Three days after “JB Junction”, a Malayalam television show courted controversy for airing a Kerala man’s poem, Kairali TV’s Managing Editor John Brittas took to Facebook to provide an explanation.
In an episode that aired on Saturday, Brittas, the host of the show interviewed Sam Mathew AD and Pratheeksha Sivadas, who had come forward claiming ownership of a poem titled “Saghavu” (Comrade.)
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.
In his Facebook post on Wednesday, Brittas distanced himself from the content of the poem saying that he does not in any way advocate misogynist content.
Saying that he has never been anti-women in his journalistic career spanning more than two decades, he said that he has always been against atrocities against women.
“The guests who attend JB Junction come from varied backgrounds, and some of their views may not be in compliance with my personal views. But, we have always made it a point to give them space. Just because I do not agree with what they say in the show, that portion cannot be edited out,” Brittas wrote.
He then elaborated on the situation that lead to Sam Mathew reciting the poem.
“To the question whether he had indeed penned the poem ‘Saghavu’, for it was written in a female voice, Sam went on to recite this poem that he had written in a female voice years ago,” Brittas said.
Brittas clarified that he had given only enough encouragement for the act of reciting a poem and that he did not encourage the content of the poem in any manner.
“I am only the host of the show. I do not interfere in the process of editing of the show. But it is not right for people to respond on the lines that I should have ripped him apart (physically) for it,” Brittas said.
Brittas went on to write that social media critics who are bashing him for airing the poem, have always been criticizing him because of his political affiliations.
Brittas also wrote that “JB Junction” was a purely entertainment show that also discusses various facets of a person’s life.
He also said that the episode will be telecasted once again on Sunday.