Do you have any of these books? Donate it to one of flood hit libraries in Kerala or ‘Adopt A Library’

By A Staff Reporter

KOCHI Feb 3: A book fest will be conducted in Kochi to revive hundreds of public libraries that were affected by the floods that hit Kerala in August 2018. To help those libraries which lost hundreds of invaluable books the organisers have come up with the idea of project titled ‘Adopt a Library’.

Through the project ‘Adopt a Library’, Krithi International Book Fair and Knowledge Festival conducted by Sahithya Pravarthaka Co-operative Society (SPCS) will restore thousands of books to these libraries. The fair will be held from February 8 to 17, 2019 at the Marine Drive Grounds, Kochi in Kerala.

The organisers have published a priority list of books according to the requirement of libraries. People can also donate books that are not there in the list but it has to be one which would form part of a library.


To make the project more reachable, kiosks will be opened at various cooperative banks across 70 taluks in the state in addition to outlets of National Book Stalls. A bank account has also been opened through which people living outside the state can also contribute to the novel cause. The money so collected will be distributed among the libraries based on the scale of their losses and grading in KSLC.


According to officials of KSLC, libraries at Ernakulam district were the most affected ones in the floods.

During the fest which runs from Feb 8 to 19, Krithi will bring together intellectuals to talk, converse and discuss their minds out on various subjects. Krithi will also celebrate classics in literature through the re-reading sessions and also deliberate on the fresh entries that have made it to the literary world .


This year KRITHI’s focus is on ideas that contribute towards ‘Rebuilding Kerala’. The deliberations would be multi-disciplinary, viz. Environment, Shelter, Health, Economics, Technology and Culture. KRITHI 2019 will also reflect on the social fabric towards building a modern India with focus on Constitution and Social Renaissance.


CPM forming Sanskrit body to counter making Sanskrit and Puranas Hindutva tools

Thiruvananthapuram July 12:  The left-progressive school of thought in Kerala is forming a collective with an aim and plan of countering the Sangh parivar agenda of using Sanskrit language and Hindu epics as Hindutva tools.
The body to be formed cutting across political party borders is to be named ‘Sanskrita Sangham’.  At the same time,  the move will have the unstinted backing of CPM.   Formation of district wise committees will be completed in July and in September activities will start with a state-level convention.
The forum is being formed with the involvement of State Academy for temple arts  Chairman and former head of department of Sanskrit,  Payyannur College,  Dr KH Subramanian,  former Vice Chancellor of Kerala Kalamandalam KG Poulose,  former VC of Kalady University and NCERT Director J Prasad.
For the past one year,  confabulations have been going on about organizing a collective aimed at preventing RSS from using the Ramayan and Bhagavat to divide people.  Seminars were held in Kannur and Thiruvananthapuram  in this connection.
The envisaged body is one that will involve left-leaning academic experts,   and those linked to bodies having relations with temples and with a common factor of opposing the Sangh parivar politics.  KH Subramanian told Madhyamam that in a broad sense it will be one upholding secularism.
Sanskrit is India’s common heritage,  the voice raised by epics and puranas is that of humanitarianism,  and therefore the message of mercy and religious amity radiated by them,  will be propagated among the people,  he said.
Even as it is stated that the CPM leadership will not involve itself in the formation of the Sangham, the party’s former member of state committee,  and former national president of SFI Dr V Shivdas is co-operating with the effort,   which the Sangham leaders explain as in the role of a historical researcher.
The co-operation of Sanskrit teachers in schools will be enlisted through KSTA,  the pro-CPM teachers organization in the state.
Subramanian made it clear that it is not their aim to conduct Ramayan recitation during the month of Karkidaka,  similar to the RSS model.  Instead,   topics will be chosen based on Ramayana, Mahabhagavat and  Upanishads and lectures held.  On 11 August a seminar will be held in Kannur on the theme ‘Ramayana:  primeval poetic thought’.     A similar  seminar will be held in Thiruvananthapuram too.
Sangh parivar charges CPM of electoral tactics
At the same time,  the Sangh parivar has come out raising a national issue of  the CPM observing a Ramayan month in Kerala.   The Sangh circles charge that CPM,  which once used to propagate atheism,  is now observing Ramayan month and Sri Krishna Jayanti,  in order to stem the growth of RSS in Kerala.
The news about the CPM move was published in the radical Hindutva portal ‘‘ with the caption  “Sitaram led CPI(M) to observe Ramayan Month in Kerala!”,  and is being extensively shared by Sangh parivar network.   The portal is one that makes spirited propaganda for prime minister Narendra Modi with the blessing of Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy.
The portal mentions that CPM state committee has decided to observe Ramayan month from 17 July and to hold a Ramayan convention on 25th for which Sanskrit teachers were deputed.   It also states that the party has decided to conduct classes at booth level on Ramayan,   with the former SFI president Shivadas being given the task of the programme.  The portal also blames that even during the times when there was a ban on party members entering temples,  Arya Antharjanam the wife of party General Secretary EMS Nambodirippad and  spouses of several other leaders used to visit temples.
In concert with such propaganda,  criticisms have appeared  on Twitter that a party that questioned the parents for having given the name of Sitaram  to the child,  is  now observing Ramayan month and this is an electoral tactic of CPM.   Many have also commented that it is a case of the devil citing the scripture and the party is set to play a Hindu card in the 2019 election.

Compensation should be paid to Nambi Narayanan, says SC

NEW DELHI July 11: The Supreme Court vocally stated that compensation should be paid to former scientist Nambi Narayanan in the ISRO spy case.  A scientist, who was in a high post was trapped and arrested in the case. He is entitled for the compensation, said a bench led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra while considering a plea of the scientist seeking action against Siby Mathews, K K Joshua and S Vijayan for falsely implicating him in the case.
When the court asked who should pay the compensation, the CBI said that it is not our responsibility. In the meantime, the CBI requested the court to probe the conspiracy behind the harassment towards the scientist while in custody. The CBI said they are ready for a probe monitored by the court. The court postponed pronouncing the verdict in the case.
Siby Mathews, K K Joshua and S Vijayan had asserted that he was arrested for preventing him leaving the country and only legal action was taken.

Pravasi chit fund flouting Central laws: Mani

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM July 10: Kerala Congress leader and former Finance Minister K M Mani has flayed the Pravasi chit fund scheme announced by the government, alleging that it violated the Central Chit Funds Act and the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).
He accused Finance Minister T M Thomas Isaac of trying to bypass the Central Act and hoodwink expatriate Malayalis to part with their money.
“The Minister seems to think that Kerala is an independent nation state where Central legislation does not apply.”
The press note said RBI regulations did not allow the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) to handle the chit fund subscriptions or deposit amount.
The norms stipulate that only licenced banks could handle the money. KIIFB, not being such a bank, cannot accept funds relating to the scheme.
It would be liable to pay a hefty fine for violation of FEMA regulations, he said.
Mani said the State government was trying to mislead customers by projecting the Kerala State Financial Enterprises (KSFE) as a miscellaneous bank on its website.
“Under the Central Act, KSFE has not been cleared to operate the Pravasi chit fund. Yet, it has invited applications for online registration under the scheme. This constitutes a punishable offence.”
Observing that KSFE and KIIFB had spent lakhs to promote the scheme among expatriates, Mani said it constituted misuse of power and violation of laws.
He also said subscribers would find it difficult to get their money back if it was used to fund the development of roads and other infrastructure.
Alleging that KSFE was holding back vital information on the scheme, the press note said the contract for the chit fund had no mention of the life insurance and accident insurance cover or pension announced by the government for subscribers.
It also did not state that the amount paid by the members and the security would be handled by KIIFB.
Mani said the State government would require an amendment to the Chit Fund Act to operate the scheme through KIIFB. “The government could introduce a legislation in Assembly or issue a notification for the purpose in consultation with RBI.
Launching the scheme without doing either will only cause distress to expatriate Malayalis.”

Abimanyu murder: Popular Front Kochi Area President arrested

One more person was arrested in connection with the murder of Maharajas college student Abhimanyu. The arrested person is Popular Front Kochi Area President Anas.
Anas is the seventh accused in the murder case. From interrogating others, police had come to the conclusion that Anas had a role in the murder of Abhimanyu.

Withdraw police case against TV anchor Venu Balakrishnan: Oommen Chandy

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM July 10: Former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has urged his successor Pinarayi Vijayan to withdraw the police case against TV anchor Venu Balakrishnan and the suspension of government official V Madhu. Both the actions were autocratic steps to curb freedom of press and freedom of expression.
The police had registered a case against Venu on the charge of promoting communal enmity over a statement during a live debate in the channel. Madhu was suspended for sharing a Facebook post on the Kevin murder.
“If the police begin to register cases on the basis of media reports, lot many working in the newspaper and TV channel run by the party would have been jailed by now,” Chandy said.
“Earlier, the state and Central Governments had not taken actions curtailing the values envisaged under the Constitution like secularism, democracy, socialism, and freedom of speech. But now signs of intolerance are cropping up in both places,” Chandy said.
Works Department staffer Madhu, a physically-challenged person, was suspended on frivolous grounds. Madhu was suspended for sharing a troll against CPM state secretary in the backdrop of the Kevin murder. The charge against him is attempting to defame the government.
His suspension should be revoked immediately and the suspension period is regularised. “Governments will come and go. But freedom of press and freedom of expression should remain intact,” he said in the letter.