With Pablo Neruda on its cover and veteran communist P. Govinda Pillai as its first subscriber, the opening edition of this year’s Student is ready for readers.

The premier Malayalam monthly of the Students Federation of India has been covering a wide range of topics including literature, politics, sports, cinema and current affairs since its first edition in 1970. A tradition practised by the magazine annually has been to choose a party ideologue as the first subscriber for its opening edition at the start of every academic year.

And so this time, it was former Deshabhimani editor and writer P. Govinda Pillai or PG, who was handed over the first copy of the journal by the student members at his residence in the city on Thursday. Mr. Pillai insisted on giving the subscriber fees, as he took a closer look at the magazine. Finding Neruda on the cover, he reclined on his chair to get a better view. And then, looking settled, he turned to the SFI members and said, “All young students should read Neruda.”

Mr. Pillai said he was happy with the progress among the student federations but called for better involvement from school students. The increasing participation of women was a welcome change from the earlier days when very few women held important positions in the federation, he said.

Recalling his days in Mumbai when he was elected to the editorial board of an SFI journal, Mr. Pillai said, “I had my first lessons in journalism and writing during my days in Mumbai. A special issue of the journal was also released during my term as the editorial board member.”

Thursday’s function was attended by State president of SFI K.S. Shiju Khan, secretary T.P. Bineesh, vice-president Chintha Jerome, editorial board member M. Harikrishnan, and journalist R. Parvathy.

Keywords: SFIStudent magazine