The New Indian Express has launched a BUILDING NEW KERALA initiative as part of its cekebrations of 75 years of fearless journalism, to which i sent my views. Needless to say, my contribition was not published. So here it is. Why waste the effort?
Congratulations to The New Indian Express for this valiant effort to salvage whatever is left of Kerala from its own wreck.
But to be hopeful of your success, requires optimsm of Himalayan magnitude. Did your recent anti-hartal initiatives prevent the hartal?
Nevertheless, we are grateful that you are not giving up. If you can sustain this never-say-die attitude, we, the people of Kerala, are with you.
But how to go about building a new Kerala?
I am glad you are talking in terms of building a ‘new’ Kerala and not renovating the old. The old has to be razed to the ground and we have to start afresh, careful not to make the same mistakes.
Where do we start?
From the scratch. Start, perhaps, from the schools -from the very primary level. We need to revamp our education system. Create a new system where the young ones are taught
· to love the country above the leaders and political parties;
· to love the environment;
· to cherish secular values,
· the concept of excellence
· the dignity of labour
Kerala is weak in all these departments. Serious studies must be done to get to the root of the problem, to understand why and how this situation came about. Sociologists’ help must be sought to diagnose the malady that has this state in its grip. In the meanwhile, behaviour therapy can be initiated. Begin with the schools. Catch them young and in eighteen years we will have a clean generation with the right values, capable of putting in place the right political dispensation. Set the remedial programme afoot by teaching the young ones, our future citizens to think clean, think healthy, think positive. Kerala needs to be cured of the cynicism, the mediocrity, the arrogance, that pathologically compulsive obsession with rights and that incredibly shameful deficiency in duty consciousness.
Equally urgent is the need to improve the work culture in the state. Kerala cannot wait for the new generation to emerge from the schools. Is it naïve to suggest that this problem be therapeutically addressed.
The next essential step to be taken is to deal with the culprits who have bought the state to this mess – the ruthless, selfish politicians. How this can be done, we hapless citizens have no idea. These politicians are always outsmarting us. This, I guess, is where a concerted effort on the part of the media can help. If you can do something about keeping politics out of school and college campuses, Kerala will make the Gods turn green with envy. For that is where the wealth of the state lies.
Can you bell the cat?
Kochuthresiamma P J