It’s a victory of sorts for Hindu women in Kerala. There were celebrations all over the state when Malayalam short story writer S. Hareesh withdrew his controversial novel Meesha (Moustache), which was being serialised in the Mathrubhumi Weekly after it triggered outrage across the state.
In the novel, one of the characters say Hindu women who go to temple dressed up are announcing that they are ready for sex. There are other dialogues that are highly objectionable. The novel deals with life in Kerala half-a-century ago. For the first time, Hindu women came out in the open and protested for a novel. The publisher of Mathrubhumi, PV Chandran, is also learnt to have said there is merit in the protest. Hindu Aikya Vedi activists also took out a demonstration to the venue of a book exhibition organised by Mathrubhumi Books at Thripunithura in Kochi.
The Mathrubhumi daily, which had published a derogatory article on Prophet Muhammad, had published apologies thrice on the front pages. Left intellectuals who criticized protest against Hareesh refused to stand by a Leftwing poet who wrote against pardah.