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Published in the 16-31 May 2005 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Kerala opposition leader's tirade against Malappuram

By Abdulrahman Kodithodika, Cheruputhur

The Milli Gazette Online

Dr. Lee de Forest, inventor of Vacuum Tube stated, "Man will never reach the moon, regardless of all future scientific advances". 

While reacting against the unfortunate malpractices noticed in conducting Secondary School Leaving Certificate Examinations in Kerala, the state opposition leader Mr. V.S. Achuthananthan stated "the reason for educational improvement in Muslim dominated Malappuram District of Kerala is due to malpractices in public examinations conducted in the state". While reading the notorious anti-Malappuram utterance of a supposedly responsible political leader of the state I remembered the above-mentioned statement of Dr. Lee de Forest. 

Nobody has monopoly on stupidity! That is what I feel while reading baseless allegation of most responsible political leaders of the state regarding serious issues. 

Even though his statement was designed to attack his rival political party Muslim League which is handling the state's educational affairs ministry, his statement is wounding feelings of the people of Malappuram District. The statement is based on political speculations. Mr. V.S Achuthanandan or his supporters are not in a position to provide any concrete evidence to support his allegation. Moreover, his statement will be helping only Hindu fascist parties who are trying their best to influence the people through communal feelings, especially, as there is demand from backward communities for special recruitment to fill the gap of their representation in Government jobs based on the findings of Narendran Commission’s report. Recently Nair Service Society and SNDP has joined hands against the demand of backward communities for special recruitment in government jobs. His statement has created mixed response among the people of Malappuram. Even Marxist Party has denied the possibility of truth in his statement by accusing media for misinterpretation of V.S Achuthanandan's statement. BJP leaders are demanding investigation based on the allegation by the opposition leader. 

The Muslim involvement in freedom struggle added to the economic backwardness of Muslim community in Malabar. In between 1792 -1921 there were a series of nearly 100 Mappila revolts against British in the region. Madras Presidency of British neglected educational development of Malabar region where Muslims were majority. Moreover due to socio-religious policies of the British government, the orthodox Muslims rejected English education. 

The percentage of pass in Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC) examinations was considerably low in Malappuram till recent years. The economic advancement achieved through large-scale migration to the gulf countries started from the beginning of 1970's, the situation changed recently. Even though the economic development did not contribute much to educational improvement at the beginning due to several social reasons, gradually, by realising consequences in absence of better education from their own experience the Gulf based Non-Resident Indians of the location started giving high priority to providing better education to their children. The changes in attitude of the people of Malappuram resulted in the establishment of several educational institutions providing better educational facilities in Malabar region. 

The educational history of Malappuram is not shining. It doesn't mean the people of Malappuram are inferior to the people of other parts of Kerala in terms of intelligence. It means there was no sufficient infrastructure for providing better educational facilities to the people of Malappuram in the past. The political parties including V.S Achuthanandan's party did not contribute much to the educational improvement of most neglected population of Kerala in the past. If the students from Malappuram are shining in competitive examinations at present it is due to the efforts of their own parents. If anybody is trying to see this phenomenon negatively, it means there is something wrong in his or her path of approach. 

The writer may be reached at arahmankodi@hotmail.com 

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