The other day, the citizens of Kerala witnessed an extraordinary coming -together of CPM and BJP leaders in Thiruvananthapuram — in support of the Adani sea port, against the fisher community of the Thiruvananthapuram coast.Continue reading Stop the Slander: Solidarity Statement Against Attempts to Tarnish Activists in the Anti-Adani Seaport Struggle at Vizhinjam
Tag Archives: Vizhinjam Port
Requiem for the Undead: On Kerala’s Sixtieth Birthday
[The title is a tribute to Johnny Miranda’s exquisite Malayalam novel, Requiem for the Living (Jeevichirikkunnavarkku Vendiyulla Opees in Malayalam)
As Kerala’s sixtieth birthday – a year which was inevitably one of celebration for many Malayalis as the culmination of life, until the increasing life expectancy here rendered it redundant – approaches, evaluations on the health and well-being of the region (and not just the people, or individual Malayalis) are being offered. They do not bode well. There is a sense in which we feel that the magic that has somehow protected the region, placed a shining cloak around its shoulders once, has departed. This magic is none other than that which is captured by the term ‘Kerala Model’ – which, in our popular imagination, always exceeded being just social science shorthand for the complex array of historical factors that led to high social indicators in a society characterized by low economic growth once associated with us. The idea of the Kerala Model somehow represented the fairy godmother who had transformed Kerala from being the Cinderella in India, to a shining princess fit to be raised to the heights of the UN’s international development-circles in the 1970s. Continue reading Requiem for the Undead: On Kerala’s Sixtieth Birthday
An Open Letter to Mr Adani on the Occasion of Onam
Dear Mr Adani
Writing to you from Thiruvananthapuram, where you recently signed an agreement with the Kerala government, undertaking the construction of the international container terminal at Vizhinjam off the Thiruvananthapuram coast.
The Malayali press went wild in their delight ; the politicians beamed in triumph (well, most of them. Some of them –guess who — could not, having discovered that they had shot themselves in the foot); the contractors and sundry middlemen in the construction sector rubbed their hands in glee. This is Onam season in Kerala, and Onam, you may know, is our national festival. You are very much in the talk here. To the contractors and our miserably corrupt and craven political class, you are Maveli reborn in flesh and blood. To the poor fisher people on what is arguably Kerala’s poorest coastal stretch, you are a newer version of evil Vamanan himself, threatening to banish them to the nether-world. There was a time when the political left in Kerala reinterpreted the Maveli myth as a vindication of the Welfare State. But since the welfare state has been almost as good as dead in the minds of Kerala’s mainstream political classes, the throne has also been conveniently empty.The mainstream press has set you up on it indirectly but definitely, and that’s pretty much evident. But Malayalees who love this land and are not blinded by hollow –false– national sentiment can see that not only are you the very opposite of Maveli, but also that this Emperor-figure has no clothes at all.
Continue reading An Open Letter to Mr Adani on the Occasion of Onam