The State Cabinet’s decision to sanction a monthly pension to all members of the Zamorin family in Kozhikode has kicked up a storm with academicians and politicians calling it a step back to the era of the privy purse. However, the family says that it is a much delayed recognition.
As per the decision, 826 members of the family will get a monthly pension of Rs.2,500 each. Historian M.G.S. Narayanan told The Hindu that the pension was a ‘meaningless gesture,’ the funds for which should have been used to preserve the cultural heritage of the Zamorin family through museums or research centres.
Krishnan Unni Raja, a member of the Zamorin family and personal secretary to the former Zamorin P.K.S Raja, told The Hindu that the family viewed the pension as a ‘recognition rather than an economic benefit’. “A few members from the three Zamorin families have been striving for years to get this pension. The allegations that all of us in the family are affluent are baseless,” said Mr. Unni Raja.
The first five members of the Zamorin family still get a pension of Rs.8,000 a month from the Centre. It is part of the ‘Malikhan’ arrangement in which the Zamorin territory was ceded to the East India Company in 1792. Congress MLA V.T. Balram said on Saturday that the decision amounted to restoring the privy purse. The Malabar Kshethra Trustee Samithi criticised his stand saying that such comments were not suited for an MLA.