The release of Malayalam translation of a book authored by former President A P J Abdul Kalam was cancelled here on Saturday after protests erupted over a woman writer being allegedly asked to stay away from the function citing the presence of a ‘swamiji’.
Writer Sreedevi S Kartha, the translator of the book “Transcendence My Spiritual Experience with Pramukh Swamiji” by Kalam, said she was asked not to attend the function as Brahma Vihari Das of BAPS Swami Narayana Sanstha did not like the presence of women on the stage along with him.
Sreedevi, in a release, said she was told that rules of BAPS, a socio-spiritual Hindu organisation, were against women sharing dais with the Swamiji.
“The first three rows also should be reserved for Swami’s followers so that they can ensure that even an impure shadow of women does not fall on him,” Sreedevi sarcastically said in a Facebook post.
As controversy erupted, various organisations staged protests in front of the Kerala Sahitiya Academy where the launch of the book titled ‘Kaalaatheethm’ (Beyond the times) was to be held.
Swami Brahma Vihari Das did not turn up for the function, K J Johny, Publishing Manager of the Thrissur-based Current Books, publishers of the book said.
Johny also said that they normally do not invite translators for book release functions.
The book was to have been released by Kalam’s co-author Arun Tiwari and eminent Malayalam writer M T Vasudevan Nair.
Reacting to the issue, noted poet Sugathakumari said those “who are afraid of their mothers should go back to dark age caves.”