutional rights.
The number of people in attendance was nothing in comparison to the crowd which gathered for ‘namajapam’ procession. But Sunny M Kapikkad, dalit scholar, addressing the audience, said, “We don’t decide whether something is unjust, based on the number of people who support injustice and the number of people who don’t. We decide it on the basis of whether it is unjust or not.”
He said that Supreme Court, before its historic verdict on IPC 377, had observed that majority’s morality cannot prevail over constitutional morality. He said that the society’s morality was heading on a dangerous track, and it was an anti-dalit anti-woman morality. He said that there was a tradition in which the people from the ‘malayarayan’ community would offer honey to the deity, but later the Tantri said that ‘Ayyappan’ would rather prefer that the priest offer the honey. “We should be able to say, let ‘mantri’ (minister) decide, not tantri,” he said.
He said that the movement against Sabarimala verdict signified the beginning of a neobrahminical movement. “The social climate and egalitarian spirit which prevailed is changing. Now, people with a democratic consciousness should take to the street, and support the government’s decision,” he said.