At the outset, let me confess that I am apolitical not because of any principles; but I just do not understand politics. All the same, I keep watch over the current political situation.
I was going through the morning papers and was stuck by the Telangana problem getting worse by the day when my friend charged in in an agitated state. He is a professional and mindless protester. He charged me with showing interest in a faraway problem and pretending to ignore our own.
Yes: the Travancore problem. Telangana is an old problem foreseen by the Communist party in the late forties and sown the seeds for Naxalism. Travancore also is a problem of the same age, which started with Independence.
The rest of this article is the essence of his harangue.
When the question of joining the Indian Union arose in 1947, our dewan wisely suggested an American model which everybody ignored and suggested to dump in the Arabian Sea. It was thought to be a wise move considering the evil influence of the dewan on the maharaja. And, everybody wanted the linguistic state of Kerala. Isn’t the current agitation in Andhra a disservice to Potti Sriramulu who sacrificed his life for Andhra Pradesh?
Forget Andhra. Let us examine what happened to Kerala. When tributaries join a big river, it becomes a great river.
And, the tributaries do not die like Saraswati. In Kerala, the big river is making the tributaries great and the Padmanabhana’s soil is drying up. Kochi and Malabar were parts of the Madras presidency and the people there mistrusted the Chettans from down south. Our culture is different and our dialect not understood by them. One may ask: Don’t we have the capital which is the seat of power? What is the good? Our leaders are the puppets of others who are not Travancoreans.
It is high time we also start our struggle for a separate state of Travancore before the people in Kochi and Malabar demand de-merger. If people in so many other states are agitating for smaller states, we should join them before the heat dies down. The Pillais of Travancore should show some spirit of the Ettuveetil Pillais who rebelled against the king.
For your information, there are Sulaiman Pillais and Anthony Pillais in Travancore, though these days there is a fascination for the northern surnames. Maybe, no man is an island; but can we be a part of a desert?
So saying, my friend stormed out accusing me of unconcern!