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Who is S. Hareesh?

(From The Hindu. Link to the complete article given below)

As Kerala’s paddy-rich Kuttanad reels under its worst flood in recent times, the region’s most promising storyteller is fighting a deluge of religious hate. Award-winning writer S. Hareesh, whose stories are imbued with an undertone of caste and politics at play in daily life, withdrew his debut novel, Meesha (Moustache), barely into its third instalment in the Mathrubhumi weekly, after some right-wing groups did not take kindly to a “misrepresented” fragment in it. On Wednesday, the novel was published by DC Books, the premier imprint in Malayalam, with 5,000 copies selling out. That did not pass off uneventfully though, as copies were burnt in Thiruvananthapuram. The case has reached the Supreme Court, too; on Thursday, it asked counsel for the petitioner to produce within five days the English translation of the “objectionable” portions.

Why the controversy?

A conversation between two characters on the intent of upper caste women visiting temples in the narrative set in the feudal Kerala of yore was taken out of context and circulated on social media, imputing it to the author. A vilification campaign ensued, as Hindutva organisations and caste groups trained their ire on Mathrubhumi and the writer for “maligning Hindu women and temple priests.” In the face of threats and online abuse, also targeting their parents and young children, Mr. Hareesh and his wife shut down their social media accounts and switched off phones.

Read more at The Hindu link here


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Norma Field, champion of Japan’s leftist literature, retires

NormaFieldBut not from anti-nuclear activism, according to The Japan Times

In 1998, Norma Field visited Sharon Stephens at home. Stephens was ill with the cancer she’d thought — they’d all thought, for the past nine years — had relented. This was two weeks before the end. Field had come to adopt a bird; the dog had already gone with another friend.

Field said she was struck by the subtle but overpowering sense that Stephens had accepted what was happening. She thought that watching it made her less afraid of dying, though she later wondered if this was just the most profound notion she could think to assign to something “unnameable.” Field also thought about the swiftness of her friend’s deterioration: Stephens had lived and worked downwind of multiple radioactive sites, and frequently visited places invisibly scarred by the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

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