The Centre has reportedly not selected Kerala’s float for the Republic Day parade in Delhi. The float’s theme was Renaissance movements such as the Vaikom Satyagraha against untouchability and the Temple Entry Proclamation, reported Mathrubhumi on Monday.
Kerala was among the 19 states that were being considered for the Republic Day parade, of which 14 were selected to present their floats. Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra sent letters to the 14 states that were selected to present their floats at the parade on January 26.
According to News 18, an unidentified official in the Chief Minister’s Office said that the cultural committee for the parade had initially accepted Kerala’s proposal of Vaikom Satyagraha as the central theme and had also suggested some changes. But the report added that the defence ministry said the state had been informed about not making the cut.
Kerala House Resident Commissioner Puneet Kumar, however, told Mathrubhumi that they did not receive a letter regarding the selection.
An unidentified official of the Defence Ministry told The New Indian Express that the file containing Kerala’s proposal for the float was still at Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s office and a decision would be finalised later on Wednesday.
The purported decision to reject Kerala’s float comes at a time when the Left government in the state is engaged in a tussle with the Bharatiya Janata Party and Congress over the entry of women of menstruating age into the Sabarimala temple.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said that a “women wall” would be formed on January 1 from Kasargod to Thiruvananthapuram in solidarity with the state government’s stance to follow the Supreme Court ruling allowing the entry of women into the temple.
The temple opened on November 16 for the third time since the Supreme Court in September allowed women of all ages to enter the shrine. But so far, no woman between the ages of 10 and 50 has been able to enter the temple due to massive protests.