Thangal may take up a key post in Suprabhatham.
Chandrika, mouthpiece of the Indian Union Muslim League, has gone through a major organisational change with the party’s State president, Syed Hyderali Shihab Thangal, resigning as the printer and publisher of the daily. The former Minister P.K.K. Bava is the new printer and publisher. The Thangal is reported to be getting ready to take up a key post in Suprabhatham, a daily being launched by the Sunni group of the Samastha Kerala Jam Iyyathul Ulema, identified with E.K. Aboobacker Musaliar.
A rival Sunni group led by A.P. Aboobacker Musaliar has the newspaper Siraj. The E.K. Sunni group is said to have been close to the Muslim League and the United Democratic Front. The A.P. group had in many elections claimed to have supported the Left Democratic Front.
Senior editorial staff of Chandrika played down the exit of the Thangal from the post of printer and publisher. He continues to be its Managing Director, they say.
Chief Editor T.P. Cheruppa says the Thangal had held the post of printer and publisher as an interim arrangement. He had expressed a desire to be relieved of the heavy responsibilities. Hence Mr. Bava has been asked to take over the post.
The senior editorial staff chose to play down reports that the Thangal would join the E.K. Sunni group’s newspaper, saying “these reports might be floated by people who believe that the Thangal’s name will enhance the popular appeal of the new newspaper.” Few expect Chandrika’s editorial character to be affected in any way because of the Thangal’s exit and presence in another newspaper. Among the newspapers that claim to represent the interests of the Muslim community in the State are Madhyamam of Jamaat-e-Islami, Varthamanam of the Mujahids and Thejus, representing the Socialist Democratic Party of India, besides Chandrika and Siraj. Some of these even have Gulf editions. It is the reported disenchantment of the E.K. group with the Muslim League over its suspicion that the party is softening its attitude towards the A.P. group that has led to speculation that there is more than meets the eye in Thangal’s stepping down from the post.