Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Can PN Panicker be wished away?

It's business as usual. Had got up at the usual time and was at the Foundation by 10 as Omanakuttan took time to reach us. Vignesh, poor guy, had not even had his morning tea as the Yathri Nivas guys doesn't serve that these days, hiding under the garb of renovation!

The audit had begun in right earnest and the young engineers who do the fieldwork were asked to narrate their practical experiences and difficulties while carrying out the e-literacy programme. Maman had, then, given his observations and the little irritations that the organisation has been going through. The discussions and the brain storming have identified key result areas and tasks have been assigned for incorporation over the next few days.

My deputy had come from Chathannoor to collect the pay/allowances, clear and publish the minutes of our last meeting. Between the two of us, we've evolved our action plan and the way ahead in certain areas where extra efforts on our part were needed. Lekha, our efficient treasurer, got me to complete certain other pending issues.

And then came the sad story. Maman, showed me an invitation card put out by the 'State Library Council' on the occasion of its 70th anniversary that concluded last September. What I'm gonna narrate will move even the toughest guy with a strong heart at the vindictive manner - for what, why and if at all there's something at all, carry it this far? - the organisers had gone about in trying to obliterate the name of PN Panicker.

The State Library Council is the avatar of the erstwhile 'Kerala Grandhasala Sanghom' conceived, nurtured and brought up by PN Panicker. I've narrated, in detail earlier in this forum, as to how he'd brought the then dewan of  Travancore, Sir CP Ramaswamy Aiyar, to Ambalapuzha to inaugurate the formulation of the 'Travancore Library Association' which grew from strength to strength thanks to the tireless and one man effort of PN Panicker, ably assisted by his followers and volunteers, who're fired by his zeal, perseverance and sense of purpose and had become a vibrant people's movement popularly known as the 'Kerala Grandhasala Sanghom'.

By the 70s, he, wanted the government to take over the organisation for its sustained growth and financial assistance which ultimately took place in 1978. He'd, in the meanwhile, incurred the wrath of a coterie within the organisation when he stoutly resisted their efforts at giving the organisation a political hue. Consequently, a few of them and their followers have been making every effort to obliterate the efforts of PN Panicker!

This, then, is the story of the celebrations(?) and the thoroughly skewed invitation card ensuring that PN Panicker wasn't mentioned at all anywhere. I can only compare it to the celebration of a child's birthday, keeping its father away from it all.


And the paradox is that the very same people complain that the Modi government and its supporters are distorting history! The satisfying bit is that the people of Kerala has seen through this diabolical game because they're aware of their history!!  

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