Tribal woman Padma award winner gives it back to CPI(M) mantri’s insensitive comment

Kerala’s Marxist govt is full of ‘morons, murderers and muddleheads’

This year’s Padma Shri Award winner Lakshmikutty Amma, practitioner of tribal medicine, has shown the motormouth CPI(M) Minister his place. Minister for SC/ST Welfare AK Balan had ridiculed the Centre’s decision to give awards to people like the 74-year-old tribal physician, as, according to him, it amounts to giving award to sorcery. In a fitting reply to the minister, Laksmikutty Amma said she did not “canvas or lobby” for any award and it has come because people value her work. “I don’t anybody’s certificate, especially the minister’s. Does he know anything about sorcery, mantra and medicine? I live in forests and work among tribals. I am not like the people who sit in AC rooms and fret about the plight of tribals,” she said. She is fondly called “Marunnu Muthassi” (Medicine Grandma).

Kerala SC/ST Welfare Minister AK Balan’s comments on Padma award winner have evoked sharp reactions.

She revealed that in the last 45 years she had cured many people, including former state minister Kadavoor Sivadasan. “The Palode Botanical Research Centre too had recognized my talents. I was conferred Vaidya Ratnam award some time ago. Never did I canvas for an award,” she said.

Balan on Wednesday told the Assembly that the state government was not aware that ‘Padma’ awards were given for tribal therapists. “I suspect that they will soon provide ‘Padma’ awards for sorcery and palmistry,” he added in derisive manner. The minister was reportedly upset that the Centre had rejected all names proposed by the state government.

What shocked the common man is that such an irresponsible comment has come from a minister who is not only in-charge of SC/ST welfare portfolio in the Kerala government but himself Dalit. He even turned down a demand raised by Aruvikkara MLA KS Sabarinathan, made during a submission in the Assembly, that a tribal medical centre and museum should be set up in Lakshmikutty Amma’s name.

Social media has reacted sharply to the controversial statement. Political observers said he was upset that the state government’s list was rejected by the Centre.

Senior RSS leader and Samyojak, Prajna Pravah, said, “Kerala Minister Com. Balan insults #PadmaShri LakshmikuttyAmma, saying- ‘#Padma was given to ‘Adivasi therapy’, next year it’ll be for sorcery’. CPM leaders couldn’t digest a tribal woman winning #Padma which was reserved for the Gulf capitalists, the Godfathers of their children”.

The Marxist minister’s insensitive remarks have evoked sharp reactions on social media. A Facebook post read: “The Marxist government is full of “morons, murderers and muddleheads.”  Another person wrote: “This is the first time that a deserving person got the award. These Marxists have become bourgeoisies. Bala, you should shut your mouth.”