Prominent cultural persons have called upon the government to take urgent steps to bring out the truth about the allegations against the Mata Amritanandamayi Math by Gail Tredwell, a former inmate of the Math and author of a book alleging rape and financial irregularities at the Math.

In a statement released over e-mail for publication, Jnanpith-winning writer O.N.V. Kurup, writer Paul Zacharia, media persons and commentators Sashi Kumar and B.R.P. Bhaskar and Swami Sandeepanandagiri took strong exception to what they termed ‘concerted attempts’ to block publication of reports relating to the allegations raised by Ms. Tredwell.

“There were attacks on media institutions that published reports relating to this. The Math authorities sent a lawyer’s notice to the Kairali TV seeking stoppage of an interview with Gail. Attempts were also on to divert attention by distorting and communalising the issue. Such moves are an assault on the people’s right to information. Regardless of whether they have spiritual or material concerns, all institutions should function in a transparent manner and should be subject to public scrutiny. Even in States that are backward as compared to Kerala, public persons, including spiritual leaders, were subjecting themselves to such scrutiny. Notably, in Kerala itself, such scrutiny has taken place in respect of other religious institutions. The silence being maintained by mainstream media and political parties on this issue should be viewed with seriousness. (We) point out that the government has the responsibility to bring out the truth about allegations concerning the Math,” the statement said.