State: Arrogance & Fanaticism by Muslim League
Intro:‘ Ganga’ was the name of the official residence allotted for Abdu Rabb when he took over as the minister. His ‘secular credentials’ could not agree to it. So, he changed its name to ‘Grace’ before occupying it.
Indian Union Muslim league (IUML), major partner of ruling United Democratic Front (UDF) led by Congress, is always calling the shots in the administration hence always in news, but for wrong reasons. Any number of incidents, in this regard, can be quoted from the day UDF took over in May, 2011.
The latest is the move to replace school black board by ‘green board’. To begin with, the colour of black boards in an upper primary school belonging to Thiroorangadi, the Assembly constituency of IUML leader and education minister PK Abdur Rabb, have been changed into green. Supporters of this move have got an important excuse for this, ‘Green gives cool effects to children’s eyes and alphabets will be clearer than on black board’. Six class rooms of a new building constructed by the Public Works Department (PWD) are provided with green boards. School authorities maintain that construction was done as per PWD and the colours of the board are as per those plans hence the green boards. Classes are going on in those rooms since the first week of June when the schools reopened after mid-summer vacation. The local people inform that Thiroor, the neighbouring constituency represented by another IUML leader C Mammootty, is moving in the same direction. MLA leads the so-called ‘integral educational scheme’ in his constituency. Thirty three government schools are going to be renovated under this scheme. Green board will be a part of it, people are afraid. Mammmootty, MLA told Janmabhumi, Malayalam daily that schools in thatched sheds with black boards is an old concept. He claimed that boards have gone green in several international schools.
V Unnikrishnan, State president of National Teachers’ Union, suspects some vested interests behind this ‘colour change campaign’. He alleges that this is nothing but the part of Leaguelisation taking place in the realm of education. He finds a conspicuous IUML agenda behind this. ABVP also has registered their protest against the ‘green board’ campaign.
IUML ministers are always in controversies, of course due to their communal agenda. During the month of June, the principal of a prestigious government girls’ school in Thiruvananthapuram was transferred to a faraway place in the same district. It happened despite her ill health. Reason is simple, Principal Oormila Devi invited the wrath of Abdu Rabb when he visited the school for a programme. Since the minister was late for an hour, principal, in her address expressed the dissatisfaction in a veiled manner. She was reported to have said that when the VIPs come late the schedule would be upset. But, the minister opted to retaliate saying that others communalised the issue. A few months back the controversy was about an instruction given to the teachers to wear green blouse during an occasion. Later on, it was clarified that the circular was issued by a bureaucrat and minister had nothing to do with it. By this time, tile roof tops of some government schools were painted in green. Untold reason – Red colour is akin to saffron. Students’ uniform was changed into green in some schools where IUML could wield their influence.
Another issue was in Kollam district. There is a government school there named Lakshmi Vilasam. The teachers designed a logo for the school – A combination of Veena and nilavilakku (traditional lamp). They embossed it on the students’ uniform. Can pseudo secularists tolerate it? Obviously workers of IUML and other Islamic organisations went up in arms. Poor teachers had no option than to yield to the fanatic designs. The logo was off.
Rabb’s ministerial colleague Dr MK Muneer played hanky panky concerning a circular issued by his Department of Local Bodies authorising marriage age for Muslim boys and girls as 21 and 16 respectively. When the child trafficking was exposed in the State recently, all Muslim organisations shouted in chorus to justify it. And, IUML was the natural vanguard of them.
On top of all these, political observers believe that things are too tough to change. Because, ruling UDF is having the support of IUML. UDF commands the support of 75 MLAs in 140 strong Assemblies. And, 20 MLAs out of 75 belong to IUML. Therefore, IUML knows that CM Oommen Chandy will think twice before trying to advise IUML to be reasonable, let alone scold them.
—T Satisan from Kochi