At the age of 75, I was being reduced to just a Muslim, I couldn’t take it, says Malayalam critic M M Basheer on the hate calls he received.
As it has been his wont for the past few years, literary critic M M Basheer was set to write a series of newspaper columns on the Ramayana in the Malayalam daily Mathrubhumi this August. But after promising the editor six columns, he had to stop at five because of a sustained campaign on the telephone by unnamed persons who upbraided him for writing on Rama when he was a Muslim.
Even the newspaper’s editors received a torrent of abusive calls every day after Basheer’s first column, titled ‘Sri Rama’s Anger’, appeared on August 3. Four days later, after the fifth column was published, Basheer called off the series.
“Every day, I would get repeated calls abusing me for writing on the Ramayana. At the age of 75, I was being reduced to just a Muslim. I couldn’t take it and I stopped writing,” Basheer told The Indian Express over phone from his Kozhikode residence.