Anupama

Little Muthu was used to her mother returning late and narrating issues and causes that none of her friends mothers are even aware of. She was slowly and steadily understanding the meaning and reason for her mother to be near the oppressed and the needy.

This time she closely followed the issue because it involved the rights of a baby and his mother who were separated to protect the honour of the family. Muthu  was very aware of this ‘ honour’ stuff. Because she was being brought up without a father by 2 strong and loving women- her mother and grandmother. She was used to people whispering about her mother’s passion and boldness so unlike “ well brought up women” , her mother returning late at night sometimes escorted by a male friend. She was also proud that her mother stood bold and alone to fight many injustices and atrocities especially against women and environment.

When Muthu was a baby , her mother was fighting the river sand mining mafia that had killed a river sustaining the lives and livelihood of that area. From taking up causes like the plight of the Endosulfan affected people to individual causes for justice  her mother spared no effort to give her voice, energy and time .

This time Muthu was all attention to the cause of Anupama and Ajith to gain access to the baby. Because Muthu  loved babies and had a way with them. She knew that though her mother would return late or stay away for days on end, she had her attention and care always. She understood at this young age that nothing corrupts or pollutes the basic values that sustain life like money and power. Added to that is this “honor and  born to a noble family” concept.

It was very clear to her that a bundle of lies and deception were used to literally kidnap the baby and give it for adoption far way from Kerala. The lapses in procedure that she heard her mother narrate to many were too complex for her to comprehend. But her little mind and sharp intelligent head told her that to separate a baby from his mother, to deny him the right to drink his mother’s milk, to deny the mother her right to be near him when she did not reject him was and is wrong and criminal. Added to that is the cruel and vile misuse  of high connections and power, to overrule basic mandates and procedures . That too when it is done by the grand parents themselves. She could not for the world of her imagine her grandmother giving her away after setting  eyes on the baby face!!

On a particularly dark rainy evening little Muthu  was broken out of her thoughts by loud shouts and screams from her grand mother. She ran out to see her granny’s scared face pointing at a small being on the floor- a baby snake.  She tried to reason with her granny that this is just a baby snake andnot dangerous. But by then a whole team of neighbours had gathered with sticks and crow bars.

It took them little time to beat and kill the little being. Driven by anger and sadness ( for Muthu loved animals, birds, trees, flowers ) she called her mother and desperately wailed

‘ Amma while you are fighting for and standing up for the right of a human baby to be near his mother, here in this house a baby snake was killed because of the fear of my grandmother. Anupama auntie’s baby was taken away by her grandparents to “ save the face of” his grandparents and family. How unjust and cruel is this world that denies human babies and all other babies their right to be near their parents and vice versa” .

After that evening’s experience Muthu realized that the human world is wrought with complex and cruel issues that have no space for empathy, love, compassion and care. She understood with  shock how the deep and vile roots of caste and creed, power and hegemony overrule life giving values .

For her Anupama auntie and her baby epitomized and symbolized the attitude of the human world , be it to human babies, elephant babies, snakes or dogs .

Anitha ,S in conversation with Sreeja Neyyatinkara, Usha Punathil, J.Devika, Mini Mohan in the Samara Pandal of Anupama Chandran and her husband Ajith Kumar .

As this is being written the Men in support of the grand father ( does he deserve such a title ) Jayachandran is planning to stage a protest in front of Anupama-Ajith samara pandal. As this is being written shocking and terrible truths about the expired adoption license of Kerala State Council for Child Welfare is emerging .

Along with this there are several people who claim to be liberal feminists who have fallen prey to what media says or neighbours say rather than spend some time with Anupama and Ajith and listen to their part of the story. They are distracting the issue by bringing up irrelevant and archaic concepts like the moral side of the father, the economic incapacity of them to bring up a child and so on.

To  those convinced about the play of patriarchal power , misogyny and unfair honour tactics, please write to the Chief Minister of Kerala who is Chairperson of Child Welfare Council and authorized to order an enquiry.

As I write this people from various fields across the country are writing to the Chief Minister .Join them too

chiefminister@kerala.gov.in

Do let us know if you write and also when you get a reply

anithasharma2007@gmail.com /p.e.usha19kdisc@gmail.com

 


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