Monday, February 10, 2014

Indefinite Satyagraha Inaugurated at Aranmula

Nallan, a veteran farm hand  lighting the lamp inaugurating the Satyagraha. Poet Sugathakumari, film star Suresh Gopi, CPM leader MA Baby, M Vijayakumar, former minister N K Premachandran, Bishop Geevargheese Mar Curiliose, RSS state General Secretary P Gopalan Kutty, Palayam Imam Shahir Moulavi, and others   
Witnessed by an august gathering of the most eminent persons of Kerala and thousands of people poet Sugathakumari gave an ultimatum that the proposed private airport project at Aranmula be summarily cancelled. Inaugurating the Indefinite Satyagraha she said that the Satyagraha will not end till the demand was met. With this the two-and-half year old agitation against the project at the famous temple village entered a crucial phase.

At Aikkara junction in Aranmula it was a wide spectrum of luminaries from across the state representing almost all political parties, various cultural organizations and movements. There were veteran Gandhian P Gopinathan Nair, Chairman of the Gandhi Peace Foundation, film star Suresh Gopi, CPM politburo member M A Baby, state General Secretary of the Rashtreeya Swayam Sevak Sangh, P Gopalan Kutty, former ministers M. Vijayakumar, Binoy Viswam, N K Premachandran and Mathew T Thomas,  state General Secretary of the BJP, K Surendran, among those present. The entire people of Kerala are with us, said Sugathakumari, adding that nothing short of the abandonment of the ill conceived project shall be acceptable. The declaration was greeted with applause by the people.

The program started with the singing of Valla Pattu, boat song, a part of the tradition in Aranmula for
auspicious occasions. This was followed by    lighting of the earthen lamp by two aged farm workers, Nallan and Kunjoonju, who were also facilitated. Talking at the event film star Suresh Gopi asked the state government now acting as middlemen for vested interests to see the writing on the wall, that the project be closed down without further damage. Taking the name of Lord Parthasarathy, deity of the ancient temple at Aranmula Suresh Gopi wondered how this project was planned at such a place and offered to join the Satyagraha.

P. Gopinathan Nair, Gandhian, pledged whole hearted support for the agitating people of Aranmula and offered to join the struggle. M A Baby, former minister when some of the project clearances were given, owned up that the then Left Front government committed a mistake and  they regretted the decision. This was echoed by the other ex-ministers. Talking at the occasion Bishop Geevarghese Mar Coorilios said that the airport project will be detrimental to the temple village and shall cause displeasure to the Lord Parthasarathi. Respecting the sentiments of the people it is only proper that the clearance be withdrawn. Shahir Moulavi, Imam of Palayam Mosque in Thiruvananthapuram, Aranmula Anti-Airport Coordination
Committee patron Kummanam Rajasekharan, and other speakers also called upon the government to give up the project in a heritage village.

A galaxy of activists, environmentalists and social workers from the length and breadth of Kerala assembled at Aranmula for the occasion and pledged their total support. Among those present were former Congress MLA Maleth Saraladevi, and Party leader Philippose Thomas, CPM district secretary K Anandagopan, CPI district secretary P Prasad, BJP district president T R Ajithkumar, CPM district secretariat member A Padmakumar and BJP national council member V N Unni. Coordinator P R Shaji and P Induchoodan also spoke.

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