THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Away from their families, relatives and friends, members of the Aikya Malayala Prasthanam are set to celebrate Onam in front of the Kerala State Public Service Commission (PSC) headquarters at Pattom. For those who have gathered from various parts of the state, this Onam is a fight to make PSC conduct its examinations in Malayalam.
“We have been on a hunger strike for the past 13 days. Neither the government nor the PSC chairman heard our plea. But the huge response from the public and authors across Kerala shows how important it is to conduct public service examinations in the mother tongue,” said M S Naseera, president of Aikya Malayala Prasthanam, Kasaragod district.
Author K M Bharathan, part of the hunger strike, said: “Malayalam is the mother tongue of 97.02 per cent of the people in the state and 98.98 per cent of people are proficient in the language as per the census in 2011. Apart from this, 60 per cent of children in the state are not exposed to English medium classes making it difficult for them to answer a foreign language question within 45 seconds.”
“The language was made the administrative language of the state in 2017,” said Haridasan, secretary of the Aikya Malayala Prasthanam. “There is no point in celebrating the festival of Kerala without giving importance to its mother tongue. No other states have a similar protest as they have public service examinations conducted in their mother tongues,” he said.On Thiruvonam, similar hunger strikes will be conducted in all districts of Kerala.