news Monday, January 05, 2015 - 05:30
The News Minute | December 31, 2014 | 9.50 pm IST Mata Amritanandamayi book controversy and suicides – Australian Gail Tredwell who had been a devotee of the hugging saint and had lived in her ashram for 2 decades and quit in 1999, published her biography – Holy Hell, A Memoir of Faith, Devotion and Pure Madness – in early 2014. She wrote about how she was allegedly sexually abused by other inmates of the ashram and about other abuses that were happening there. There was uproar in the social and political circles over the book. The media silence on the book controversy was conspicuous, until a journalist from Kerala John Brittas interviewed her. Another book was later written based on this interview. The High Court banned the publisher from publishing it, and a judicial magistrate court registered a case against Tadwell and the media organizations that had reported the issue were booked under various sections including promoting enmity between different religious groups. Few who had posted about the issue on Facebook were arrested by the police.  Read - Japanese devotee commits suicide in Amritanandamayi ashram Saritha Nair’s leaked video – Co-accused in the Solar Scam that rocked the politics of Kerala for almost a year, almost seven videos of Saritha Nair in intimate acts had gone viral in Whatsapp. She was accused of duping crores of money from people in the guise of installing renewable energy appliances. It was alleged that the scam happened with the support of the Chief Minister of the state Oommen Chandy and few top politicians. The scam had caused great embarrassment to the Congress-led UDF government in the state. Saritha had told that there were many more people involved in the scam and that she would reveal all their names. The leaked videos were, according to Saritha, an attempt to malign her, and abet her to commit suicide so that the people’s names she was to reveal could be saved. She had said that she would sue over 28,000 people, who had shared the video, which she said was morphed.  Read - “Forwarding my videos is degrading my dignity as a woman”: Saritha Nair files plea before CJM Kiss of Love – The much contentious event which spread into many Indian cities owed its birth in Kerala. An attack on a restaurant in Kozhikode by the right-wing organizations because the place was becoming a ground for immoral activities had led to the Kiss of Love event. To protest against the act of moral policing by some sections, a group of youngsters took to kissing in public. Though the event did not happen in Kerala following arrests by police, it sparked a big debate. Those against said that the act was vulgar, against Indian culture and an out of proportion response to moral policing. Those in favour said that those opposing were hypocrites and that there was nothing wrong in a kiss, it was a mere expression of love. Read - Pictures that define the 'Kiss of Love' Prohibition – The Chandy government decided in August that it would ban liquor in the state and would enforce a prohibition policy with immediate effect. Over 400 bars that had applied for license renewal were not given permission to continue selling liquour. The government said that only 5-star bars and heritage hotels in the state, and the state-run brewery outlets (BEVCO) could sell liquour. The fractured policy came under severe criticism and the bar owners moved the courts saying that the principle of equality was taken away by the state. The courts came down heavily on the government for this and in order to save itself from the courts, it diluted the policy further. That exasperated the church and other social organizations that were for quite some time calling for a total ban on liquor. Meanwhile, a bar owner alleged that the state finance minister K M Mani had taken bribe from few bar owners to get their bar licenses renewed. The vigilance and anti-corruption bureau, on the basis of prima facie facts, lodged an FIR against the minister. The government was cornered, and eventually diluted the policy further and said that all closed bars would be open, but would sell only wine and beer. Incensed at this, the KPCC chief Sudheeran, whose brainchild the prohibition policy was, lashed out at the government. There were rebuttals from the government side too. The matter is yet to be settled. Read - A look at the timeline of liquor issue shows Oommen Chandy govt is spineless 162 day standing protest by tribals - The Nilpu Samaram or the standing protest was a novel way of protest wherein tribal women from different parts of the state stood in front of the state secretariat for 162 long days to get the government heed to their demands. They were demanding the government to give them land so that they could cultivate and earn a living. The demand was actually agreed by the government way back in 2001 but everything remained in paper alone, they got no land. The tribal women were also not getting any jobs in the towns and cities, and if at all they did, the pay was very less. The tribals united under the banner of Adivasi Gothra Maha Sabha and started to stand outside the secretariat in the state capital on July 9. It was finally in December that the government agreed to their demands. Read - They have been standing for almost five months, a fight for a small plot of land Tweet

Show us some love! Support our journalism by becoming a TNM Member - Click here.