(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
February 08, 2009
Kerala’ March Flagged Off
P M Manoj
CREATING new waves of rejuvenated political enthusiasm and fortifying all its way with constructive ideas, ‘Nava Kerala’ march of CPI (M) has become one of the exiting political campaigns that Kerala has ever witnessed. This historic march is well poised to be received wholeheartedly by tens of thousands of people who want the Left at the helm of a progressive, secular, secure and democratic India. Upholding the slogan of ‘Secure India, Prosperous Kerala,’ the ‘Nava Kerala’ march led by Pinarayi Vijayan, state secretary of CPI (M) set off from Uppala at Manjeswaram in Kasaragod district. At a specially set-up venue, close to the National Highway in Uppala, Polit Bureau member S Ramachandran Pillai inaugurated the march by handing over the red flag to Pinarayi Vijayan, amidst the cheering of thousands of people comprising Party workers, supporters and well- wishers. It was a befitting start for the Nava Kerala march and for the CPI (M), which historically had etched many triumphs in the Malabar region, which was also its cradle to grow from strength to strength, since its formative days in Kerala.
It was a great moment for the Party as the inaugural event at Uppala turned out to be a confluence of people from different strata of the society. The people attended in the function literally created a cross section of the society. If it had the presence of tribal communities like the Mavilar and Sarassanar, then the dalits as well as religious minorities comprising the Muslims and Christians too were present to vociferously and unanimously register their belief and support for CPI (M). The atmosphere that prevailed at the inaugural venue was one of a gathering that longed for a resurgent Kerala. Spirited cadres of the Party and their slogans equally matched with the reverberating sound of fire crackers that resounded far and wide. As a journalist who followed the Kerala March led by Pinarai Vijayan in 2006 which was undoubtedly well received, I can simply wonder how that had been belittled by this Nava Kerala March in mass support and enthusiasm in public.
Inaugurating the march, S Ramachandran Pillai said, “The Congress is misusing constitutionally formed agencies for their benefit. This blatant move has now peaked with the CBI case against Pinarayi Vijayan, against which the people of Kerala are gearing up to respond in a strong manner.” CPI (M) is not a Party that will bow under the pressure of such machinations. During the upcoming parliamentary elections, the Left Front will try its best to keep the BJP and the Congress from coming to power at the centre. Both parties have failed miserably in safeguarding the interests of the majority, comprising the poor and the marginalised people, he said.
The inaugural function of the Nava Kerala march was presided over by P Karunakaran, MP and Central Committee member. Others who were present and addressed the massive gathering included Polit Bureau member, Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, minister for Education, M A Baby, minister for Health, P K Sreemathy and K T Jaleel, MLA. Chairman of the organising committee, C H Kunjambu, MLA, delivered the welcome speech. Also present were members of Nava Kerala march that included A Vijayaraghavan MP, Central Secretariat member, E P Jayarajan, Central Committee member, M V Govindan, Dr T N Seema, Simon Britto, MLA and the family members of the martyrs.
The Nava Kerala march, which began from Uppala on February 2, 2009 received encouraging response from well-known personalities in the socio-cultural field of Kerala. Expressing his candid opinion about the Nava Kerala march, was noted philosopher and literary figure Sukumar Azhikode, who said, “Nava Kerala march is not a new phenomenon, but a continuation of a dream that was being nourished for a long time. From the bottom of the heart, the people of Kerala have made an appeal to the incumbent government and the response has rightly come in the form of Nava Kerala march. The march truly carries the spirit of seeing the Kerala society as one without any barriers of religion or other social inhibitions that retard the progress and prosperity of each and every member of our society. And I am sure, a march upholding such solemn intentions would be greeted with bouquets by all Keralites throughout the entire course of its journey.”
The celebrated Kathakali artiste Kalamandalam Gopi had this to say about the Nava Kerala march. “It is a timely and well focused march that is now on its way from Uppala in Manjeswaram. The aptly coined slogan ‘Secure India, Prosperous Kerala’ is the need of the hour and the slogan without doubt has great significance in the backdrop of what the country as a whole and the state of Kerala is currently going through. Religious extremism and terrorism have raised their ugly heads and have started destabilising the strong pillars of development that our country painstakingly raised during the past couple of decades. The country can progress only by moving forward with the strong and unwavering vision of democracy and keeping it out of reach for self-serving religious and similar afflictions that have started plaguing our country’s progress in the twenty-first century.”
Nava Kerala march got its first grand reception at Kasaragod, the district headquarter. At the new bus stand, thousands gathered to receive the members of the Nava Kerala march, which was a clear indication of the many such cheerful receptions that lies ahead, till the march concludes at Parasala in Thiruvananthapuram.