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Educational News Today
Monday, Jan 11, 2010
VS, Baby condemn attack on Zacharia

‘An onslaught on freedom of expression’


Thiruvananthapuram: Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan, Education and Culture Minister M.A. Baby have condemned the alleged assault on writer and social critic Paul Zacharia by DYFI activists at Payyannur late Saturday evening.

Mr. Achuthanandan, who returned from Kolkata on Sunday, called Mr. Zacharia on the phone and enquired about what had transpired at Payyannur and said that it was against freedom of democratic expression. Appropriate steps would be taken after consultation with all concerned, the Chief Minister said.
Mr. Baby said in Kozhikode that the freedom of expression of writers should not be restricted in a democracy.

Mr. Baby said: “I believe that the DYFI leadership will take strict action against them if the assaulters belong to the federation.” Mr. Baby said he felt sorry about the whole incident as the Culture Minister of the State.

KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala and party leader M.M. Hassan condemned the assault. In separate statements here on Sunday, they said it was regrettable that the CPI(M) and its youth organisation were intolerant to writers and intellectuals who expressed their views on social issues. Writers, activists, journalists and cultural persons condemned the alleged assault on Mr. Zacharia.

In a statement here, they termed the attack an onslaught on freedom of expression and democracy and pointed out that healthy democratic culture could thrive only when political movements firmly checked such wrong tendencies and expressed unconditional apology for such incidents.

The signatories to the statement included K.N. Panikkar, Satchidanandan, Kumar Shahini, K.R. Mohanan, V.K. Joseph, P.K. Rajasekharan, G.P. Ramachandran, K.G. Sankara Pillai, Sashikumar, B. Rajivan, D. Vinayachandran, T.N. Joy, Neelan, J. Reghu, C.S. Venkiteswaran, J. Devika, C.L. Thomas and V. Sasikumar.

Staff Reporter writes from Thrissur: Addressing a meeting in Thrissur, writer Sarah Joseph said the public should realise the motives of those who attacked Mr. Zachariah and smothered freedom of expression.

“It is sad that the Kerala society has not overcome its prurient, salacious interests. People in the State, including the Left, are yet to understand various dimensions of man-woman relationship. The State’s culture needs to be remoulded to accommodate progressive, life-embracing values,” she said. Activist K. Venu said the Malayali should stop being a Peeping Tom. Writer C. V. Balakrishnan said the Left should understand the subtleties and nuances of man-woman relationship on which rested the foundation of human progress.
Courtesy: The Hindu
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