The government of Kerala has conveyed to the police stations not to lit traditional lamps (deepa) in their premises. if the stations do have any God's pictures or idols they should be removed. The idea is to reduce the strength of 'believers' in the force. Instruction has been passed on to the stations through district police superintendents.
The new fatwa is to be viewed against the backdrop of the recent Sabarimala issue. CM Pinarayi Vijayan and his coterie believe that the theist policemen were instrumental in defeating their (government's and CPM's) endeavour to facilitate the Sabarimala temple entry of the young women who belong to anti-Hindu, atheist, Maoist and extremist fractions. So, Pinarayi wants this "faith" within the force to be brought down; and, it should start at ground zero.
Police have been lighting the lamp in various police stations in the state since long. Idols are installed in various police stations. in such stations, they garland them and lit the lamps in front of them. Now, they are in a dilemma after receiving the government instructions from their district chiefs.
The government obviously avoids order in writing for fear of possible controversies.
This "reduction drive" is expected to hit the police camps gradually. In several camps there are Hindu temples as well as prayer halls for Christians and Muslims. It is reported that they would be removed gradually too.
The devotees of Ayyappa who observe vrutha do not go for a haircut or shave during the Shabarimala seasons like Mandal or Makaravilakku. Until now police officers are permitted to follow this system, but likely to be stopped by next year.
It is to be noted, even in the military, the right to worship is not a taboo. There are prayer halls for all religions in military camps.
The new move is to promote and spread CPM's atheism in the police force. The idea is to kill the growing Hindu awakening in the state which CPM is afraid of. CPM fears, faith and believers are stumbling blocks to their struggle to maintain their presence in Kerala, the last state where red flags seen outside railway stations.