Published: 25th June 2019
Who put up the controversial Ayyappa poster in Kerala Varma college? SFI or ABVP?
The poster depicted the Sabarimala deity Ayyappa's idol in between a woman's legs. It also expresses support to the Supreme Court's Sabarimala verdict
Looks like the ghosts of the 2018 Sabarimala verdict haven't stopped haunting the left parties of Kerala. A few months ago, it was the Congress' and the BJP' trump card against the ruling LDF, which seemingly supported women's entry into the shrine. The result? LDF lost 19 out of 20 Lok Sabha seats in Kerala.
This was a month ago. Sabarimala had almost become a thing of past. Almost, but not quite. On Monday, the students of Sree Kerala Varma College, Thrissur were shocked to see a certain poster appear on the college wall. Painted on a red background, it shows the legs of a woman with droplets of blood all over. Between her legs is an idol of Ayyappa (the Sabarimala deity), in an upside down position, making it seem like the woman is giving birth to it.
Next to the art is a poem in Malayalam, which says that everybody came to the world the same way and that menstrual blood isn't impure. It also expresses solidarity to the Supreme Court verdict and the entry of young women into the Sabarimala shrine. The poster was credited to the SFI, the CPM's student wing.
Soon, photographs of the poster were circulated online. It went viral in no time. Criticism sprung up from different corners. But SFI had released a statement saying that the organisation was not behind designing or putting up the poster. "The poster that supports women's entry to Sabarimala has nothing to do with SFI or its activists. This is nothing but an attempt to tarnish the organisation's image," it reads.
V P Sarath Prasad, SFI Thrissur District Secretary told us that the poster was removed by the SFI activists as soon as they saw it. He also acceded to the organisation's stand. "The poster wasn't SFI's creation. It was falsely accredited to us. So, when our comrades came across this, they were quick to remove it from the campus premises," he says.
A few social media posts had alleged that the poster was created by the RSS-affiliated ABVP. But Sarath rubbished those claims. "We never said that the ABVP was behind this. This was by somebody who wanted to tarnish our image. SFI never supported hurting religious sentiments," he says. He was also sanguine that the real culprits will be found soon.
The ABVP Thrissur District Secretary Sree Hari, on the other hand, asserted that the SFI was behind creating the poster. "Their claims are ridiculous and unbelievable. We demand a probe into this," he said.