Kanye West tweets about Mata Amritanandamayi, says we all need more hugs


If musician Kanye West's Twitter account took on a human form, it would be the brain of Andy Warhol on acid. From surreal to downright puzzling, Kanye West's Twitter account has been on a spree the past few months, making philosophical passes at everything that moved and breathed. 

On Tuesday, Kanye West tweetd about Mata Amritanandamayi, a spiritual leader based out of Vallikkavu in Kerala, whom her devotees affectioantely refer to as amma (mother). "Amma Mata had given over 32 million hugs," he tweeted with a picture of Mata Amritanandamayi. Sometimes, we all need hugs." 

Located 90km from the Kerala state capital of Thiruvananthapuram, Mata Amritanandamayi ashram in Amritapuri was built more than 30 years ago. It was in a cow shed that Mata Amritanandamayi—known for hugging her devotees—met her early devotees. Now, many of Mata Amritanandamayi's devotees are from Australia, Europe and the Americas.

Every year Mata Amritanandamayi travels to different countries to offer insights on global issues and guide people towards emotional fulfilment. Said Mata Amritanandamayi, in an earlier interview to THE WEEK: “We have speakers, poets and writers who talk and describe love in beautiful flowery language. But words without heart have no effect. In reality, love and compassion cannot be taught. They can only be expressed through soul-transforming actions. What today’s world needs is inspiring examples—perfect role models, people who can walk the talk.”

In Africa, Mata Amritanandamayi has ashrams in Kenya, Mauritius and Reunion Island. In the US, her ashrams are located in states such as California, Iowa, Michigan, New Mexico, Arkansas and Washington, DC. 

Mata Amritanandamayi's Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre (AIMS) is planning to establish telemedicine centres in Nepal. Last December, Mata Amritanandamayi's doctors organised an eye camp in Burkina Faso and performed 219 cataract surgeries in nine days in the second largest district of the country, Bobo Dioulasso. 

Innocent tweets aside, the Kanye West controversy saga had taken a leap when, in an interview with entertainment site TMZ, he made a remark on slavery that took the internet by storm. Kanye West said: “When you hear about slavery for 400 years, that sounds like a choice. You was there for 400 years and it's all of y'all. It's like we're mentally in prison.” Kanye West did not stop there as he said, "I like the word prison because slavery goes too direct to the idea of blacks. Slavery is to blacks as the Holocaust is to Jews. Prison is something that unites as one race the blacks and whites."

The interview took place in TMZ headquarters and Kanye West proceeded to address his thoughts to the entire office. He was pretty vocal about his opinion on slavery without once thinking of the consequences. But when Kanye West asked the office whether they thought he was a free thinker, one of the employees named Van Lathan slammed him. Lathan said, “Kanye West, you are entitled to your opinions. You are entitled to believe whatever you want, but there is fact and real life consequences behind everything that you just said.” He shut down Kanye West by saying that while he lived the privileged life of a “genius”, the rest of society dealt with the marginalisation caused by 400 years of slavery. He continued to express his disappointment in Kanye West’s ignorant remark on slavery being a choice for their people.

Although Kanye West apologized to Lathan, the damage was already done. He sparked outrage all over the place. Journalist Don Lemon and radio host Ebro Darde reacted saying that Kanye West doesn’t know history, nor does he read.

(Inputs from Anirudha Karindalam and Sasha Sosha Abraham)