In a nation where communal undertones run strong in its veins, Gail Tredwell has inadvertantly became pawn in the hands of Islamic extremists groups who were quick to capitalise on the issues arising from the content of her book. Hence the political mouthpiece of these organisations continue to lead a lone crusade against one of the biggest Hindu-led humanitarian organisations of India. While the opportunists were at their drawing boards, the propaganda run using the book “Holy Hell” have quietly begun to snowball into a mass movement. All the cities and major towns in Kerala have started witnessing protests marches and conventions led by community and social leaders. The movement is catching on like wild fire. The masses have taken on themselves the duty of protecting the dharmic fibre of Indian society. Representatives from all communities, political parties, trade unions, chambers of commerce and social welfare organisations have started to take it up as their dharma to protect Amma.
The Kerala police registered a case against those who posted adverse comments in the social media based on the content of the book. Responding to queries on the Police case, Home Minister Mr. Ramesh Chennithala said, “when there is a complaint against postings in social networking sites, police have to book a case and conduct probe under the cyber laws.” “But the Government need not bother about the contents of the book”, he told reporters in Kochi.
Leaders from all walks of life have come forward to speak out against the author and those spreading her falsehood. Below are excerpts from the address of various leaders.
“Freedom of expression cannot be interpreted as freedom to spread lies that hurt religious sentiments of large sections of people,” said P. Parameswaran, Director of Bharatheeya Vicharakendram in a statement. “The attack unleashed by a section of the media based on the book published by a long-time back inmate of the Math, contains lies and absolutely no truth in it,” he said.
Champat Rai, International General Secretary of Viswa Hindu Parishad (VHP), was one among the first to respond. He appealed all to withdraw the controversial book and vowed to include the attack on Amma in their nation wide campaign.
The CPI(M) state secretary, Mr. Pinarayi Vijayan addressing media at Kalpetta in North Kerala on the sidelines of his state-wide political tour, said the government has the responsibility to look into the personal experience of the long term resident and the huge funds reaching many ashrams. His oppurtunism to gain popularity among a small section of people, returned in the form of ire from various corners, including the Chief Minister of Kerala, Mr. Oommen Chandy. Mr. Chandy on Feb 22, 2014 said “I do not think anything took place at the Math (which is) against the law of the land. People have to consider the services provided by the Math to society and not the charges against it”. “As one who has witnessed and participated in its services, it is not possible for the public to ignore the great work done by the Math,” Chandy added. The Communist leader’s comment has said to have caused a rift in his party as major trade union wings within the Communist party responded by supporting Amma.
Former judge of the Supreme Court of India and lifelong Communist, Justice V. R. Krishna Iyer addressing a convention at Cochin, said Amma’s contributions to the world are immeasurable and that he was willing to give up his life for her. All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) State Secretary, P.K. Haneef remarked that “Amma does not belong to a single religious community, instead she belongs to the entire humanity”. AITUC is the oldest and one among the biggest trade union federations in India.
Leaders representing biggest communities, economic and social organisations met at the convention at Cochin on Feb 28th to mark their complete support to Mata Amritanandamayi Devi and called for unification against those spreading false allegations. The gathering included Minister of Central Government, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Prof. K.V.Thomas, Member of Legislative Assembly representing Cochin Mr.Eden, President Indian Chamber of Commerce Mr.Abdul Azeez, Director Chamber of Commerce and Industry Mr.E.S. Jose, President Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) Mr.R.Rajasekharan, SNDP Asst. Secretary Adv. N.D. Premachandran and State Secretary, Samastha Kerala Sahithya Parishad Mr.N.K.A Lateef spoke at the meeting. Samastha Kerala Sahithya Parishad is the largest literary association in Kerala. Vice President Kerala Brahmina Sabha Mr.P.S. Raman, Secretary of Mahila Congress (biggest women’s organisation in Kerala) Mrs.K.N. Geeta Kumari, General Convenor of the International Book Festival Committee Mr.E.N. Nandakumar were among the large crowd of representatives who attended the event.
Video of convention at Cochin
These peaceful protests followed the rules of the law and did not disturb public life or traffic on the roads. Not all the protests marches and conventions have been covered in this post. As the crowds continue to grow and the protests spread like wild fire across the state, more community leaders and people’s representatives demand action against those who spread falsehood.