Thursday, June 20, 2024
Literature Festival



In a compelling address, the eminent figure in Malayalam literature, M.T. Vasudevan Nair, issued a poignant warning about the troubling transformation of political power into a form of hegemony and totalitarianism. He expressed disapproval of the ritualistic leadership pujas, emphasizing the potential misuse of political power and the emergence of a dominating and totalitarian ethos. The venerable Vasudevan Nair underscored the shift in the political landscape, cautioning against its implications and suggesting that, despite two decades passing, society and politics have not significantly changed.
Speaking before a gathering that included Inaugural Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, MT initiated his discourse by shedding light on the devaluation of politics. He stressed the historical urgency of addressing this issue, pointing out that discussions often attribute the decline to the absence of deserving individuals.
Delving into the dangers of unchecked power, MT drew parallels with historical instances, notably referencing Russia’s post-revolution era. He elaborated on the forgotten doctrine of service even after the overthrow of the tsarist regime. Citing the insights of Wilhelm Rieh, a disciple of Freud and a Marxian philosopher, MT highlighted Rieh’s 1944 warning about impending disintegration. Rieh, a proponent of cautious analysis, pointed out the dangers of denying disintegration, especially when entrusted with vital domains like industry, culture, and science under overbearing managements. MT echoed Rieh’s concern, emphasizing the need for vigilance in the face of evolving power dynamics to prevent decadence.
Born on July 15, 1933, M.T. Vasudevan Nair is a renowned Indian author, screenwriter, and film director. A prolific figure in modern Malayalam literature, he gained early recognition by winning a short story competition at the age of 20. Notable works include the award-winning novel “Naalukettu” at 23 and influential novels like “Manju,” “Kaalam,” and “Asuravithu.” His masterpiece, “Randamoozham,” reimagines the Mahabharatha from Bhimasena’s perspective. In cinema, he directed seven films, wrote screenplays for 54, and received four National Film Awards. Honored with the Jnanpith Award in 1995, he also received the Padma Bhushan in 2005 and the Kerala Jyothi Award in 2022.- WILLIAMSJI MAVELI

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