The state government has started an investigation into the lapses in the conduct of the ‘Viswa Malayala Mahotsavam.’
Initially, there were reports of financial irregularities in the conduct of the festival jointly organised by the Cultural Affairs Department and the Kerala Sahitya Akademi.
Then the organisers of the festival made the mother of all blunders by placing a bust of scientist C V Raman instead of Malayalam litterateur C V Raman Pillai at the Statue Junction.
The Cultural Affairs Minister was quick to offer apologies, but before the dust settled, a further string of controversies followed.
There were complaints that politicians had cornered the stage at the inaugural function attended by President Pranab Mukherjee. The only literary figures on stage were Jnanpith recipients M T Vasudevan Nair and O N V Kurup, and they were relegated to corner seats.
The state saw the Cultural Affairs Minister go into apology mode a second time after poet and activist Sugathakumari was ousted from the chair of an environment seminar planned as part of the event.
Speaker G Karthikeyan, who was her replacement, expressed his distress and displeasure at the change and said that he was not informed that he was replacing Sugathakumari.
Also, the organisers had not invited developers of online Malayalam language technologies.
But the President, in his inaugural address, had emphasised just thathelp the language evolve using all modern methods available.