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    With 56 Children & 7 Wives, Kerala’s Oldest Sexologist Proves His Potions Work


    Malayalees who grew up in 1970s and 80s should be familiar with this little rectangular advertisement in newspapers: M.S. Sarkar Dispensary, cure for low libido, erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation.

    As boys we eyed the ads surreptitiously, as they, with the picture of a grim doctor…

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    How Hindutva Made a Breakthrough in Kerala


    Hindutva, which had experienced decades of electoral drought in Kerala, struck pay dirt when in last week's elections the Bharatiya Janata Party won a seat in the 140-member State Assembly for the first time, came close to snatching a second, and ended up as the first runner-up in six other constituencies.

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    Bowing Out


    Finally, V.S. Achuthanandan has shown signs of mellowing down.

    When the party chose his rival Pinarayi Vijayan as the next Kerala chief minister, V.S. opted not to fight for the position, though his body language exuded a tinge of despair. In fact, he had given enough hints over the past several…

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    Time to Smile


    In the end, Pinarayi Vijayan smiled.

    In an interview with Tehelka magazine last year, Vijayan had said, "by stubbornness, do you presume that I never smile? No, I do smile, but that'is only when I have reason to do so."

    Reasons, he has aplenty these days.

    The man who has led…

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    Election 2016: Beginning of a Tectonic Shift


    The outcome of the Kerala assembly election underscores a rather disturbing trend: religion has become a decisive political factor in the state, more than ever.

    It's not just the string of corruption scandals which rocked the Oommen Chandy government that helped the Left Democratic Front romp…

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    A Wish List for the New Kerala Government


    The most bitterly fought election Kerala has seen in decades is over now. In many ways, this could be a watershed election. If the state witnesses a continuation of the United Democratic Front rule, it will be the first time in about four decades an incumbent government is retaining power. If the…

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    Living Through Deadly Heat


    "Hey, do you want to do a story from Punalur?," when my editor threw this question, I didn't know his real intentions. I grabbed it, since the town wasn't too far away from where I live. "We want to do a story on how people in Punalur are coping with this summer. So just go there, meet lots of them,…

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    Election 2016: A Cliffhanger in Making As BJP Pushes for First Kerala Win


    All the elections in Kerala have been fought between the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) and CPI (M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF), who have ruled the state alternately, riding on a nearly characteristic anti-incumbent wave. But this time, the Bharatiya Janata Party is bent on throwing…

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    Beasts on the Prowl


    The gruesome rape and murder of Jisha, the law student from Perumbavoor, on the afternoon of April 28 have once again drawn attention to the way we treat women who constitute one half of the population of Kerala. The incident comes as yet another one in a series of episodes of violence against women…

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    Election 2016: Who’s Got it Right & Who’s Got it Wrong So Far


    We are just a fortnight away from what looks like an epic assembly election in Kerala. Unlike in the past three decades when the outcome was more or less a foregone conclusion – the incumbent parties would be voted out – this time any prediction carries the risk of sticking your neck…

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    Inheritance of Mistakes


    One of the reasons why the Puttingal Temple officials wanted to go ahead with fireworks display on the fateful day, we are told, was that pyrotechnics were a part of the temple ritual. When the fireworks at Thrissur Pooram just after the Puttingal tragedy was called to question, we again heard the…

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    The Tragedies We Create


    When about a dozen people lost their lives in a boat accident off Fort Kochi last year, Justice K. Narayana Kurup felt a sense of righteous anger. He wished the government had heeded his recommendations.

    Heading the commission that investigated the Kumarakom boat tragedy in 2002 that killed…

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    Battling My Social Media Addiction


    Is it possible to quit social media? It seemed a mission impossible for me, a 20-year-old who survived on all kind of websites, subreddits and 4chan tags. But it hit me a few weeks ago that I was living a virtual life on my gadgets, and it's taking a toll on my relationships. I was meeting my friends…

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    Questions After a Tragedy


    Debates about fireworks, parading of elephants and opulent religious festivals are raging in social media in the wake of the Paravur tragedy that killed more than 100 people yesterday. But what this disaster sadly underscores is a larger malice that has been plaguing our society for a long time:…

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    Death by Spectacle


    We never learn.

    More than 750 accidents related to fireworks had happened in Kerala in the past two decades, killing at least 300 people. Hundreds of people were maimed in these mishaps, according to a report in SouthLive. Yet, we let the deadliest of such disaster to happen this morning.…

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    Adding More Comedians & Villains to Our Political Theatre


    Some actors in Kerala are in denial mode now, as trolls of political parties manipulated their images via Photoshop for election campaigning. While these actors are denying any political affiliations as if politics was a piece of filthy hot metal, some of their colleagues have announced their intentions…

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    Choose Your Jeweler, Not Your Man: The Regressive World of Kerala Ads


    An advertisement which seeks to 'succinctly' capture a young Malayalee girl's rite of passage into marriage, and in the process made me sit up in consternation, can be taken as the starting point of this train of thought. The beautiful, young girl in the advertisement is of course an empowered woman…

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    The Plight of Malayalees Among Gods, Demigods, Superstars and a Super Mouse


    Interesting time, we live in.

    It is a rare confluence of the religious cult, political shenanigans, sexual pervasion, and the many histrionics of the hypocrites and the opportunists.

    We've recently read in newspapers that a temple is being planned at Attingal, near Thiruvananthapuram,…