How a martyrdom has provoked the political and literary sensibilities of Kerala society would be remarkable in its history.
The repercussions of the brutal murder of Revolutionary Marxist Party leader T P Chandrasekharan at Onchiyam in Kozhikode district continued to dominate the political, media and literary discourses in the state in the past few months after the fateful day on May 4.
It is unique that the writers across the state have come out against the murder of a leader who was popular only among his village men. There was never an occasion wherein the conscience of Kerala society has awakened to this extent against the murder politics.
Hundreds of poems, stories and articles on the issue have appeared in Malayalam magazines and blogs. The leading book publishers in the state have released four books on TP murder within such a short span of time and more studies and literary collections are on the anvil.
“TP murder has created a new kind of political sensibility among common men and the intelligentsia alike in Kerala which was otherwise fast becoming an apolitical society, said poet P N Gopeekrishnan who forwarded the poetry collection ‘Vettuvazhikavithakal,’ one of the first two books on the issue that hit the book stalls. “The cultural arena of the state had never been as politically alive as it is happening these days and the publication of these literary works is the outcome of this political awakening,” he said. ‘Onchiyam Rekhakal: Janatipathyam vs Fascism’ (‘Onchiyam Documents: Democracy vs Fascism’) is a collection of articles by prominent writers, political analysts and activists, including Prabhat Patnaik and K Satchidanandan. The blog article of actor Mohanlal is included in the volume. The full text of the ‘notorious’ speech of M M Mani and the explanation issued by the CPM state secretariat in this regard are included in the appendix. ‘Vettuvazhikavithakal’ is named after renowned poet K G Sankara Pillai’s poem “Vettuvazhikal”.
Sankara Pillai said that the very existence of creativity depends on its commitment to justice. “Poetry is for truth and justice and the literary responses towards the TP murder have strengthened this sense in Malayalam,” he said.
Referring to TP’s wife K K Rema writer P Geetha who is editing a book on the issue to be published soon said: “It is for the first time in Kerala a martyr’s wife is valiantly addressing the media and people. This happens rarely in history.” The book would contain poems and other articles documenting the political struggles that culminated in the evolution of the RMP and the heinous murder of TP ,” Geetha added.
‘Ambathiyonnu Vettukalude Rashtreeyam’ (‘The Politics of Fifty-one Stabs’) has appeared in two editions within a fortnight of its publication. ‘CPM Fascisathinte Pathayil’ (‘CPM on the Path to Fascism’) is yet another work in this regard.
It is also a rare gesture that sopana sangeetham, a temple musical art form used to praise the deity, has been used to commemorate a political martyr. Njaralathu Hari Govindan, the son of sopana sangeetham exponent the late Njaralathu Rama Pothuval, has composed and recited a song paying tribute to TP at the commemorative meetings held in various parts of Malabar.