KOCHI: With Mayor Soumini Jain’s proposal to set up a memorial for Swami Vivekananda kicking up a row, the CPM-led Opposition has decided to seek Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s intervention in a bid to stall the move. The proposal which was announced by Jain on Vivekananda’s birth anniversary has piqued the CPM since the proposed site situated between Subhash Park and boat jetty was earmarked for setting up a memorial for the late CPM leader T K Ramakrishnan.
“We don’t know what prompted the Mayor to come up with such a proposal at this juncture. We are not against setting up a memorial in the name of the social reformer but the site chosen by the Mayor had already been identified for setting up a memorial for T K. We cannot accept the proposal since it is mainly intended to set off a controversy. The Opposition will write to the Chief Minister against the proposal,” said K J Antony, Leader of Opposition in the Corporation.
Jain says in the letter addressed to the CM a library will be a fitting tribute to perpetuate the life and times of Vivekananda, who had once visited Kochi. If Kochi didn’t have a Vivekananda memorial, it will be seen as a major shortcoming, the letter said. “ The Corporation should find an alternate site instead of creating a controversy. We are not ready to hand over the land which had been originally identified for constructing a memorial for T K. Even the necessary procedures have been completed,” Antony said, while stating the civic body had not yet delivered on its promise for a memorial to Mahakavi G Sankara Kurup proposed several years ago.
Meanwhile, the CPM district leadership also came out against the Mayor’s proposal. CPM district secretary P Rajeev told Express the Mayor’s move is really an immature one.
“ We are not against the setting up a memorial for Vivekananda but the decision of Mayor is really an immature one. What is the necessity to set up a memorial at the same site(which had been identified for TK’s memorial)?” he said.
Rubbishing the charge she had deliberately sparked a row, Mayor Soumini Jain said it was never her intention. “This is the right time to set up a memorial for Vivekananda as his ideologies are most relevant during the modern times. Since the memorial will be a garden library, no big building or other constructions have to be built for the purpose. The Corporation will commence the work in this regard soon after getting the state government’s permission,” she said.