Kochi: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Sunday remembered the great Malayalam poet G Sankara Kurup as a visionary who foresaw the progress of Kerala. The chief minister said the ‘Jnanpith’ award winner poet knew that a day would come when the world pays attention to the ‘Kerala model’.
To buttress his point, the chief minister quotted Sankara Kurup’s lines in Malayalam – “Haa varum noonamaddinam, en naadinte navanangiyal lokam sradhikkum kaalam varum”. It could be roughly translated as “there would be a time when the world would pay attention if my land utters a word”.
The chief minister was inaugurating the memorial for G Sankara Kurup, who passed away in 1978, near Marine Drive here.
“What G said in an apparent prophetic sense has come true. We saw it in the conduct of the Loka Kerala Sabha. We also saw G’s prediction coming true with the world studying about the models we have set in sectors like health and education. We saw it in the way the world praised us for facing a deadly flood and its aftermath as well as the pandemic,” Vijayan said.
Vijayan said G was a person who was immensely proud of the country’s languages, literature and cultural diversity. “He was a Rajya Sabha member. It was an honour for our culture. It was a deficit that the Mahakavi who was noted at the national level with achievements including Rajya Sabha membership and Jnanpith award did not have a memorial. That deficit has been rectified now,” the CM said.
Vijayan said it was wrong to brand G as only a mystic poet. “He was a poet who expressed his anxiety about religious bigotry setting culture on fire. When the Soviet Union arose he told the world that the way of the future is socialism. He wrote poems against feudalism and imperialism.” Vijayan said.
The G memorial has been constructed on a 25-cent plot near Marine Drive. The memorial comprises an art gallery featuring paintings based on the poet’s life and major works, an installation of a flute representing his Jnanpith-winning poem ‘Odakkuzhal’, a cultural centre, and a library.
The 5,000 sqft memorial has been built spending Rs 5 crore.
Though the efforts to construct a memorial for the great poet had started way back in 2005, it could not be completed for years due to bureaucratic and technical glitches and administrative apathy.
The chief minister opened the memorial at a function chaired by Kochi Mayor M Anilkumar, Industries Minister P Rajeeve, Hibi Eden MP, T J Vinod MLA, Prof M K Sanoo, former chief secretary V P Joy, former deputy mayor and Sankara Kurup’s granddaughter B Bhadra were among those who spoke.