A female author in Kerala who was barred from attending the release of the book she translated has taken social media by storm. All for good reason. Women from all quarters are supporting her for unravelling the primitive and prohibitively silly exchange between her and the publisher of the book. She was barred from entering the book launch event for being a ‘woman.’



The author who translated the book ‘Kaalatheetham’, a Malayalam translation of late former President of India Dr APJ Abdul Kalam’s book ‘Transcendence My Spiritual Experience with Pramukh Swamiji’ was barred from attending the function on odd pretexts that can be best defined as a mix of religious and gender biased reasons. The book release function organized by publisher called Current Books, Thrissur had reportedly asked author and translator Sreedevi not to attend the function, citing that one of the chief guests Swami Brahmavihari Das of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha “doesn’t entertain to share dais with women.” She was informed this through one of their staff according to reports.


Sreedevi appalled at the logic of the staff to hold out the very woman who translated the book, used Facebook to express her apathy. She wrote in Malayalam but in essence her post said, “The first three rows in the hall must be reserved for swamiji’s followers so that they can ensure that even the impure shadow of woman must not fall on him.”

This incident has shocked women across the country for the kind of primitive and illogical thinking of the Swami in question. It’s even more astonishing that a publishing house took such a stand, given that they are often the torch-bearers of free thinking and open minded opinion.


After Kartha informed the publisher’s directive in her Facebook page, women and youth took out marches to the Sahitya Academy in Thrissur, where the function was scheduled according to the Indian Express.


Kartha told Deccan Chronicle that she thought for a moment that the officials of Current Books, Thrissur, were joking when they told her to stay off the dais. “I had even booked the tickets for Thrissur to attend the function. I gave them time till Friday to correct this mistake. I posted my reaction on Facebook after informing the publishers as I thought it was not just a personal issue. It was humiliating to women as a whole.’’


“The hidden dangers in the issue shocked me more than the personal insult as a writer. What is the difference between Taliban, which asked women not to show other body parts except eyes, and Indian culture, which bars women from attending public functions,” she asked in her post.

Picture Credit: Sreedevi’s Facebook