Expelled general council members of the Kerala Sahitya Akademi on Friday demanded a Vigilance inquiry into the conduct of the ‘Viswa Malayala Mahotsavam’ and the resignation of Cultural Affairs Minister K C Joseph.
The Minister and his office and the Akademi president and secretary had conspired to get them expelled for criticising the conduct of the festival, they said.
“There has never been such a development in the Akademi’s history. The decision was taken to suit the interests of the Minister,” Sudharshan Karthikaparambil, a general council member who was removed from the administrative committee of Vyloppilly Samskrithi Bhavan, told a press conference here.
“The Minister is destroying the Akademi and other cultural institutions,” he said.
On Thursday the government had ordered a revamp of the Akademi general council on the basis of a report filed by Cultural Affairs secretary Sajan Peter.
Akademi vice-president Balachandran Vadakkedath was replaced with Akbar Kakkatil. Satyajith, Ajaypuram Jyotishkumar and Prameela Devi were removed from the general council as well.
Two other general council members - Sudarshan Karthikaparmbil and L V Harikumar - were sacked from the administrative committees of the Vyloppilly Samskrithi Bhavan and the Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi respectively.
Sudarshan, along with Jyothishkumar and Satyajith, told reporters here that the Cultural Affairs secretary had never consulted them at any point during his investigation into the conduct of the festival.
The secretary had simply presented a report prepared by the Akademi president Perumbadavam Sreedharan, secretary R Gopalakrishnan and the Minister, they alleged.
They accused the government of having kept the Akademi general council out of the festival and blamed the organisers for the lapses in the organisation of the festival.