Biju Muthathi, the anchor and producer of Kerala Express on Kairali TV has been at the receiving end of many abusive and threatening calls because he named an episode as ‘Thendikalude Daivam’, which translates to 'a god of vagabonds'.
The episode described the efforts of the Oachira Parabramha temple in Kollam, which takes care of over 350 elderly men and women.
Biju began the show by mentioning a scene from the 1998 Mohanlal movie Padamudra, where the actor mentions a temple where there are many beggars, and talks about Thendikalude Daivam. In the same vein, Biju named the episode as ‘Thendikalude Daivam’, which Hindu groups did not take to well.
Ever since the program aired on Sunday, Biju has received hundreds of abusive and threatening calls, who say that he insulted Hindus as he called the resident god a god of thendis (vagabond).
“On Monday and Tuesday, I got a number of calls continuously. In the beginning, they would say that the program was nice, and then they would start abusing. Surprisingly, most of them introduce themselves with Muslim names (deliberately) and then started abusing,” Biju told The News Minute.
On Wednesday evening, the Hindu Aikya Vedi held a march to Kairali TV protesting the ‘insult’ to their religious sentiments, but they weren’t allowed to enter the office as the police stopped them.
Saying that none of them would have watched the show, Biju says, “It was a positive story. I also doubt that there is some politics involved as the temple is managed by the CPI (M) there. These people don’t have a hold over the temple, and that can also be a reason for this outrage.”
Biju says that he not only received death threats, but many of the calls were from abroad, and he has complained to the DGP about the same.
“My photo and phone number have been spread across social media. They are holding a campaign to abuse me,” Biju says.
The News Minute had earlier reported about the temple on the border of Alappuzha district and its people. About 374 elderly men and women live in the temple. They come from many parts of the country and are accommodated irrespective of caste and religion.
Of the 374 people, the Temple Administrative Committee has constructed a special shelter for 30 of the oldest and sickest men and women, and the others live in small tents scattered across the temple’s property.
Read TNM's feature on this temple and the work they do.