CH Muhammed Koya Journalism Awards presented in Kozhikode

Union Minister for Rural Development Jairam Ramesh has warned the political leadership to be on guard against threats from fundamentalists of different religious faiths.

The Minister was speaking after presenting the C.H. Muhammed Koya Journalism Awards for 2012 at Government Vocational Higher Secondary School at Atholi, near here, on Saturday.

“Though the State has done well in health, education, and women empowerment, Keralites cannot be complacent because forces that threaten to shake the foundations of secularism here are active … Political leadership must resist and defeat these forces… communal organisations should not be allowed to meddle in public life,” Mr. Ramesh said.

He lauded the contributions of C.H. Muhammed Koya towards strengthening communal amity and accelerating social development in the State. The awards went to Prannoy Roy of New Delhi TV (received on his behalf by NDTV journalist Maya Sharma); Ashish Khetan; Thomas Jacob, editorial director, Malayala Manorama; and Veena George of Indiavision TV channel.

Employment in Gulf

The Minister said the opening up of employment in Gulf countries had been a boon for Keralites, but warned that the government should not abdicate its responsibility to generate employment within the State itself. “Much remains to be done in job generation, though Industries Minister P.K. Kunhalikutty has been trying his best.”

Job generation should not be at the cost of the rich biodiversity of the State, he said.

Union Minister of State for External affairs and Indian Union Muslim league national president E. Ahamed, IUML State president Syed Hyder Ali Shihab Thangal, Mr. Kunhalikutty, Labour Minister Shibu Baby John, Minister for Social Welfare M.K. Muneer, Press Club president Kamal Varadoor, CH Journalism Award Trust chairman P.A. Ibrahim Haji, Purushan Kadalundi, MLA, and award ceremony chairman P.A. Hamza spoke.

The award ceremony also marked the 30t death anniversary of the Muslim League leader.

The function was held at Atholi as it was his native place.

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