People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 50

December 16, 2012



Kerala Becomes a Colossal Community Kitchen


N S Sajith


A state which has seen various struggles, witnessed a new form of strike against the policies of the central and state governments by turning the whole state into a huge community kitchen. This novel way of struggle taken up by the CPI(M) was meant to mark a protest against price rise and central government’s decision to reduce the number of subsidised gas cylinders and the scarcity of gas.


Six hundred kilometres long National Highway from Kasargode to Thiruvananthapuram and more than 150 Kilometers in two high range districts were crowded with more than ten lakh country ovens. More than thirty lakh people took part in the struggle. Lakhs of people shared the food they prepared on December 1 evening.


 The preparation started at 3 pm. Every CPI(M) branch in the state participated in the struggle named Agni Srighala. Party leaders attended with their family members. State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan, opposition leader V S Achuthanandan, Polit Bureau member M A Baby attended the struggle with their wives at Martyrs Column in Palayam, in Thiruvananthapuram. They also participated in cooking.

At Hossangadi, the northern tip of the state, K P Sathish Chandran, Kasargode district secretary and at Parassala, the southern end, Anavoor Nagappan, state committee member stirred the oven.


Congress Sees a Nightmare

In Midnight’s Children

The repeat screening of Midnight’s children in International Film Festival of Kerala is being halted by the intervention of Congress leadership in Kerala. The film directed by Deepa Mehta was screened in the festival on December 10 as its Asian premier show and it received a standing ovation in the jam packed theatre. Those who missed the first show reached the theatre next day for the repeat screening were terribly startled as the organisers announced the cancellation of the screening without prior information. The interference of the Congress leadership became visible as it considered the sequences in the film, related to political emergency in India allegedly offensive to the interest of the party. 


The depiction of the dark days of emergency during the reign of Indira Gandhi was the real reason behind the stopping of the repeat screening. The film is based on renowned novel written by Salman Rushdie. The Booker prize winning novel tells the story of two children who were born in the midnight on August 14, 1947, the day on which India became independent.


The Congress party has alleged that the film portrays India and Indira Gandhi in poor light and demanded a ban on the movie. Immediately, the organisers of IFFK 2012, Kerala Chalachitra Academy under the Culture Department, bowed to the pressure of its political bosses. It is also learnt that the Congress high command also sought an explanation from PCC chief Ramesh Chennithala for allowing the film’s premier show in the festival. Deepa Mehta, the director quickly reacted that she depicted the sequences which were adapted from Indian history texts.


People cooking food as part of Agni Sringhala in Thiruvananthapuram. CPI(M) state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan looks on.