Calendar Crisis: Does the Number of Days an NRI Resides in India Matter?

A TAX-FREE SALARY IS THE BIGGEST attraction of working in several Gulf countries, which is why year after year, legions of Indians head to these small, hot, arid countries in search of jobs despite many having to leave families back home due to stringent visa rules. The latest Budget almost dashed the hope of uncut … Continue reading Calendar Crisis: Does the Number of Days an NRI Resides in India Matter?

Kerala: Maoists Warn Locals of Dire Consequences

In their continued efforts to win over tribal people and carve out a sanctuary for themselves in Kerala, Maoists have struck again this time, vandalizing a villa in the hill district of Wayanad, Kerala, set high on the Western Ghats. Forests in this region are connected to those in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu covering various … Continue reading Kerala: Maoists Warn Locals of Dire Consequences

The Truth About Northern Kerala’s Homoeroticism

PLACES ARE ONLY AS famous or infamous as their people and, over a period of time, a destination begins to take on the traits of its demography. Going by anecdotal evidence, in Malabar, which comprises a handful of districts in northern parts of Kerala, homosexuality is rampant. There may not be any sexual-orientation data or … Continue reading The Truth About Northern Kerala’s Homoeroticism

Kerala Faces an Uphill Task as Maoists Seek Sanctuary in the State

KOYAMOOPPAN, AS HE is reverentially called by his Tribal community, is more than a century old, but he doesn’t know his real age. “Yes, I am more than 100 years old,” he says after making a few calculations that receive a nod from his octogenarian wife who keeps a close watch on him. Notwithstanding the … Continue reading Kerala Faces an Uphill Task as Maoists Seek Sanctuary in the State

How Sabarimala Changed Kerala’s Politics

The Harivaraasanam rendition by Yesudas in praise of Lord Ayyappa was one of the first devotional songs I heard in my life. To the teenagers of my generation who grew up in the 1980s, it was one of the most exciting experiences whenever neighbours and relatives prepared themselves to visit Sabarimala, which appeared distant to … Continue reading How Sabarimala Changed Kerala’s Politics

Banning burqas in MES isn’t just tough, it is dangerous for its president Dr Fazal Gafoor

Fazal Gafoor is a ‘cosmopolitan’, if you apply the great thinker Benedict Anderson’s definition of the term. He speaks multiple languages, having been to primary school in Edinburgh where his mother and he had accompanied his father who had moved to the Scottish capital from Kerala to pursue studies in the 1950s. While Gafoor was … Continue reading Banning burqas in MES isn’t just tough, it is dangerous for its president Dr Fazal Gafoor

Gita Gopinath: The New Chief Economist of the International Monetary Fund

FORMER FEDERAL RESERVE Chairman Ben Bernanke, known to be economical with praise, speaks of Gita Gopinath as “one of the strongest and most promising students I ever worked with”. Gopinath, who has several firsts to her credit, did her PhD at Princeton under the guidance of Ben Bernanke and Kenneth Rogoff, a former IMF economist … Continue reading Gita Gopinath: The New Chief Economist of the International Monetary Fund

When the Monster Rains Came, Kerala Was Not Prepared

In Pathanamthitta district of Kerala, one of the worst affected regions in the biggest flood to hit the southern Indian state in almost a century, 72-year-old Chandrasekharan Achari died for want of medical assistance. He couldn’t be taken to the local hospital two kilometres from home because the water had risen so high that no … Continue reading When the Monster Rains Came, Kerala Was Not Prepared

Blackmail and Rape Charges Shake Up the Orthodox Syrian Church in Kerala

EARLIER THIS MONTH, an ‘affidavit’ of rather scandalous proportions was leaked to a section of the media in Kerala. It contained salacious and incriminating details by a woman, a member of the close-knit Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, confessing sexual relations with four priests of the congregation. Let aside the fact that the document—which the husband … Continue reading Blackmail and Rape Charges Shake Up the Orthodox Syrian Church in Kerala

Kerala’s Popular Culture Has Abetted Misogyny in Life and Politics

WHAT IS IT ABOUT the Malayali male that attracts equal parts respect and scorn? Normally, expectations from Kerala, a state that enjoys high social indicators, some of which are on par with Nordic countries, are that it is a fairer and far more egalitarian society compared with the rest of India. The sex ratio, the … Continue reading Kerala’s Popular Culture Has Abetted Misogyny in Life and Politics