As Kerala celebrates the 60th year of its formation, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday said steps need to be taken to make Malayalam, the mother tongue, compulsory in the curriculum. Addressing a special session at the state Assembly to mark the day, he said Kerala might be the lone state where one graduates without studying the mother tongue.
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Malayalam had been sidelined even in the examinations, conducted by the state-run Public Service Commission, he said. “We should make compulsory the study of our mother tongue Malayalam. We are yet to make Malayalam the medium of study and administration even now,” he said. Recounting the significant contributions by renaissance movement leaders for the social development and upliftment in the state, Vijayan said the LDF government was committed to carry forward the achievements so far.
Later, inaugurating the year-long anniversary celebrations at the Assembly complex, in which a galaxy of personalities from various walks of life participated, he said that Kerala, with its limited resources, had made remarkable achievements in universal education and public health system in the last 60 years. The state was able to implement reservation for Backward Classes and ensured minimum wages to all. “This has actually led to the social development in Kerala, which is not witnessed in any other parts of the country,” he said.
However, the CM also pointed out certain issues faced by the state in housing, agriculture and education sectors. Though the ‘Kerala model’ of education had been lauded the world over, the state could not make any remarkable omprovement in its quality in the higher education sector. “The slogan of House for All is still remains a dream. Effective intervention is needed in this area,” he said.
The Chief Minister said the LDF government had lined up various initiatives to take the state forward by utilising the state’s inherent potential to the maximum. Colourful cultural festivities marked the function, in which writers, artists and religious leaders like Philipose Mar Chrysostom Mar Thoma Metropolitan, besides ministers and MLAs participated. Earlier, during the special session at the House, leaders from both ruling and opposition benches expressed concern over the increasing challenges to the secular fabric of the state.
Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala cautioned that there was a tendency in the state from certain quarters to create division among people in the name of caste and religion. “People should stand united against the anti-national and divisive forces in society,” Chennithala said. Echoing similar sentiments, IUML leader and former minister P K Kunhalikutty said the contributions of his party to check the growth of religious fundamentalism was significant in the last 60 years.
However, striking a different note, BJP member O Rajagopal said that Kerala, known for its religious harmony, would remain as it is if all political parties join together shedding their enmity.