Viswa Malayala Mahotsavam, the state government’s much-touted event to promote the Malayalam language, is in the news again for all the wrong reasons.
When the stalwarts of Malayalam literature are getting red carpet welcome, online Malayalam literary movements have been totally neglected in the programme. Also, government’s disregard on advancement in Malayalam computing has come under sharp criticism.
Viswa Malayala Mahotsavam will be launched by President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday.
The government’s plan to re-launch ‘Malayalatanima’, a project for script reformation, without considering the advancements in Malayalam computing is drawing flak. Malayalam online groups such as Swatantra Malayalam Computing (a developer collective working on localisation, standardisation and development of Malayalam desktop), Malayalam Wikipedia (a free and publicly editable online encyclopedia) etc, which have contributed much to the development of online Malayalam, have no space in the programme.
“For the organisers, Malayalam still exists in print form. There is no space for online Malayalam. We have not received any invitation for the programme,” said Shiju Alex, a contributor of Malayalam wikipedia.
He said that Malayalam wikipedia had more than 26,000 articles and more than 120 active users, highest in the country. Anivar Aravind, a member of Swatantra Malayalam Computing, said that the contribution of online Malayalam movements was so much that they could nullify the ‘damage’ caused by some government firms on Malayalam computing.
“Malayalam is a language which is being actively used through blogs, wikipedia , social networking websites like Facebook etc. However, there is no discussion on the current scenario before planning new projects on Malayalam computing such as script reforms,” Anivar, who began a Facebook debate on the issue, said. Anivar said that they came to know about the Viswa Malayala Mahotsavam through media.
“The programme seems to be biased,” he said. Union Minister K V Thomas will launch ‘Malayalatanima’ project of Kerala Bhasha Institute at 2.30 p.m. on November 1. The inauguration will be followed by seminar on ‘Language computing’ where M R Thampan, director, Bhasha Institute, would present the project.
Achutshankar S Nair, K Asok Kumar, V K Bhadran and Govindan would attend the seminar.