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Kerala cultural extravaganza in London’s Trafalgar Square

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Thiruvananthapuram: The Trafalgar Square in London reverberated to the beat of the ‘chenda’ drums as the fluid movements of ‘Kathakali’ dancers mesmerised more than 50,000 people gathered there to witness a Kerala Tourism-organised performance, an official release here said on Monday.

There were presentations in the ‘Mayor of London’ event in the British capital on Sunday that included a series of traditional music, dance and martial arts performances as part of promoting Kerala.

Kerala chief secretary Jiji Thomson introduced the cultural extravaganza to the audience at the function attended by Deputy Mayor of London Roger Evans.

“Kerala is a top destination on the world tourism map because of the harmony between our land and culture as seen in the beautiful backwaters, majestic hills or calm country sides in the state,” said Thomson.

“Investing in Kerala’s tourism sector is being part of the mission to save the nature and the planet as we are the world leaders in practising sustainable and responsible tourism,” said the top bureaucrat.

Britain is the biggest tourism market for Kerala with 151,497 travellers from there having visited the south Indian state last year.

The Kerala delegation also met prominent tour operators and top media persons in London to promote the ‘Visit Kerala’ campaign.

“We are confident of a major increase in foreign tourist arrivals in the state during the ‘Visit Kerala’ year and beyond,” said Kerala Tourism secretary G. Kamala Vardhana Rao.

Kerala Tourism will also participate in the influential World Trade Mart (WTM) in London, to be held from November 2 to 5, and with the who’s who of global travel and tourism industry attending.

(IANS)

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Kerala Government Decides to Revise The List of Women Who Prayed at Sabarimala

The list of 51 women is not part of an affidavit but only referred to by the state government counsel in his arguments. Soon the list was highlighted in the media

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Image Source: Wikipedia Commons

Stung by widespread criticism over the numerous errors in the list of women who prayed at the Sabrimala temple, the Kerala government has decided to re-prepare the list.

A counsel of state government had presented the list in the Supreme Court on Friday, which reportedly had discrepancies in the age and names of women. The list was taken from the records of the online system, through which pilgrims register for having “darshan”.

The row erupted over flaws in the actual age of some of the 51 women, whom the counsel had referred to in the list as “banned” — on account of they being of menstruating age group of 10 to 50 years — who prayed at the temple this season.

State police chief Loknath Behera on Saturday asked senior officials to revise the list, which included even the name of men, besides several of the women above 50.

State Devasom (temples) Minister Kadakampally Surendran told the media that his department has no role in the preparation of the list, while the president of the Travancore Devasom Board – custodian of the temple, A. Padmakumar said they are not responsible for this as they do not prepare statistics of the pilgrims in the temple.

Kanam Rajendran, state secretary of the Communist Party of India – the second biggest ally of the ruling Pinarayi Vijayan government, said the entire responsibility of what has happened lies with the state government.

Sabarimala
Kerala to revise list of women who prayed at Sabarimala.

But the Industries Minister E.P. Jayarajan, the closest aide of Vijayan, defended him by saying that it is not just 51 women, but so many women have had “darshan” at the temple.

Kanaka Durga and Bindu Ammini, both in the “banned” age group of 10 to 50 years, prayed at the Sabarimala temple.

It was after they approached the apex court seeking security for having safe “darshan” that a bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice Dinesh Maheshwari directed the state government to arrange adequate protection for them.

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The list of 51 women is not part of an affidavit but only referred to by the state government counsel in his arguments. Soon the list was highlighted in the media.

“This goof-up reveals the abject failure of the way Vijayan is running the state,” said state BJP president P.S. Sreedharan Pillai.  (IANS)