The Kerala “Gulf Boom” refers to the mass migration of a large number of people from the Indian state of Kerala to the Gulf Countries from 1972 to 1983. The movement of many migrant workers from Kerala to the Gulf Countries continues to the present day. By 2008, the Gulf countries contained a total Keralite population of more than 2.5 million, who annually send home a sum of around $ 6.81 billion (US), which was more than 15% of the total Remittance to India in 2008. And were 15 to 18 times the size of foreign exchange earned from the export of cashew and marine products. Forty-two per cent of Malayalis in the Gulf countries are Muslims.
Director Kamal, in two of his critically acclaimed movies, based on true stories, gives us the Muslim women’s side of the Gulf Boom story, from both sides.
Gadhamma (“Housemaid”) showcases the life of a Muslim woman who is employed as maid-servant in a wealthy Arab household and falls prey to Saudi Arabia’s modern slavery. Perumazhakkalam (“The season of heavy rains”) depicts the plight of Gulf wives, predominantly Muslims, who are left behind in Kerala, while their husbands work abroad.
Both the movies have Saudi Arabia, and its Shariah rule, as their background. [Read more...]