M T Vasudevan Nair’s ‘autocracy speech’ continues to reverberate in Kerala

Writer Paul Zacharia said though what MT said is a serious issue related to power, he would not comment more because he is not interested in controversies.
Writer M T Vasudevan Nair, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Tourism Minister P A Mohamed Riyas at the inauguration of Kerala Literature Festival in Kozhikode
Writer M T Vasudevan Nair, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Tourism Minister P A Mohamed Riyas at the inauguration of Kerala Literature Festival in Kozhikode

KOZHIKODE: The row ignited by M T Vasudevan Nair at the opening of the Kerala Literature Festival (KLF) continued to rage for the second day, on Friday, with people from different walks of life chiming in. While UDF leaders and a section of writers asserted that MT was indirectly referring to, what they termed, the “autocratic” style of functioning of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, the CPM blamed the media for distorting the speech. Terming MT’s words “sharp”, Leader of Opposition V D Satheesan said they should not fall on deaf ears.

“The so-called impartial intellectuals should listen to his words,” he said, and hoped that the speech will bring long-lasting changes in society.

Former KPCC president K Muraleedharan said writers too have started recognising the real face of Pinarayi. “What MT said was about Pinarayi. It could apply to Narendra Modi as well,” he said.

In a Facebook post, writer N E Sudhir said MT had told him before the KLF function that he would touch on something of consequence. When he met MT after the speech, the latter said, “I didn’t criticise anyone but stated some plain reality. It would be great if the words pave the way for some introspection,” Sudhir wrote.

Writer N S Madhavan said MT has opened a big opportunity for the Left for correction. Poet and Kerala Sahitya Akademi president K Satchidanandan, however, said he would like to view MT’s remarks as general observations on the issue of power. There could be various interpretations, he said, adding only MT can explain whether he had any particular person.

Writer Paul Zacharia said though what MT said is a serious issue related to power, he would not comment more because he is not interested in controversies.

Meanwhile, CPM leaders chose to target the media for twisting the remarks and trying to place the party on the defensive. LDF convener E P Jayarajan, who had stated that MT was referring to Modi and the Union government, said the renowned litterateur should be dragged into the controversy.

‘No need to link remarks with current scenario’

LSG Minister M B Rajesh said what MT said was based on an article he wrote 20 years ago. “There is no need to link it with the current scenario... MT himself has said he is not responsible for the interpretations given to his speech... Those who support him (MT) now are the same persons who had offered him a ticket to Pakistan,” Rajesh said.

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