Decision based on Culture Secretary’s report: Minister

The government has gone in for a shake-up at the Kerala Sahitya Akademi replacing vice-president Balachandran Vadakkedath with Akbar Kakkattil and dropping four members of the general council.

The dropped members are Sathyajith, Girija Sethunath, Ajayapuram Jyothish Kumar, and Prameela Devi. Simultaneously, Sudarsanan Karthikappally, who was the representative of the Vyloppilly Samskriti Bhavan in the Akademi general council, has been removed from the administrative committee of the Samskriti Bhavan, and L.V. Harikumar, who represented the Kerala Sangeeta Nataka Akademi, has been removed from the Sangeeta Nataka Akademi general council.

According to an official press note here on Thursday, the decision to reconstitute the Akademi general council was taken on the basis of a report submitted by Sajan Peter, Principal Secretary, Culture, on the stand taken by the Akademi members against the Viswa Malayala Mahotsavam.

The press note quoted Culture Minister K.C. Joseph as saying that the action had been taken based on the Culture Secretary’s report on their public stand against the festival.

The dropped persons had accused the government of having kept the Akademi general council out of the Malayalam festival and blamed the organisers for the several faux pas that came to light during the festival.

‘Undemocratic’

Special Correspondent reports from Thrissur: Literary critic Balachandran Vadakkedath on Thursday staged a dharna in front of the Kerala Sahitya Akademi after having been removed by the government from the post of vice-president for publicly taking a stand against the Viswa Malayala Mahotsavam.

Akademi executive committee member K. Raghunath joined Mr. Vadakkedath in the dharna.

“The reconstitution of the general council is unconstitutional. The Akademi vice-president, a member of the executive committee and four members of the general council have been removed from their posts in an undemocratic fashion.

“There has never been such a development in the Akademi’s history. The decision has been taken to suit the interests of the Culture Minister, Akademi president and secretary,” Mr. Vadakkedath alleged.

He urged Chief Minister Oommen Chandy to expel Culture Minister K.C. Joseph from the Ministry.

“The Minister is destroying the Akademi and other cultural institutions. Such decisions mar the autonomous functioning of the Akademi,” he added.

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