Protest for Malayalam gathers momentum

Spreads to 17 centres across 14 districts

Two weeks after the launch of an indefinite hunger stir, spearheaded by the Aikya Malayala Prasthanam, in front of the Kerala Public Service Commission (PSC) demanding that the PSC conduct examinations for government jobs, including for the Kerala Administrative Service, in Malayalam as well, the protest has picked up steam and spread to 17 centres across the 14 districts.

Thiruvonam day saw Malayalis in Mumbai assemble in Vashi and stage a fast to express their solidarity with the movement.

Writers and poets such as M.T. Vasudevan Nair, Sugathakumari, Adoor Gopalakrishnan, V. Madhusoodhanan Nair, Balachandran Chullikkad, Kureepuzha Sreekumar, M.N. Karassery, George Irumbayam, Madhupal, C.S. Chandrika, P. Raman, Asokan Marayur, and Soman Kadalundi were some of those fasted at various centres.

In Thiruvananthapuram, filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan inaugurated the protest. He demanded that the PSC be dissolved or ousted for not respecting Malayalam, which was the mother tongue of 97% of Keralites. Ms. Sugathakumari, who delivered the keynote address, said Malayalam had a long and rich tradition, with many poets and writers to its credit. It was regrettable that on a happy occasion as Onam, many people were fasting for the cause of Malayalam.

Mr. Madhusoodhanan Nair, who presided, said the PSC chairman and members should comprehend the government’s language policy.

Writer George Onakkoor said by advancing the claim that setting a question paper in Malayalam was difficult, the PSC was exposing its inefficiency.

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