Controversy rages after talk show airs Kerala man's poem on woman’s love for her rapist

The 'poet' was mired earlier in controversy on plagiarism charges.
Controversy rages after talk show airs Kerala man's poem on woman’s love for her rapist
Controversy rages after talk show airs Kerala man's poem on woman’s love for her rapist
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In the backdrop of the controversy over who had exactly penned a poem ‘Sakhav’ (Comrade) that went viral on social media in August this year, Kairali TV on Saturday hosted an interview of Sam Mathew AD and Pratheeksha Sivadas who had come forward claiming its ownership.

The talk show ‘JB Junction’ hosted by Kairali Managing Director and media advisor to CM Pinarayi Vijayan, John Brittas chose not to linger on the controversy, but rather tried to forge an atmosphere of bonhomie between the three participants.

Little did Brittas think it would actually pave way for an even bigger controversy over yet another poem that Sam claimed to have penned.

When Pratheeksha -a Plus Two student- had claimed that Sakhav was originally written by her, the main criticism directed against Sam had been his claim to have written in the female voice.

In the Brittas interview, Sam reiterated that it was not the first time that he had written in the female voice and quoted from one of his other poems ‘Padarppu’ (Spread) that spoke about how a rape victim falls in love with her rapist.

The poem describes how the victim -moved by love- refuses to reveal her attacker’s identity, despite the fact that he preyed on her out of sheer lust.

The poem goes on to dwell on the victim’s expecting motherhood and how she revels in that fact. 

Cutting across political affiliations, Sam’s poem was branded downright chauvinistic and a blatant insult to all rape victims.

Even while Sam chose to describe the poem as that of a girl who falls in love with the man who gifts his sperm to her, not many appreciated the patriarchal smugness that it reeked of. Even the ‘Sakhav’ poem had drawn criticism for the very same patriarchal benevolence.

Well-known Malayali director Ashiq Abu was brusque in his reaction. Terming Sam a foolish poet, he found it ludicrous that the victim who had been ripped apart in all senses of the term should now even have to ‘love’ the perpetrator of the repulsive crime against her.

Journalist Lakshmi Narayan ridiculed Sam’s inability to relate to any girl’s emotions much less that of a rape victim.  

Film-maker Sanal Sasidharan however asked to focus on the ‘good’ in the college campuses of Kerala, rather than highlight the ‘trash’ that is bound to be found there.

‘Sakhavu’ is about a college ‘tree’ that was in love with a party worker of the Students Federation of India (SFI) in the very same campus. The poem goes on to describe how the tree longs for the comrade after his arrest by the police and subsequent martyrdom.

Arya Dayal who had rendered the poem as a song -the video of which went viral- too was present on the show.

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