Basheer museum at Calicut varsity yet to be functional

The building that houses the Basheer Chair at Calicut University.

The building that houses the Basheer Chair at Calicut University.

Writer Vaikom Muhammad Basheer’s 114th birth anniversary passed by this January 21 without much enthusiasm.

A museum and a lexicon proposed in his name at the University of Calicut appear to have a similar fate though the authorities claim that they are very much on their agenda.

According to P. Rasheed Ahammed, Syndicate member, the plan for the museum was mooted six years ago. A project report was prepared by writer M.T. Vasudevan Nair, literary critic M.M. Basheer, and architect R.K. Ramesh.

A building was constructed, and the plan was to exhibit Basheer’s manuscripts, articles used by him, and the first published copies of his books there. The lexicon project was undertaken by N. Gopinathan Nair and Mr. Basheer. The draft of the 6,000-page lexicon was submitted to the university five years ago. An Academic Chair named after the writer used to function from the building.

However, no follow-up measures seem to have been taken up of late, Mr. Ahammed alleged, though lakhs of rupees had been spent for the projects from the university fund. They had government support as well. Mr. Ahammed also alleged that the building housing the Basheer Chair, which used to hold events featuring eminent writers, is now a den of miscreants.

Denying the allegations, Vice Chancellor M.K. Jayaraj said funds had been arranged from the MP’s development fund for setting up a library at the Basheer Chair. The plan is to simultaneously ready the museum and the library. The Chair used to hold academic events and public programmes till the pandemic struck.

P.P. Raveendran, Visiting Professor, Basheer Chair, said a webinar lecture series involving scholars from languages other than Malayalam, translation of Basheer’s literary works, and a research fellowship were in the pipeline. The lexicon prepared on Basheer’s works was in the reference library section of the Department of Malayalam. There is a proposal to publish it soon, he added.

Mr. Jayaraj said articles related to Basheer had been kept at the Chair building. Students and others will be allowed to visit the place once the work on the museum is over, he added.

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Printable version | May 18, 2022 12:54:26 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/basheer-museum-at-calicut-varsity-yet-to-be-functional/article38308873.ece