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Women's entry into Sabarimala: Balakrishna Pilla and NSS differ

Womens entry into Sabarimala:  Balakrishna Pilla and NSS differ

Kottayam: Nair Service Society (NSS) and R Balakrishna Pilla, a prominent leader and member of the director board of the organization, appear to be at loggerheads on the issue of women's entry into Sabarimala.

The community body's leadership is reported to have been cheesed off by the dissenting stance of R Balakrishna Pilla when NSS is publicly against the Supreme Court's verdict granting women of all ages permission to enter Sabarimala.

Pilla, who is on the ruling LDF side, shared the dais with chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan in an LDF meeting organized at Kollam to explain the Front's position on the issue, and hit out against the NSS leadership's decision to oppose the judgement, saying that the strike against the government tantamounts to upper caste supremacy. He also criticised that this agitation is taking place in a land of community leader Mannathu Padmanabhan (founder of NSS) who led a procession for the interests of lower castes.

On Saturday, during the budget session of NSS at Perunna, its chief G Sukumaran Nair had expressed his disapproval of Pilla without mentioning his name. He said that when all members of the community were standing behind the agitation, just one man was keeping out.

It was NSS that launched the procession of chanting hymns for protection of faith in Sabarimala. But the Pathanapuram Taluk unit led by Balakrishna Pilla did not take out the procession. The decision of LDF is to avoid antagonising NSS and other community organizations until the Supreme Court starts hearing the revision petitions.

In the meantime, Pilla's calculation is said to be to capitalize on this situation, and to use it to fetch a ministerial berth for his son, as a representative of Nair community. On the other hand, through such a move of endearing an office bearer of NSS, the government will also stand to gain by giving the impression that the CPM is not against the community. To this end, there is a move to make Pilla's son Ganesh Kumar minister.

At one time, Vellappally Natesan, leader of SNDP had criticised that it was G Sumumaran Nair who defeated the moves for wider Hindu unity. At that time, NSS had used Pilla to counter that contention. That was what resulted in Pilla being conferred with the post of chairman of forward castes welfare corporation.

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