Kerala

Zachariah’s writings are the reflection of an enlightened mind: CM

Staff Reporter 27 January 2021 18:57 IST
Updated: 27 January 2021 18:57 IST

28th Ezhuthachan Puraskaram presented to the writer

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM Zachariah's writings are the reflection of an enlightened mind which always remains awake against intolerant tendencies and regressive ideas, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said.

He was speaking after presenting the 28th Ezhuthachan Puraskaram to writer Paul Zacharia at Secretariat Durbar Hall here on Wednesday. The award comprises a cash prize of ₹5 lakh, a citation and a plaque.

‘‘Ezhuthachan was someone who revitalised society, language and culture through his writings. Zachariah too, through his creative interventions, has been doing the same. Literary historians should look at Ezhuthachan in his entirety, by considering the social aspects of his writings too, rather than looking at only the 'bhakti' in his writings. He had the understanding that writings can bring about a change," said Mr.Vijayan.

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He lauded Zacharia for his sharp criticism which has forced society and various religious communities to introspect.

"He has criticised the Communist Party in his own humorous way. He has made society understand how patriotism is being misused by communalism. He beautifully weaved in black humour into his stories, making clear his disagreement to a decayed social setup. At the same time, he welcomed all streams of progressive thought. Zacharia has also been a strong voice against corporatisation," he said.

Politics of writers

Zacharia used his reply speech to speak extensively on the politics of writers accepting awards instituted by Governments. He said that the LDF Government in Kerala has a great significance in the current context, as the representative of a people who haven't surrendered to communal fascism.

‘‘The five power centres of government, religion, caste, media and economic interests control the lives of Malayalis. I have criticised each of these power centres in my own way, like several other citizens. Because I am a writer, or because of the silences of some writers, this voice might have been heard above all else. I have disagreements with the Pinarayi Vijayan government, else I would be a wooden doll. At the same time, I agree with the government in several things too. I accept this award on the basis of a politics which encompasses both these agreements and disagreements,’’ he said.

He said that blind opposition, which regurgitates claims made by the media or Opposition parties or which becomes mouthpieces of caste or religious organisations, cannot be called criticism. It should be honest criticism based on an independent stand and human values.

‘‘Right now, politics decides what we should eat, what we should wear, whom we should love and whom we should marry. Autocracy has spread its tentacles in a much more effective manner than during the Emergency period. In this context, this Left government in Kerala, which has not surrendered to fascism, has a significance. It is important to strengthen the Left for the future of Kerala," he said.

Culture Minister A.K. Balan presided over the function.

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