THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: It was Pinarayi Vijayan’s idea that the 125th anniversary of Swami Vivekananda’s visit to the state be duly celebrated. But when a proposal to make a documentary on the historic visit came before him, the Chief Minister surprisingly developed cold feet.Interestingly, the proposal for the documentary, to be made by a National award-winning short film maker, had been approved and recommended by the information and public relations department.
It was R S Madhu, a recipient of National and state awards for direction of non-feature film, who approached the government with the proposal to make a 50-minute documentary on Swami Vivekananda’s visit. Though he had received approval from the PR department, the Chief Minister rejected the proposal without citing any reason.A former member of the Kerala Chalachitra Academy and member of the Board of Studies for Visual Arts, Kerala University, Madhu has more than 50 years of experience in the production of documentary films and theatre.
Madhu, a recipient of the Gurupooja Award from the Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi, said Vivekananda’s visit was a path-breaking event, which had a long-lasting influence on the socio-cultural history of the state. He told the government that the making of the film was relevant only in 2017 as it was the 125th anniversary of the visit.
“There was strong recommendation to permit me to produce the documentary ‘Vivekananadan Keralathil’ in 2017 itself as it would be relevant to produce the film on the 125th anniversary of the visit. The recommendation was clear about funding the film. The officials had also pointed out that I had been in the panel of documentary makers of the PRD for several years,” Madhu told Express.Information accessed under the RTI Act shows that the proposal and the concise form of the script for the documentary had been cleared by the PR department.
Officials had recommended that as the Swami’s visit had led to a renaissance and consequent churning of the then decadent Kerala society, the state had the responsibility to document the details and keep alive the memories of the historic visit for the benefit of future generations.However, when the file reached the Chief Minister’s office, Pinarayi Vijayan apparently nixed the proposal.