THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Swadeshabhimani Ramakrishna Pillai’s greatest contribution was modernising Kerala politically, noted historian Dr K N Panicker has said. Delivering the Swadeshabhimani remembrance lecture at the ‘’Prathibha vandanam’’ programme being organised as part of the CPM state conference here on Thursday, he said Swadeshabhimani wanted the people to be transformed into patriots instead of remaining loyal to the king.
‘’He wanted people to worship their country, instead of worshiping the king’’ Panicker said.
He was an advocate of liberal thinking while it remained as his strength and weakness. His entry to the public life was a turning point, he said.
Panicker said it was impossible to evolve a new culture without assimilating the past cultural values. He opined that the contributions of the renaissance leaders should be evaluated critically. The renaissance leaders had worked with the aim of a total transformation of society.
‘’Renaissance was a socio-intellectual process. At the same time, it had shown a certain level of reluctance to get involved in the politics of that time’’ he pointed out. However, at a later stage politics and renaissance movement were involved.
Dr N A Kareem, who presided over the programme, delivered the Vakkom Abdul Khadar Moulavi remembrance lecture. He recalled that Vakkom Moulavi had fought an unending war against feudal system and princely rule as well as against the religious fundamentalism.
His commitment to free and fearless journalism resulted in bringing Swadeshabhimani Ramakrishna Pillai to the forefront of the fight against princely rule.
Dr Sebastain Paul delivered the Kesari Balakrishna Pillai lecture. He said in spite of the long time since the ending of princely rule there was stioll a tendency to address the members of the royal family with titles such as ‘maharaja’. There was also intolerance among certain people about criticising ‘maharaja’.
He said in this backdrop one could imagine how difficult it was Kesari Balakrishna Pillai to continue journalism criticising the maharaja of those days.
B Rajeevan delivered the C V Raman Pillai lecture. Dr M M Basheer delivered the Kumaran Asan memorial lecture. M Vijayakumar, Pirappancode Murali, V K Madhu and K N Gangadharan spoke.