Rulers should understand the pulse of people, nature

The politics that has taken ‘development’ as ‘setting up of airports’ is highly detrimental to the interests of the State, writer and critic George Onakkoor has said.

Prof. Onakkoor was addressing a satyagraha staged by the Joint Action Council, chaired by poet Sugathakumari, in protest against the proposed private airport project at Aranmula, on Wednesday.

“Our culture never taught us to destroy paddy land, wetland, rivers, and other natural water sources in the name of development. Instead, we are obliged to conserve these rich natural resources,” he said.

Prof. Onakkoor said participating in such a mass movement for a just cause was the duty of a writer. The heritage of Aranmula, its natural beauty, paddy lands, wetlands, the Pampa, and the rustic splendour should be protected at any cost for posterity.

He said the proposed development work centred around the controversial airport would destroy the heritage village of Aranmula and land grabbers should not be permitted to continue their machinations and nefarious activities.

Prof. Onakkoor said nowhere else in the world one could witness such an ‘airport culture’ as in Aranmula. Destruction of wetlands would ultimately transform the earth into a desert, he said.

The writer said Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president V.M. Sudheeran as well as the leaders of the government knew well as to who were all behind this anti-people, anti-environment airport project in Aranmula.

He said the democratically elected government and the people’s representatives were bound to clarify the need and necessity of such an airport in Aranmula and that too at such a heavy environmental cost. Those who govern the State should first understand what was Kerala by feeling the pulse of the people and the nature, he added.

‘Corporate terrorism’

Earlier, inaugurating the satyagraha on the 16th day, K. Janardhanan Nair, Swadeshi Jagaran Manch national executive committee member, alleged that the proposed Aranmula airport project was nothing short of a State-sponsored corporate terrorism.

The local MP, Anto Antony, and MLA, K. Sivadasan Nair, who were supposed to protect the interests of the people were in the forefront in support of this corporate terrorism in Aranmula, he alleged.

Mr. Nair called for reconversion of the illegally converted paddy land in Aranmula and facilitate cultivation there with out any further delay.

Kummanam Rajashekharan, Aranmula Heritage Village Action Council chief atron; Malethu Saraladevi, former MLA; P.R. Shaji, action council convener; K.P. Udayabhanu, Kerala State Karshaka Thozhilali Union district secretary; K.M. Gopi, CPI(M) district committee member, and M. Gopal, Swadeshi Jagaran Manch State convener, also spoke.

Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan will address the satyagraha on Thursday. Ms. Sugathakumari will preside.

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