Kamala Suraya’s publicity stunt

via HK Correspondent published on May 20, 2006


Kamala Surayya’s checkered personal history, egoistic needs and egocentric behavior, addiction for public attention has set her apart from other writers. For several years, her fantasy fired the imagination of people who mistake adolescence for adulthood, self-infatuation for idealism. For kamala Surayya, the distinction between religious conversion, a literary event, social charity or a publicity stunt is moot to the determent of all.


Kamala Surayya has recently announced at a function chaired by the Cultural Minister Anil Kumar that she will donate her ancestral property at Punnayoorkulam to Kerala Sahithya Academy. In her psychological craving for publicity, she forgot to mention that the property is a five hundred year old “Sarppakavu” adorned by local Hindu community. Earlier, she had tried to sell this “Sarppakavu” and there was no buyers. Overwhelmed by her psychological need for attention, she forgot that the announcement must be based on real facts and reflect the correct position of facts. The whole episode indicates that Kamala Surayya has a penchant for publicity.


Yusaf Ali kecheri, the President of kerala Sahitya Academy criticized Kamala Surayya for her charitable event, her distorted statement and openly issued a statement against her public announcement of land transfer. Yusaf Ali kecheri revealed to the public that the land in question is a “Sarppakavu”.  “changing opinion is not easy like changing religion” stated Kecheri to hit at kamala Surayya. kamala Surayya retaliated by claiming that Yusaf Ali Kecheri has hidden Hindu motives and he is superstitious. To add color and sound to the story, Sukumar Azhikode jumped into the fray and blamed Yusef Ali Kechari for his attempt to preserve a five hundred year old “Sarppakavu”. The controversy and soundbites still continues.


In this context, one should remember that these publicity hounds hardly adhere to any values or hold any eternal, intrinsic ideals. For them, only publicity counts. So their values, ideals, and convictions change periodically. These people have a habit of hitting headlines every now and then even when it is insignificant or irrelevant.


Is there anything left to say about the whole episode? After reading her latest announcement, plus following her conversion to Islam–one still wonders about two things. One is whether the “crossover” to Islam that brought Kamala Surayya spectacular media attention hit a limit. The other is the connection between her checkered personal history and her plan to donate a  “Sarppakavu” that she could not sell for profit.

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