God’s (dis)own country??
It has been more than ten years since I stopped watching the news on Malayalam channels. Apart from the communist party’s hooliganism, never-ending strikes, a series of political leaders’ overviews and some unruliness of the unemployed male population the news had nothing worthwhile to tell you. I was tired of listening to my father rant watching the news “oh the state has gone to the dogs” and I stuck to asianet for the movies and songs which the conservative and decent part of the Kerala film industry still continues to produce!
I have spent a good many years of my life in Kerala and I am thankful my memories are of times spent as a child and everything innocent and happy. Other than these, I only feel remorseful contempt for ‘ende keralam’* which only seems to worsen by the day.
Whoever, still cares to call kerala “gods own country”, I wish to shake them up and let them know that the Gods decided to disown us a long-long time ago. It depresses me to see my land so blessed with rain, fertile harvests, rich culture and traditions; scenic beauty fails to make a mark in any way. If at all kerala is in the news it is for the 100% horny movies, high suicide rates, increasing rates of atrocities against women, child molestations, excessive poverty, thousands admitted for intoxication, leaders in liquor consumption, pathetically unemployed, towering labor costs.
I happened to read this article in ndtv today that talked about the ‘Alcohol consumers “welfare” association’ in kerala and how they are trying to get the government to sell liquor at subsidized rates. I must confess it scandalized me to say the least. When the nation was progressing to produce professionals, economy was soaring high elsewhere; men in kerala lie deliberately ignorant to the world to be satisfactorily inebriated.
There is a lot that goes untold and un-reported in the popularly read newspapers like ‘malayalam manorama’ and ‘mathrubhumi’ who claim that such news ‘cannot be mentioned in public’. It is a known fact to every kerelaite that a woman can’t walk the streets alone, leave alone going to movie theatres or travel alone. My hometown of Trivandrum is known for the job-less street mongers who can’t help but whistle a tune or two at every woman aging between five and fifty. I have avoided public transport because of the atrocities men aging from fifteen to eighty inflict on the female passengers. If this is not enough, this write-up of experiences of six women journalists describes the ‘way kerala treats women’. End of it I felt ashamed to be coming from such a cruel place which held no respect for the women folk.
I recall the incident; my aunt experienced walking down the busy street of MG road in Cochin. A teenager had the balls to blow kisses to her from the opposite end. Overcame with rage on this brat who had not even started to shave, she had crossed the road to slap the boy right across his face. It got me thinking if society in kerala had grown to accept imprudence of any kind?
It is high time kerala stopped hanging on the 1991 report of it being the highest literate state. If there is any land more illiterate on civilized rules of a land, it is kerala. What can you say about the state when people recall it for the porn stardom, voluptuousness and hypocritic sexism? I am sure I am not the only one who is pained watching my home-town wither away in the hands of indecent men who are turning the god’s land into a living hell!!
*My land kerala