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Centre Should Seriously Consider Having Uniform Marriage Code in India, Says Kerala HC

The high court while considering a petition by a young Christian couple declared that section 10A of the Indian Divorce Act, which mandates a one-year period or more for filing a divorce petition, is violative of Fundamental Rights and is unconstitutional

News18 9 Dec 2022 11:48 pm

250 rabies deaths reported in 18 Indian states, Karnataka tops with 32

The ministry said some deaths have occurred in persons who had been administered post-exposure prophylaxis in Kerala and were sent for repeat quality testing at Central Drugs Laboratory, Kasauli.

The New Indian Express 9 Dec 2022 11:01 pm

If you pledge to Constitution, then why oppose UCC: Kerala Governor Arif Khan

If you pledge to Constitution then why oppose UCC Kerala Governor Arif Khan

India Today 9 Dec 2022 10:44 pm

Muslim League not communal, works for minorities: CPM

The Communist Party of India-Marxist on Friday said the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) is ot a communal party and praised the key partner of the opposition United Democratic Front for not agreeing with the Congress on the issue of the alleged move by Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, who according to the ruling front, was trying to saffronise the universities in Kerala.

Rediff 9 Dec 2022 8:54 pm

IFFK: I want nothing but natural rights, says Iranian filmmaker Mahnaz Mohammadi

The filmmaker and womens rights activist is the recipient of the 27th International Film Festival of Keralas Spirit of Cinema Award. She speaks to The Hindu in an e-mail interview

The Hindu 9 Dec 2022 8:46 pm

Divorce Act: Couples don't have to wait for one year for separation, says Kerala HC

The court held that the minimum period of one year fixed for separation under Section 10A of the Divorce Act is violative of the fundamental rights.

The New Indian Express 9 Dec 2022 8:34 pm

Kerala a model for other countries: Minister

The Hindu 9 Dec 2022 8:33 pm

Prison taught me how suffering is created: Iranian filmmaker Mahnaz Mohammadi to TNM

IFFK The filmmaker and womens rights activist, who has been jailed many times and banned from travelling abroad, is the winner of the Spirit of Cinema award at the International Film Festival of Kerala. Cris In a letter that was sent to the Cannes Film Festival, where a movie she acted in was premiering, Iranian filmmaker and womens rights activist Mahnaz Mohammadi wrote, I am a woman and a filmmaker, two reasons sufficient to be treated like a criminal in this country. The letter was read aloud because she could not make it there, owing to a travel ban imposed on her for her film work. This December, she was supposed to come to Thiruvananthapuram for the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK), but she could not, again because of the travel ban. As a symbolic gesture, however, she sent a lock of her hair to the IFFK through Greek filmmaker Athina Rachel Sangari. Mahnaz is the winner of the Spirit of Cinema award, which the IFFK launched in the last edition to honour filmmakers whose passion for the art was unflinchingly carried forward in spite of the adversities faced by them. And she has faced many, many adversities. Her first film, a documentary called Women Without Shadows on women living in a shelter, came out in 2003. But it was her second film, called Travelogue, where she interviewed people who were leaving the country on a train, that brought her the first travel ban. By then Mahnaz had already faced her first arrest in 2007, when she protested for other womens rights activists who were undergoing trial. In 2011, she acted in a film, Ethereal Marriage, where she played a widow in a relationship with her brother-in-law. It was for this films premiere that she was invited to Cannes, and her letter got read by another filmmaker, Costa-Gavras. That same year, she was arrested again, and kept in prison for two-and-a-half months. After several documentaries, Mahnaz made her first fictional feature in 2019, titled Son-Mother. It tells the story of a widow raising two children, and receiving marriage proposals from a bus driver that she begins to consider. Three years after that, Mahnaz is once again making her voice heard, protesting along with the thousands of Iranian women against the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, three days after she was taken in by the morality police for allegedly not following the dress code for women in the country. The months-long protests led Iran to reportedly abolish the morality police. In an interview to TNM, Mahnaz talks about her journey from being discriminated against as a female child to becoming the woman who keeps fighting for human rights, despite everything she has been through. After reading about you, the first thing I wondered is how you were driven to be this person who questioned the inequalities in gender, who began fighting for what she thought was right, and who did not mind going to jail for it. How and when in your life did this journey begin for you? The first year I entered school, I was happy to go to school with a red ribbon in my hair and white collar. But the revolution of 1979 happened in the same year. In the New Year, they forced us to wear dark black shawls covering our hair and shoulders. I was always being blamed for forgetting to wear it. I am still living with those reprimands. In the same year, our teacher Mrs Abbasi, who was kind, did not force us to wear dark black shawls at class. Many times, we have watched her putting her shawl in her bag, far away from school. She didn't last long as a teacher. She was rumoured to have been fired. Do you think this is not enough for a girl who felt the wind in her hair and whose only hobby was running in the wind? At what point did you decide to make films, to talk about the subjects you cared about? I used to write for children and teenage magazines and radio, but when I met certain women, I was very influenced by them. I also had many questions, and hence I made documentaries to find the answers. What led to Women without Shadows? Though incarcerated under weird circumstances, they (the women in shelter homes) managed to elicit feelings of love and hope. I remember how after watching that film, my brother wrote a note to me saying the director has depicted her life. I still have that note. Do you feel films have a way of reaching out to more people, the ideas that you want to express? Yes, I believe in the power of film. You said in one interview that you did not think much of your early arrests but the one in 2011, in a small prison, shattered you. What happened, and how did it affect you and your work? It was a torture centre. The most important impact it had was that it proved to me this regime does not follow any moral principles. It lies, tortures, and executes. Today, as I am writing to you, a 23-year-old man named Mohsen Shekhari was executed for protesting in a closed court without access to legal advice. There are many others awaiting execution. That prison taught me how suffering is created. It is essential not to be a part of them. You acted in a film. Ephemeral Marriage also touched on the state of women's lives in Iran. Is that what made you say yes to acting? I am not an actor. Reza Sarkanian (the director) came to Iran to make this film. But almost all the actors he chose said no to him, because they were worried about the government's reaction. At the same time, I was helping him research parts of the script. Reza then asked me [if I could act]. At first it was difficult to accept, but I knew what a strenuous path he had to tread to get the permission. I just wanted this film to be made. But that film was also banned in Iran and was never allowed to be screened. What is the one thing that makes you keep fighting, despite the repeated arrests, bans and confiscations of your property? Living a lie is disgusting. A totalitarian regime forces you to live according to their wishes, which are often miles away from your principles. Still from Son-Mother / Courtesy - IMDB Son-mother is your first venture into fiction. Why fiction, after all these years? All stories are rooted in reality. My preference is to make documentaries, but there are stories that you will never be allowed to make. Everything is according to their will, so I have to choose another way. Mahsa Amini is one of the latest victims of this oppression. You are fighting for her too. Do you have hope that things will change for women one day? Not just in Iran, but everywhere? Right now, many things have changed despite the resistance by the regime, due to the will of the people who are no longer willing to go back. Certainly, change is essential in Iran and similarly everywhere else in the world. Inequality exists anywhere. Also read:IFFK highlights: Silent films with live piano, 32 female directors, LGBTQIA+ narratives

The News Minute 9 Dec 2022 8:18 pm

Key Requirement To File For Divorce Struck Down By Kerala Court

Couples don't have to be separated for a year to file for divorce by mutual consent, rules Kerala High Court

NDTV 9 Dec 2022 8:07 pm

Kerala University to collaborate with Russian university

The collaboration with Yaroslav-the-Wise Novgorod State University (NovSU) covers various disciplines and aims at providing scholarships for students of both universities

The Hindu 9 Dec 2022 7:35 pm

Lock of hair as a political statement from Iran at IFFK opening ceremony in Kerala capital

Iranian filmmaker and womens rights activist Mahnaz Mohammadi, recipient of Spirit of Cinema Award, sent it as a mark of protest against the travel ban imposed on her by the Iranian government

The Hindu 9 Dec 2022 7:23 pm

Class 12 student attends class in medical college by flouting admission procedures

Kerala police have said they have initiated an investigation into a complaint lodged by Kozhikode Medical College saying that a 12th standard student had recently attended MBBS class for four days without gaining admission. The police said they received a complaint and a probe was on.

The Times of India 9 Dec 2022 5:44 pm

Kerala Governor to seek reply from Cusat V-C on Professor appointment

Allegations of favouritism in appointment of Usha K. Aravind, wife of MGU Pro-Vice-Chancellor C. T. Aravinda Kumar, as Professor at School of Environmental Studies

The Hindu 9 Dec 2022 5:33 pm

A 'customer' in a brothel can be proceeded against criminally under the Immoral Traffic Act: HC

The police officer in charge of investigating the case had found that the third accused engaged in a sexual act with accused four and five after paying Rs.500.

The New Indian Express 9 Dec 2022 5:07 pm

Protest against Vizhinjam sea port in Kerala called off for now

AMN / WEB DESK The anti port protest in Vizhinjam in Thiruvananthapuram called off for now after the reconciliation talks between the leaders of the agitation and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. The calling off of the agitation by fisherfolk against the under-construction Vizhinjam sea port was announced by Vicar General Eugene Pereira, who has been Continue reading Protest against Vizhinjam sea port in Kerala called off for now

The Indian Awaaz 9 Dec 2022 5:06 pm

Kerala authors account of a couples private video going online is scary and funny

Books Author Aravind Jayan effortlessly gets into the head of his characters and brings out their varied reactions in a humorous manner. Cris Aravind Jayan It sounds like a risk, naming a book Teen Couple Have Fun Outdoors. Judges of book titles, ones like this reporter, might take one look at it, write it off as some teenage romance meh, and walk away. Luckily, not every reader and critic takes such a skewed view of books, and quite a few lovely reviews have popped up in the months after the books release this July. Turns out, the book has little to do with teenage romance, and more to do with the video of a couples intimate moments in a public place taken without their knowledge spreading most naturally like wildfire all over the internet. To make things worse, the said couple is in Thiruvananthapuram, where the sight of a short skirt can send shock waves down passersby, let alone a video like that. Aravind Jayan, the Thiruvananthapuram-raised author, was not entirely sure if it should be written about at all, a video like that. The question was why write about it, is it even a big deal? But then that would also be the question that the characters have in their minds. Then it became about that, he says in an interview to TNM. Strangely enough, he has not come across any such incidents in his personal life or heard about it from someone he knew. He has heard about the existence of such videos, and grew curious about how the situation would play out if it happened in his family or the family of someone he knew. If thats the case, Aravind is unusually empathetic. He seems to effortlessly get into the heads of his characters and bring out their very different reactions. The protagonist couple, Sreenath and Anita, appears rather cool and indifferent about it at least on the outside, while the parents predictably see it as a major catastrophe. In the middle of it all is Sreenaths brother, narrating the whole story. Funnily enough, though he is telling the story of anothers life and the reactions of everyone around him, he doesnt become a voice in the background you dont take note of. He is right in the thick of everything and his thoughts are as much out there as his words. The best part of it all is his innate sense of humour. It is comforting to realise this in the very first chapter, where he is put in charge of a bunch of neighbourhood kids and he says, I had to make sure their kids didnt eat sand or throw themselves in front of a vehicle. This humour is very handy when the traumatic part of the story unfolds two people caught up in the drama surrounding a video of their very private moments. To convey, for instance, what it would mean to the parents, he writes: They were the type who had to change the channel if they saw people getting romantic while one of us was around sometimes it didnt even have to be people; once it was Bugs Bunny and his rabbit girlfriend. The parents are more or less typical the father is all tough love, and the mother, though not stereotypically soft, seems a little meek and almost almost English in her attempts to avoid confrontations. In the narrators words, the mother is someone who tries to diagnose a fever when anyone in the house went through some form of turmoil that was unreachable to her. A fever diagnosis put her in control. And the father, tough as he is, is like every other typical Malayali who is ready to please in the event of a police station visit. The younger son, who accompanies Appa to the police station with a request to get the video removed, describes the policemans condescending attitude in very relatable terms. After firing the father of a young man who had a few consensual romantic moments with his adult girlfriend for ruining the girls life, the police could have got Appa to admit anything. Though his situation calls for sympathy, you cant help but laugh when the narrator writes, You could have got him to admit anything. Did he smuggle drugs? Yes. Did he assassinate Kennedy? Sure. Was he in cahoots with Judas? Indeed. It is a whole different story with Sreenath. Aravind says Sreenath chooses to act like it is nothing because that is his defence mechanism. He knows that the minute he caves into shame, he doesnt have his last line of defence. He has taken a stand that it is not a big deal and he sticks to it, the author says. You dont learn much about Anita, except that she too acts cool in the limited scenes she is present. She is atypically inexpressive, having you guess forever what her state of mind is. No tears, not even a good laugh, just a lot of bad headaches and tired expressions. Perhaps because it is another gender entirely, Aravind didnt want to dwell too much on her mind and make the wrong guesses. Same reason he didnt make the narrator a woman. It is curious though, how Sreenath would have behaved if it was a sister he had. He is the difficult guy here, not the sibling. Sreenath is extremely irritable, all the time. He is never nice to anybody, except to Anita and sometimes to his friends. You try to figure out why he is so mean to the younger brother our narrator every time he knocks on the door and tries to talk peace. Youd imagine brothers so close in age one is 22, the other 20 to be thick, share stories that their parents dont learn about, and that one will call the other at the first sight of trouble. But Sreenaths brother is kept pretty much entirely out of the picture, despite his many attempts to help. In Aravinds book, the brother is not exactly meant to be a nice guy. He is supposed to be that annoying mediator that one normally associates with older middle-aged men, the kith of a family in trouble who tries to make everything right by talking to both sides in a duel. To a reader, he neednt come across like that. He was only 20, wanting everyone in his family to be in it together, wanting both sides to be happy. Aravind agrees that he should have cut the narrator some slack. Poor guy doesn't even get a name. It occurred to the author that he doesnt have a life or identity of his own, and so he doesnt have a name. Throughout the book, he is solving someone elses problem. You tend to further disagree with the author if you have noticed the characters many traits that carve him out as a different individual. He happens to take an interest in the lives of the people around him. He has his own tiny romantic escapades, not afraid to experiment, is a bit of a slacker when it comes to work, and is rather caring of his parents in a way Sreenath in no way is. Every time he tells Sreenath but that is the way they think, it is like he is the older, more mature brother. Aravind says that even the younger readers did not find fault with the way the parents reacted. They understand where the parents come from. On the other hand, the mother on the other side meaning Anitas side is hard-core annoying. Somebody please take her and her car and park it on top of the Jadayu rock. She will likely not even notice, as long as she has people she could irritate around her. But my biggest rue is the way the author puts down Thiruvananthapuram as such a boring place to be in. You couldnt squeeze a lot out of it besides the beach, a few awkward bars, and half a mall, he writes. In a line after that, he calls the place so quaint there was nothing left to do but kill yourself. Aravind! It is because he thinks of it as his home, and universally everyone wants to get out of their hometown at some point, Aravind says. When you have that level of comfort about a place you can talk poorly about it. Like, this is my place, I can talk about it the way I want. It could also be any place, it is the point of view of the character that makes a difference. You could be in New York and still want to get out of there badly, the author says. You could forgive him for Thiruvananthapuram though, the book really is one to be read and recommended.

The News Minute 9 Dec 2022 4:58 pm

SC Collegium approves appointment of 3 Additional Judges as permanent Judges in Kerala HC

In another decision, the Collegium resolved to recommend Justice Abhay Ahuja's name as Additional Judge of the Bombay High Court for a fresh term of one year with effect from March 4, 2023.

The Economic Times 9 Dec 2022 4:49 pm

Probe Ordered After Class 12 Student Attends Kerala Medical College Class

Kerala police have said they have initiated an investigation into a complaint by Kozhikode Medical College that a 12th-standard student had recently attended MBBS class for four days without gaining...

NDTV 9 Dec 2022 4:32 pm

Kerala govt has spent Rs 100 cr so far for Vizhinjam rehabilitation: Min

The Kerala government has spent Rs 100 crore so far for the rehabilitation initiatives in connection with the under construction Vizhinjam sea port project, state Port Minister Ahammed Devarkovil said on Friday. Several development and welfare initiatives are being implemented in the region using the government fund and also making use of the CSR fund of the construction company, he told the state Assembly. The Union Environment Ministry, at the time of the signing of the contract, had directed to carry out rehabilitation initiatives to the tune of Rs 8.65 crore in the region, he said. But, the LDF government has adopted a positive policy towards the fishermen community and spent Rs 100 crore for rehabilitation alone, Devarkovil said during the question and answer session. The significant thing was that land of local fishermen had not been acquired in connection with the sea port project. The land of those who lived away from the seashore had been taken for the same, he ...

Business Standard 9 Dec 2022 4:31 pm

Travel tips: Foreign view is seen in these places of India, note in your travel diary

People who are fond of traveling always keep searching for new places. There are many countries in the world where we have to spend lakhs to go. But today we will talk to you about such places in India, whose beauty is just like abroad. Many people dream of going to Switzerland but it is not possible due to the expensive tickets. In such a situation, you can enjoy like Switzerland by going to Gulmarg in Kashmir in a low budget. If you also dream of going to Malaysia and enjoying tea in the gardens there. So you can fulfill this dream even by visiting Munnar in Kerala. The beauty here is no less than Malaysia. Andaman is a very beautiful place situated in India. Here also you can enjoy the water creatures in the depths of the sea for less money.

Kalam Times 9 Dec 2022 4:23 pm

Kerala govt has spent Rs 100 crore so far for Vizhinjam rehabilitation: Minister

VizhinjamPort For all those who lost land in this way had been given compensation and those who lost houses were given five cents of land each, said Port Minister Ahammed Devarkovil. PTI The Kerala government has spent Rs 100 crore so far for the rehabilitation initiatives in connection with the under construction Vizhinjam sea port project, state Port Minister Ahammed Devarkovil said on Friday, December 9. Several development and welfare initiatives are being implemented in the region using the government fund and also making use of the CSR fund of the construction company, he told the state Assembly. The Union Environment Ministry, at the time of the signing of the contract, had directed to carry out rehabilitation initiatives to the tune of Rs 8.65 crore in the region, he said.But, the LDF government has adopted a positive policy towards the fishermen community and spent Rs 100 crore for rehabilitation alone, Devarkovil said during the question and answer session. The significant thing was that land of local fishermen had not been acquired in connection with the sea port project. The land of those who lived away from the seashore had been taken for the same, he explained. For all those who lost land in this way had been given compensation and those who lost houses were given five cents of land each, he added. The over 130-day-long protest by fisherfolk against the under-construction Vizhinjam sea port was on Tuesday called off for now after discussions between the leaders of the agitation and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. A large number of fisherfolk had been staging demonstrations outside the main entrance of the multi-purpose seaport at nearby Mulloor for the last more than four months. They attacked Vizhinjam police station on the night of November 27, injuring several policemen.

The News Minute 9 Dec 2022 4:20 pm

Assembly adjourned after ruling, Opposition MLAs clash over alleged 'political patronage' to 'drug mafia'

Mathew Kuzhalnadan (Congress) who gave the notice said 'lack of political will' and the 'political patronage' provided to the drug mafia were the reasons for the increase in narcotic cases.

The New Indian Express 9 Dec 2022 4:19 pm

NIA raids 3 locations of banned outfit PFI in Kerala & Karnataka

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) conducted searches at three locations in Kozhikode district of Kerala and Kalaburagi district of Karnataka in terror funding case involving PFI.

Web Dunia 9 Dec 2022 4:17 pm

Police register case against Twenty20 chiefand 5 others under SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act

The case was registered on December 8 under sections 3(1) (r) and 3 (1) (u) of the SC/ST Act based on a complaint filed by the Left MLA in the month of September.

The New Indian Express 9 Dec 2022 4:04 pm

Ruling LDF, Opposition UDF in War of Words in Kerala Assembly Over Drug Menace

The ruling LDF members raised their voice and tried to disrupt the speech of Leader of Opposition in the Assembly V D Satheesan when he referred to the alleged involvement of some activists of SFI and DYFI in recent drug-related cases

News18 9 Dec 2022 3:17 pm

Non-bailable case against Twenty20 chief Sabu M. Jacob on Kerala CPI(M) MLAs petition

The petition by CPI(M)s Kunnathunadu MLA P.V. Sreenijin accused among other things the usage of casteist slur in violation of various provisions of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act

The Hindu 9 Dec 2022 2:58 pm

Kerala Lottery Result Today: Nirmal NR 306 Result at 3 PM; How to Download PDF

Kerala Lottery Sambad: Download Nirmal NR 306 lottery result PDF from keralalotteries.com today.

The Quint 9 Dec 2022 2:46 pm

In Salem, Buddhists struggle to offer prayers to a Buddha once mistaken to be Muniappan

TNM Follow-up The Tamil Nadu HR&CE Department is planning to approach the High Court seeking a review of its order, citing that Hindus have been worshipping the Buddha statue as Thalaivetti Muniappan for many years. Nithya Pandian special arrangement December is the follow-up month at TNM where we go back to headlines of the past for a status update. In this series, we strive to bring focus back to promises made by governments, revisit official investigations that should have been completed by now and exhume issues of public interest that lost steam over time. On the full moon night of December 7, Friday, a group of Buddhists made their latest attempt to offer prayers at a shrine in Tamil Nadu's Salem district, where archaeologists have confirmed the existence of an ancient Buddha statue. As on previous occasions, their entry to the shrine currently run by Hindus who believe it to be a temple of Thalaivetti Muniappan was far from easy. Even as Hindus lit diyas (small oil lamps) and celebrated the Kartigai Deepam festival on the premises, despite a Madras High Court order explicitly barring the practice of Hindu rituals here, it was the Buddhists who were stopped and questioned on the way. Sevvaipetti SI Mariammal asked us to explain the purpose of our visit before letting us offer our prayers. This scenario has played out repeatedly over the past four months here, despite a court order declaring that the idol inside the temple is of Buddha, said Seevagan, deputy secretary of the Tamil Nadu Boutha Araneriyalar Sangam, Salem. The police officers on duty told us to send a letter to the Archaeological Department and ask them to take over the temple if we wanted to avoid such inquiries in the future, he said. On July 19, the Madras High Court had established that the archaeological and historical evidence submitted by the Tamil Nadu State Department of Archaeology (TNSDA) proved the statue at the shrine was indeed that of Buddha. It also ordered the TNSDA to erect a board on the temple premises stating the same, adding that poojas and other ceremonies should also not be allowed to be performed for the sculpture. The court further directed the Tamil Nadu Hindu Religious and Charity Endowment (HR&CE) Department, which manages the temple, to hand over the property to the TNSDA. Nearly five months later, with seemingly no initiative from the HR&CE Department to hand over the temple as per the court directive, the Buddhists who seek to offer prayers are forced to do so in the presence of police officials for fear of a law and order issue. Besides, according to the followers who visited the temple, no sign boards clarifying the Buddhist origins of the idol can also be found on the property still. The official court order arrived in August, more than four months ago. But still, the sign boards calling the property a Hindu temple are yet to be removed, alleged Seevagan. When TNM asked TNSDA Commissioner R Sivananthan about this, he said that the department had already installed a banner on the temple premises stating that the idol inside was of Buddha and Hindu rituals were not to be performed there. But the temple priest or local Hindu people might have removed it later, he said. We have requested the HR&CE Department to officially hand over the temple to us, but we are yet to receive a response, he added. TNSDA Banner One of the staunch opposers to the presence of Buddhists on the property is apparently a priest at the temple, Munusamy. Munusamy refuses to let us into the temple for prayers. He calls the police on us whenever we visit, Seevagan said. According to a report by The Federal, Munusamys father Balraj and grandfather Govindaraj Naidu used to do poojas for the temple idol. Ever since Govindaraj took over the temples care, the task of looking after the temple affairs and carrying out poojas became somewhat of a hereditary affair for the family, which explains Munusamys reluctance to let go of the temple. We are not visiting the temple to create a ruckus. We just go there every full moon to offer our prayers. But as the HR&CE department is yet to hand over the temple as per the court order, we have to be accompanied by the police. If the government fails to facilitate the temple handover by next month, we will go to the temple site ourselves to install the sign boards, Seevagan said. When asked about the delay in the handover of the temple, HR&CE Salem Joint Commissioner Mangayarkarasi told TNM that the department is planning to approach the court seeking a review of its order. Thalaivetti Muniappan, the deity in the temple, has been worshipped by Hindu devotees for many years. We have asked the court to review its verdict regarding the temple, she said. Mistaken identity The Madras High Courts landmark order was based on a petition filed by P Ranganathan and the Buddha Trust in Salem in 2011. According to Selvakumar, son of Ranganathan who is now no more, the Muniappan statue used to be worshipped under a tree for a very long time. The temple building was constructed in 2008, as part of which the workers had cleaned all the statues. My father, who was working in the area, had gone there simply to see the construction work. But when he came across the idol, he recognised it as a Buddha statue, he recalled. Selvakumar pointed out that Muniappan statues across the state, most of them located at borders of rural villages, were usually built on clay. But this was the only Muniappan that was carved out on hardstone, he said. The TNSDAs subsequent inspection of the temple on July 28 last year based on the directions received from the Madras High Court on November 20, 2017 cited more evidence to establish that the idol at the temple was indeed a Buddha statue. In its report, the TNSDA pointed out that the temple building is of modern origin and built with cement, bricks, and concrete, while the sculpture was covered with thick layers of sandal, kumkum, turmeric, ash, and oil. The departments iconographic study indicated that many of the idols features are those typically associated with Buddha statues. The sculpture is made of hard stone and the figure is seated on a lotus pedestal, its backside flat without any artistic ornamentation. The figure, which sits in a cross-legged (ardha padmasana) posture, measures 108 cm in height. Shoulder-to-shoulder length of the idol was noted as 58 cm. The hands form the dhyana mudra (meditation sign) often used in the representations of Buddha. The sculptures head too shows lakshanas (signature attributes) of Buddha, such as curly hair, presence of an ushnisha (a three-dimensional oval on the top of the Buddhas head), and elongated earlobes. The height of the ushnisha is 7 cm. Urna, a spiral or circular dot placed on the forehead of Buddhist images as an auspicious mark, however is not visible on the forehead. With these findings, the TNSDA in its report had arrived at the conclusion that the statue depicts several mahalakshanas (great traits) of the Buddha. After receiving this report, the Madras HC ruled that it would not be appropriate to permit the HR&CE Department to continue to treat this sculpture as that of Thalaivetti Muniappan. The mistaken identity cannot be allowed to continue after concluding that the sculpture is that of Buddha. In view of the same, the original status must be restored, and permitting the HR & CE department to continue to treat the sculpture as Thalaivetti Muniappan, will not be appropriate and will go against the very tenets of Buddhism, the court said. Decline of Buddhism The TNSDAs report had also stated that the head of the statue was severed from the torso, and later glued together with a mixture of cement and lime. But as the head was not attached properly to the torso during the reassembling process, it can be observed to be slightly twisted towards the left side of the body. This is how the idol seems to have received the name Thalaivetti Muniappan, with thalaivetti literally translating to beheaded in Tamil. But as prominent Tamil anti-caste activist Iyodhee Thass Pandithar had once pointed out, the decapitation of Buddha idols was a method historically used by adversaries of Buddhism in their alleged pursuit to eliminate all traces of the religion. He had also cited examples of temples like Madurai Pandi Muni and Salem Thalaivetti Munneswaram, where beheaded statues of Buddha were replaced with local deities. There was a time when Buddhism was very prevalent not only in Tamil Nadu, but across southern India. It was commonly practised in Kerala as well. But in Tamil Nadu, we currently dont have enough evidence to trace the details of its practice after the ninth century, said AK Perumal, a Tamil folklore researcher and historian. While there were some traces of Buddhism in the region during the Chozha period, it flourished during the Pallava period between the seventh and eighth centuries, he said. Kanchipuram was a prominent Buddhist learning centre in Tamil Nadu, he added. Perumal believes that the rigidity of the principles followed by Buddhists and Jains was one of the many reasons for the decline of these practices. These principles made them unpopular among the common people, and the flexibility of Shaivism and Vaishnavism took over, he said, adding that this, however, cannot be called the destruction of Buddhism. Buddhist temples or constructions were rarely destroyed. But the rituals underwent a change. The identity of the temple and the idols changed in accordance with the succeeding religions. Some Buddhist idols started to be worshipped as Muniappan, while Shasta idols came to be worshipped as Ayyanar in rural Tamil Nadu, he said. Read: Ambedkar's Buddha and his Dhamma in 2022: Undefined and evolving Though people in Tamil Nadu rarely associate Buddhism as a part of their cultural heritage, it should be noted that at least a small proportion of Pali (the sacred language of Theravda Buddhism) derivatives sit ingrained in the Tamil language. Many Buddhist writers have also contributed to post-Sangam literature. Buddhist clerics Prabodha Jnana and Abhaya Devi, who have visited 12 districts in the state since 2016 to study and document Buddhist sites, state in their website that the rocky town of Salem would have derived its name from the Pali word sela, which means rocks. The name Dharmapuri (the City of Dharma) too indicates that it was a Buddhist centre during the ancient days, the website says. Prabodha Jnana and Abhaya Devi note that the Tamil Nadu region used to have widespread presence of Buddhism in all forms, including Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana. In fact, many prominent Buddhist scholars and yogis such as Bodhidharma, Dignaga, Buddhaghosha, Dhammapala, Dharmakirthi, Chandrakirthi, and Dharmapala hailed from this region. According to Tibetan master Taranatha, Guru Padmasambhava stayed in the Tamil Nadu region for many years, where he taught Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism. There are also historical accounts of attempts to revive Theravada Buddhism in Sri Lanka in the 13th century by inviting monks from Tamil Nadu, Prabodha Jnana and Abhaya Devi state in their website. Sampath, a member of the Salem Buddha Trust, told TNM that along with the Thalaivetti Muniappan issue, they had also asked the government to restore a small Vihara (Buddhist monastery) in Reddiarpatti of Tirunelveli district in 2011. The organisation has urged the government to look after several places formerly known for its Buddhist practices, he said. In one of the petitions filed by the Trust, they have also demanded the recovery of an encroached land originally owned by the Buddha Mutt at Puthamangalam (Buddhamangalam) near Kilvelur in Nagapattinam. Even though there has been a rise in the search and discovery of Buddhist sites and idols in Tamil Nadu in recent years, the TNSDA has no data on how many such sculptures have actually been recovered so far. While the Ministry of Culture has been showing great interest in excavating historical sites to trace their Tamil History, its seeming negligence when it comes to conducting studies on and restoring the sites linked with Buddhism remains a sore point. Alleging that the governments way of handling the issue showed its anti-Buddhist stand, writer and Dalit rights activist Shalin Maria Lawrence said the Madras High Courts verdict has set a precedent in India and that more orders like this are likely to follow in the coming days. The state government, however, seems to be standing against the interest of Dalits and religious minorities. The government has taken the decision to file for a review to appease caste Hindus because many of the Buddhists seeking the handover of the temple are Dalits. This wouldn't have happened if they were from any other castes, she added. Ideally, the government should have ensured that the temple was handed over to the Buddhists within a few days after the court order, Shalin said. Alleging that HR&CEs delay in handing over the temple was contempt of court, she asked, If the delay is because they are considering the feelings of Hindus, doesn't this hurt the Buddhists? The Buddhists are visiting the temple without being informed about the departments review appeal. Does the government not think this could cause communal tension between Hindus and Buddhists? This could create enmity between them. Edited by Lakshmi Priya

The News Minute 9 Dec 2022 1:38 pm

Kerala Lottery 2022: Nirmal NR 306 lottery results to release at 3 pm, first prize Rs 70 lakh

Kerala Lottery 2022: Nirmal NR 306 lottery results to release at 3 pm, first prize Rs 70 lakh

Firstpost 9 Dec 2022 1:26 pm

Kerala Assembly erupts over alleged political patronage to the drug mafia; Speaker adjourns the House

The war of words transpired when the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) opposition moved an adjournment motion seeking to indict the government for failing to insulate students from drugs

The Hindu 9 Dec 2022 1:05 pm

Vizhinjam port to meet the deadline despite loss of 100 work days, says Kerala minister

The government has completed the work of building to provide skill training to the youth in order to make them employable.

The New Indian Express 9 Dec 2022 12:51 pm

Ruling Left Front vs Opposition UDF In Kerala Assembly Over Drug Menace

The Kerala Assembly on Friday witnessed a war of words between the ruling LDF and opposition UDF members over increasing drug abuse and connected violent incidents in the state, following which the...

NDTV 9 Dec 2022 12:41 pm

Kerala: Eight, including CPIMs youth wing leader, arrested for sexually abusing minor; shocking visuals discovered on the phone

Jinesh Jayan, a local leader of DYFI, the student wing of CPIM, was arrested by Kerala Police for sexually abusing a minor.

OpIndia 9 Dec 2022 12:22 pm

Joy ride in luxury car, shopping trip for 6-yr-old boy assaulted by man in Kerala's Kannur

Joy ride in luxury car shopping trip for yrold boy assaulted by man in Keralas Kannur

India Today 9 Dec 2022 12:18 pm

Iran Origin Geelani, Wanted To Disintegrate India, Says Governor Arif Khan

SRINAGAR: Terming Kashmir as crown of India, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan on Thursday hit out at Syed Ali Geelani and claimed that his ancestors had come to Kashmir after being forced out of their homes in Central Asia. After coming here (in Kashmir from Geelan in Iran), you (Geelani) wanted to disintegrate India into []

KashmirLife 9 Dec 2022 11:49 am

IFFK: People who work behind the scenes for the smooth conduct of the annual film festival in Thiruvananthapuram

Volunteers have an important role to play in the conduct of the International Film Festival of Kerala, which will be on till December 16 in Thiruvananthapuram

The Hindu 9 Dec 2022 11:39 am

Kerala Jobs 2022- Do You have M.Sc Degree, Apply now for vacant posts, Details are given below

SCTIMST has sought applications to fill the posts of Project Scientist (SCTIMST Recruitment 2022). The last date to apply for these posts (SCTIMST Recruitment 2022) is 20 December.

Naukrinama 9 Dec 2022 11:01 am

Kerala police begins probe after unqualified student attends MBBS classes

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala Police on Friday commenced a probe after a student, who did not even qualify for medical entrance examination, was found attending first year MBBS classes in the Kozhikode Medical College for a few days. Last month, the girl from Malappuram district had announced on social media that she had secured admission to Get the latest updates in Hyderabad City News , Technology , Entertainment , Sports , Politics and Top Stories on WhatsApp & Telegram by subscribing to our channels. You can also download our app for Android and iOS .

The Siasat Daily 9 Dec 2022 10:44 am

Green Tech! Kerala Startup Offers Web Platform To Plant & Track Trees, Wins Award In 'Climathon 2022'

Tree Tag is an initiative by a few climate-conscious persons from Kerala to increase tree planting transparency and assure tree survival. At the Kerala Startup Mission's (KSUM) Climathon competition, the concept won 5 lakh cash grand prize.

The LogicaI Indian 9 Dec 2022 10:22 am

249 fresh COVID-19 cases in India

New Delhi, Dec 9: India recorded 249 fresh coronavirus infections on Friday, while the number of active cases declined further to 4,228, according to Union health ministry data. With this, the total number of COVID-19 cases in the country stands at 4,46,74,439. The death toll has climbed to 5,30,653 with six fatalities reconciled by Kerala, the data updated at 8 am stated. No deaths were reported in the last 24 hours. The active cases comprise 0.01 per cent of the [] The post 249 fresh COVID-19 cases in India appeared first on Jammu Kashmir Latest News | Tourism | Breaking News J&K .

Daily Excelsior 9 Dec 2022 10:04 am

LIVE UPDATES: Kerala Lottery Sambad NIRMAL NR-306 Result for December 9; Winners List

LIVE UPDATES Kerala Lottery Result Today: Heres guessing numbers for Nirmal NR-306 Lottery Result for Friday, December 9. Check LIVE Updates from 3 PM as and when its announced by the Kerala State Lottery Department

News18 9 Dec 2022 9:31 am

Suraj Venjaramoodu thriller Roy explores a man with a fascinating psyche

Review Rooted in a police investigation, Sunil Ibrahims Roy is an exciting exploration of its protagonists subconscious. Lakshmi Priya Suraj Venjaramoodu as Roy The titular character in Roy, director Sunil Ibrahims latest Malayalam film now screening on SonyLIV, is arguably one of the most interesting protagonists Malayalam cinema has seen in a while. Living with a disorder that no doctor has been able to diagnose so far, Roy treads a fine line between dreams and reality. Suraj Venjaramoodu is convincing as Roy, a middle-aged man who has come to terms with his complex reality over the years. It is only with his much younger wife Teena, played by a charming Sija Rose, that he can afford to be his true self. The visions he manifests in his dreams, intertwined with his imagination, are as convincing to Roy as the existence of his own self. He is awkward, always unsure if his understanding of the person across him comes from their interactions with him or just his own subconscious ideations. But when lives are at stake and a police investigation is underway, can he trust his mind to tell him the truth? As the romantic Roy who has developed an intense and fathomless bond with his wife, however, Suraj seems to struggle. While his counterpart Sija slips into this dynamic with ease, Suraj appears rather stoic and awkward with displays of affection, a trait out of sync with what the duos relationship seeks to represent. As the desperate husband seeking to separate his dreams from the tangible for his wifes sake, however, the actor is completely in form. Shine Tom Chacko makes an interesting appearance as CI Ajith Easwar, a police officer distrustful of, yet intrigued by Roy. Ajith is a realist who doesnt want to accept what is right before his eyes the fact there might be more to Roys delusions than he wants to believe. The dynamic between the duo is one of the most interesting aspects of the film. Jins Baskar and Riya Saira also appear in notable roles in Roy. The music by Gopi Sundar doesnt stand out but seamlessly blends in with the narrative that consistently takes centre stage. Roys climax does leave a few things to be explored further. The film, written by its director Sunil, could also have placed more trust in the audience and cut down on the over-explanation of some plot points. Besides, though the conflict of the film is a missing case and the police investigation surrounding it, Roy is not as much a thriller as it is an exploration of its eponymous protagonists psyche. The film itself doesnt appear to aspire more than that. Unfortunately, this leaves the plot struggling to live up to the expectations raised by this intriguing man and his fascinating subconscious. Disclaimer: This review was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the film. Neither TNM nor any of its reviewers have any sort of business relationship with the film's producers or any other members of its cast and crew.

The News Minute 9 Dec 2022 9:27 am

Top Kerala News developments today

Key news developments in Kerala on Dec 9, Friday

The Hindu 9 Dec 2022 9:26 am

Bollywood Buzz:Kapil Sharma's film Zwigato has got another achievement, read here to know...

Kapil Sharma's film 'Zwigato' is now going to premiere at the 27th International Film Festival of Kerala. Kapil Sharma starrer Zwigato has added another feather to its cap after its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and its Asian premiere at the Busan International Film Festival. Applause Entertainment and Nandita Das' Zwigato will now premiere in India at the 27th International Film Festival of Kerala. The film will be screened as the opening film in the Kaleidoscope section of the festival. Written and directed by Nandita Das, the film stars Kapil Sharma as a delivery food rider. Along with Kapil Sharma, the film also stars actress Shahana Goswami, who plays his wife. Set in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, the film depicts the struggle of an ordinary family in the aftermath of the Covid pandemic. 27th International Film Festival will be organized from December 9 to December 16 in Trivandrum, Kerala.

Kalam Times 9 Dec 2022 8:46 am

After Torontoand Busan, Nandita Das Zwigato to premiere at IFFK

Nandita Das Zwigato starring Kapil Sharma will have its Indian premiere at the 27th International Film Festival of Kerala.

The New Indian Express 9 Dec 2022 7:54 am

HS Prannoy loses to China`s Lu Guang Zu in Bangkok

The 30-year-old from Kerala, who had lost to the same opponent in his only meeting at the French Open this year, put up a brave effort but couldnt go the distance, losing 21-23, 21-17, 19-21 in a gruelling 84-minute contest

Mid Day 9 Dec 2022 7:48 am

Hot beverages feel the heat of milk price hike

The Tea Shop Owners Association of Tamil Nadu had hiked the price of hot beverages following the increase in milk prices in the state.

The New Indian Express 9 Dec 2022 5:35 am

Lok Ayukta can continue probe into graft charges in PPE kit purchase: Kerala HC

The complainant alleged large-scale corruption and embezzlement in the procurement of PPE kits and other surgical equipment during the pandemic period.

The New Indian Express 9 Dec 2022 5:33 am

Central defaults addto Keralas social-security payment concerns

About Rs 900 crore is required for monthly payments to 52.50 lakh social-security pensioners and seven lakh pensioners under various welfare fund boards.

The New Indian Express 9 Dec 2022 5:30 am

She in, transgender can wait

Kerala government on Thursday announced a historic decision to include the word she along with he while referring to individuals in new legislations.

The New Indian Express 9 Dec 2022 5:27 am

Kerala Assembly passes Bill for liquor price hike

Finance Minister K N Balagopal blamed the central government for the price rise.

The New Indian Express 9 Dec 2022 5:23 am

Celebration of Serbian New Wave at IFFK

IFFK artistic director Deepika Suseelan said irrespective of genre, thereare quality films that primarily belong to the Serbian New Wave film movement.

The New Indian Express 9 Dec 2022 5:13 am

Change of guard at helm of IFFK

Beena Paul, a veteran whose name has been synonymous with the IFFK, will no longer by the fests artistic director.

The New Indian Express 9 Dec 2022 5:09 am

Kerala: Over 1 lakhnew enterprises, 2 lakhjobs in eight months

Most new enterprises in agri, food-processing sectors, says state industries department

The New Indian Express 9 Dec 2022 5:01 am

T'gana 2nd in country in own tax income GSDP share

At 8% own tax income share of Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) for budget estimates for this fiscal, Telangana is second only to UP (10.3%) in the country, according to the recent 'State of Finance Report (2022-23)'. The two states are followed by Jharkhand (also 8%), Kerala (7.9%) and Haryana (7.5%). The average GSDP-to-own-income ratio in the country is 6%.

The Times of India 9 Dec 2022 4:56 am

Missing Rahul Gandhi may be behind hand-slide

The rout in Gujarat, coming on the back of losses in winnable states like Left-ruled Kerala and BJP-ruled Uttarakhand, and in Assam and Goa, indicate that the Congress has struggled to play catch up in states where the contest is bipolar.

The Times of India 9 Dec 2022 4:01 am

Geelani came from Iran, wanted to disintegrate India: Arif Khan

J&K is crown of India Excelsior Correspondent JAMMU, Dec 8: Terming Kashmir as crown of India, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan today hit out at those, who were instrumental in eruption of separatism and terrorism in Kashmir and said that they had come from outside to Kashmir after being forced out of their homes in Central Asia. Click here to watch video He said that India is not a piece of land but a strong thought. After coming here (in [] The post Geelani came from Iran, wanted to disintegrate India: Arif Khan appeared first on Jammu Kashmir Latest News | Tourism | Breaking News J&K .

Daily Excelsior 9 Dec 2022 3:11 am

ISL: NorthEast United appoint Vincenzo Alberto Annese as new head coach after parting ways with Marco Balbul

Former Gokulam Kerala FC head coach Annese will take over from predecessor Balbul, who parted ways with the Highlanders earlier in the day.

Firstpost 8 Dec 2022 11:19 pm

ISL 2022-23: Vincenzo Alberto Annese Appointed as New NorthEast United FC Boss

Annese guided Gokulam Kerala FC to back-to-back I-League titles from 2020-22. They were the first Indian club to achieve this feat, and under his watchful eyes, the side also featured in the AFC Cup

News18 8 Dec 2022 11:14 pm

Lucknow court frames charges against journalist Siddique Kappan, 6 others

A court here has framed charges against jailed Kerala-based journalist Siddique Kappan and six other people in a Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) case. Special Judge of Enforcement Directorate (ED) matters Sanjay Shankar Pandey asked the federal agency to produce its witnesses before the court on December 17. Besides Kappen, the other accused in the case are KA Rauf Sherif, Atikur Rahman, Masud Ahmad, Mohammad Alam, Abdul Razzak and Ashraf Khadir. The ED had booked Kappan in the PMLA case for allegedly obtaining money from a foreign country illegally and utilising it in acts against the interest of the nation. Kappan was arrested along with three others on October 6, 2020 while they were on their way to Hathras in Uttar Pradesh to report on the alleged gang rape and killing of a 19-year-old woman. He has been in jail since then. Police had initially booked the journalist for offences under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). Subsequently, the ED also lodged a

Business Standard 8 Dec 2022 10:58 pm

PFI conspiracy case: NIA raids three locations in Kerala, Karnataka

The National Investigation Agency on Thursday conducted searches at three locations in Kerala and Karnataka in connection with a criminal conspiracy by the PFI to carry out terror activities in the country, an official said. The raids were carried out in Kozhikode district of Kerala and Kalaburagi district of Karnataka and led to the seizure of incriminating materials, including digital devices and various documents, a spokesperson of the NIA said. The official said the searches were carried out in connection with a case registered suo motu by the federal agency against the proscribed Popular Front of India (PFI) on April 13. The case pertains to the criminal conspiracy hatched by the office bearers, members and cadres of PFI, to raise and collect funds within India and abroad to commit or get committed acts of terror in different parts of the country, including Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, and Delhi. It was also revealed that the accused persons were conducting

Business Standard 8 Dec 2022 10:48 pm

PFI conspiracy case: NIA raids 3 locations in Kerala, Karnataka - Deccan Herald

PFI conspiracy case: NIA raids 3 locations in Kerala, Karnataka Deccan Herald

Google News 8 Dec 2022 10:41 pm

Court frames charges against Siddique Kappan

A court in Lucknow has framed charges against jailed Kerala-based journalist Siddique Kappan and six other people in a Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) case.

The Times of India 8 Dec 2022 10:35 pm

Kerala: UDF holds protest to stop backdoor appointments,restart life mission in Kottayam

United Democratic Front (UDF) has staged a state-level protest against the Kerala Government on December 08 to stop the backdoor appointments and to restart life mission project (house for the poor people). The protest is led by the former CM of Kerala KC Joseph and is taking place in Front of Kottayam Collectorate.

The Times of India 8 Dec 2022 10:26 pm

NIA conducts searches in two states in case related to PFI

New Delhi: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has conducted searches at three locations in Kozhikode district of Kerala and Kalaburagi district of Karnataka in connection with a terror case related to the PFI. The case pertains to the criminal conspiracy hatched by the office bearers, members and cadres of the Popular Front of India (PFI), Get the latest updates in Hyderabad City News , Technology , Entertainment , Sports , Politics and Top Stories on WhatsApp & Telegram by subscribing to our channels. You can also download our app for Android and iOS .

The Siasat Daily 8 Dec 2022 10:00 pm

Kerala cops melodious rendition of AR Rahman song Munbe Va will fill your heart with joy. Watch

Kerala cops melodious rendition of AR Rahman song Munbe Va will fill your heart with joy Watch

India Today 8 Dec 2022 9:45 pm

LG addresses Message of Humanity Conference organised by Dogra Sadar Sabha

Jammu, Dec 8: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha today addressed the Message of Humanity Conference organised by Dogra Sadar Sabha, J&K. The Conference was presided over by Honble Governor of Kerala, Shri Arif Mohammed Khan. Arif Mohammed Khan in his presidential address spoke elaborately on the message of different religions. He said Secularism has been a core characteristic of India society since ages and organisations like Dogra Sadar Sabha represent the inherent values and traditions of our ancient Indian culture. Prosperity [] The post LG addresses Message of Humanity Conference organised by Dogra Sadar Sabha appeared first on Jammu Kashmir Latest News | Tourism | Breaking News J&K .

Daily Excelsior 8 Dec 2022 9:27 pm

Work On Adani's $900 Million Kerala Port Restarts As Villagers End Protest

Construction on a $900 million port in Kerala resumed today after protesters from a mainly Christian fishing village ended a blockade of the Adani Group site.

NDTV 8 Dec 2022 8:45 pm

Kerala General Sales Tax (Amendment) Bill passed

It envisions a 4% hike in the tax on foreign liquor to compensate for a waiver of the 5% turnover tax on distilleries

The Hindu 8 Dec 2022 8:17 pm

One lakh new enterprises set up in eight months in Kerala, says Rajeeve

2,20,500 jobs created, 6,282 crore of investment brought in, says Industries Minister

The Hindu 8 Dec 2022 8:02 pm

IFFK highlights: Silent films with live piano, 32 female directors, LGBTQIA+ narratives

IFFK The International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) will be held between December 9 and 16, across various theatres in Keralas Thiruvananthapuram. Cris Delegates have fun at the previous edition of IFFK On December 7, a Wednesday, there are just a few odd people hovering around the make-shift film festival offices at the Tagore Theatre. A vast campus placed at an enviable spot in Thiruvananthapuram, the premise will turn into a whole different place in the next two days. December 9 is the first day of the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK), which will be held across different venues in the capital city of Thiruvananthapuram. Owing to COVID-19 the last two editions suffered delayed schedules, making this the second fest to happen in a year. But going back to its routine, the IFFK is ready to welcome 12,000 and more delegates into its fold this December. It was not easy, says the new artistic director of the festival, Deepika Suseelan. We had only two and a half months in all to do the whole programme. By that, she means everything from inviting entries to selecting movies to fixing a jury and accommodating the guests. The last IFFK, held in March this year, was handled by renowned film editor Bina Paul Venugopal, a veteran in overseeing the IFFK, having been the artistic director for most of its 27 editions. Deepika, with her experience of handling three back-back-back IFFIs (International Film Festival of India), which happens in Goa every November, and an edition of the IFFK in 2014, says it is a misconception that all the selection is done from the movies sent in applications. Only the Indian and Malayalam cinema sections come through applications. But the majority of the world cinema and competition films are chosen after a lot of research, scouting through previous festivals, using contacts, and convincing those who are little reachable to come, she says. Deepika Suseelan She is glad that many big names could make it despite the last-minute planning. Bela Tarr, a legendary filmmaker from Hungary, is one of the people who agreed to come despite health issues. He will be receiving thelifetime achievement award this year, and six of his films have been included in a package charmingly titled, The Melancholy Worlds of Bela Tarr. This is a filmmaker who began with ordinary films for ordinary people and then fell into stories of pessimism. Silent films with piano and Serbian masterpieces Another promising package is the series of silent films in two different sections. One of these is coming with live piano, by Jonny Best, resident pianist at the BFI Southbank, a cinema house in the UK. It will begin with the screening of the German horror film, Nosferatu, a straight-off-the-coffin vampire film from a hundred years ago, made by the legendary FM Murnau. Murnau, who died in 1931, has a separate package, apart from Jonny's five. Poster of Nosferato/ IFFK It is also new to IFFK that Serbia becomes the country of focus this time. At a fest that mostly focuses on films from Latin America, Asia, and African countries each year, the newest and best works from a different nation become a highlight every year. Serbia as a country of focus has not been done before. Neither were Serbian films chosen for any recent big film festivals. And the IFFK is a festival that always initiates things. Films like the Working Class Heroes from Serbia blow you away. We have also included four of Emir Kusturicas movies, Deepika says. Emir, a maestro from Serbia, is known for telling stories of people from the margins. 32 films by women filmmakers There are 32 films by female directors in a fest that features more than 185 movies from 17 countries. That was not a planned move, Deepika says. The only consideration came in reaching out to as many women filmmakers as possible to bring their works to the decision table, she adds. After that, there is no special consideration and no woman filmmaker demands it. They make great films. As a rule, I dont look at the filmmaker's name while watching films and taking a call, so there is no bias. I was amazed when 32 names came to the final list. You should watch films like Night Siren, written by a woman and directed by another. It is just wonderful. On the other hand, I was surprised to see that a film like A room of my own was done by a male filmmaker, she says. Unruly, by Danish filmmaker Malou Reymann, is among the 32 films by women directors Of the movies she mentions, Night Siren is a horror drama about a Slovakian woman who goes back to her hometown to solve the mysteries of her childhood, while A Room of my own is a Georgian film about a woman who rents a room from another and discovers what it is like to be free. LGBTQIA+ centric films As always, 14 films are in the competition category, two of these in Malayalam, and another two from other Indian languages. Lijo Jose Pellisserys first Mammootty film, Nanpakal Nerathu Mayakkam, will have its premiere while Mahesh Narayanans Ariyippu, which has already been to festivals, will feature in the competition category. A Manipuri film called Our Home and a Hindi film called A place of our own are the other Indian films in competition. The latter is about the struggle of two transgender persons in finding a home. The fest includes quite a few films on the LGBTQIA+ community. Deepika mentions Paloma, a Brazillian film about a transexual woman who decides to get married in a church, and Lord of the Ants, a biopic on Italian poet and playwright Aldo Braibanti, who was jailed in 1968 under an anti-gay law. Lord of the Ants Two categories celebrating golden jubilees are one for Adoor Gopalakrishnans Swayamvaram, and another is a retrospective for American scriptwriter Paul Schrader. Ninety-three-year-old Alejandro Jodorowsky, making Chilean-French avant-garde films, also gets a package. Read: Legacy of Adoors debut film Swayamvaram lives on 50 years since its release Special screenings including restored classics last editions Kummatty still lingers in the mind auteur odes, and the midnight screening of a horror film (an Indonesian one, aptly titled Satans Slaves), are all to look forward to. The only thing left to decide is the guest for the opening day, December 9. Sadly, Mahnaz Mohammadi, the Iranian filmmaker who was declared the winner of IFFKs Spirit of Cinema award, cannot make it. The opening film is however fixed a French feature titled Tori and Lokita, from the Dardenne brothers. Deepika says it is unlike their usually slow-paced films on a big canvas. This is a shorter canvas and a more paced one. Quite a few cute and fun-to-watch films are there, she promises. The IFFK ends on December 16.

The News Minute 8 Dec 2022 7:57 pm

Kashmir crown of India: Kerala Guv Arif Mohammad Khan

Jammu: Kashmir is the crown of India, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan said on Thursday and hit out at those instrumental in the eruption of separatism and terrorism in the Valley. He also hit out at separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani and claimed that his ancestors had come to Kashmir after being forced out Get the latest updates in Hyderabad City News , Technology , Entertainment , Sports , Politics and Top Stories on WhatsApp & Telegram by subscribing to our channels. You can also download our app for Android and iOS .

The Siasat Daily 8 Dec 2022 7:31 pm

Kerala To Himachal Pradesh; Top 5 Destinations For Your New Year Vacation

Countless locations in the nation are worth including on your 2023 travel wish list. Prepare to explore these places on your long weekend getaway

News18 8 Dec 2022 7:29 pm

New member of apex court e-committee assumes charge

She was working as Registrar (computerisation) and Director (IT) of the Kerala High Court

The Hindu 8 Dec 2022 7:26 pm

Eight more floating bridges coming up to promote beach tourism in Kerala, says Riyas

Tourism department is taking a cue from the one set up at Beypore beach in Kozhikode

The Hindu 8 Dec 2022 7:24 pm

Adani's $900 million Indian port build restarts as villagers end protest

India - Construction on a $900 million port in Kerala, southern India resumed on Thursday after protesters from a mainly Christian fishing village ended a blockade of the Adani Group site.

The Economic Times 8 Dec 2022 6:56 pm

Kerala HC upholds Lok Ayuktas probe against ex-minister KK Shailaja

Kerala HC upholds Lok Ayuktas probe against exminister KK Shailaja

India Today 8 Dec 2022 6:50 pm

Kerala Releases Revised Action Plan On Climate Change, To Become 100% Renewable Energy-Based State By 2040

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan intends to make Kerala a 100% renewable energy-based state by 2040 and a net carbon-neutral state by 2050. The State Administration and French Development Agency inked a contract for a performance-based loan of 100 million euros.

The LogicaI Indian 8 Dec 2022 6:48 pm

Job scheme wages pending since Oct. due to non-allocation by Centre: Minister

Union government owes 422.14 crore in Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme wages to Kerala

The Hindu 8 Dec 2022 6:39 pm

Kapil Sharma starrer Zwigato to feature at International Film Festival of Kerala. Read more here

Kapil Sharma's Zwigato will get its Indian premiere at the International Film Festival of Kerala.

The Economic Times 8 Dec 2022 6:13 pm

CIAL is public authority, falls under ambit of RTI: Kerala High Court

During the hearing of the matter, CIAL had contended that it was not a public authority as the Kerala government has no control over its decisions which are taken by the Board of Directors.

The New Indian Express 8 Dec 2022 5:57 pm

IFFK: 27th edition of International Film Festival of Kerala kicks off in Thiruvananthapuram on Friday

With the IFFK now back to its full-fledged version, after floods and the pandemic, the Kerala State Chalachitra Academy, the festival organisers, is gearing up to put up its best show yet

The Hindu 8 Dec 2022 5:51 pm

Kerala to Create Women-friendly Tourism Network

More than 1000 women have already registered in the programme, being implemented by the Responsible Tourism Mission with an objective to make the state a complete woman-friendly tourism destination

News18 8 Dec 2022 5:13 pm

Kerala HC directs former Minister KK Shailaja to reply to Lokayukta

Health The court directed the former minister and 11 others to file their replies before the Lokayukta probing allegations of corruption in buying equipment, including Covid PPE kits, during the Covid pandemic in 2020. IANS The Kerala High Court on December 8, Thursday directed former state Health Minister KK Shailaja and 11 others to file their replies before the Lokayukta probing allegations of corruption in buying equipment, including Covid PPE kits, during the Covid pandemic in 2020. A division bench of Chief Justice S Manikumar and Justice Shaji P Chaly ordered all those named in the petition to file their response within two weeks. Congress leader Veena Nair, who was a candidate at the 2021 Assembly polls in the state capital city constituency had approached the Lokayukta with a complaint of widespread allegations of corruption which was brought out by the media about purchases made during the pandemic in 2020. PPE kits which ought to have cost around Rs 500 were purchased for Rs 1,500 is the major allegation and the Lokayukta after conducting a preliminary probe has sent notices to Shailaja and 11 others to appear before them on December 8. This Lokayukta notice was challenged by Shailaja and others including state government officials. But the court after going through their petition ruled that the Lokayukta has the right to go forward with the case and at the time of the preliminary investigation, the court is not going to interfere. The court also said during the time of a pandemic, none should think anyone can do anything and why is there a fear about the probe. The people should know the truth as the complaint is that PPE kits were purchased at a high price, the court said. Ever since this controversy surfaced, Shailaja has maintained that the need of the hour then was to act quickly to save lives and that the purchases were made with the Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's approval. Incidentally, when Vijayan retained power in the April 2021 Assembly polls, the biggest shocker came when Vijayan did not retain any of his party ministers from the outgoing government, including Shailaja.

The News Minute 8 Dec 2022 5:12 pm

Kerala HC Asks Covid 'Shero' Shailaja To Reply To Lok Ayukta

There have been strong allegations against K.K. Shailaja and 11 others for corruption in purchasing several pieces of equipment and other Covid essentials such as PPE kits, during the Covid pandemic.

News18 8 Dec 2022 5:03 pm

Floating sea bridges to come up in eight more coastal districts to attract tourists in Kerala

A floating bridge was set up by the state tourism department at Beypore beach earlier this year to enable visitors to walk along with waves.

The New Indian Express 8 Dec 2022 3:58 pm

K-Rail Not Shelved, Says Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan in Assembly

Pinarayi Vijayan was replying to the adjournment motion moved by the Congress legislator Roji M.John.

News18 8 Dec 2022 3:51 pm