Close on the heels of IUML's Tirur MLA C Mammutty’s criticism of the state government ignoring developments in the town, Tanur MLA V Abdurahiman has returned it with racist remarks.
"There is no need to be jealous of those who effectively bring in development. They must have skills of their own. Those from the Adivasi tribes should not teach us. We are born and brought up in Tirur. Those from the Adivasi tribes should teach those from their tribes,” Abdurahiman said while addressing a press conference. The LDF MLA's comments have received wide spread criticism from various social activists and Adivasi groups.
Mammutty, who hails from Wayanad which has the largest tribal population in Kerala, had criticised the state government for the lack of development in Tirur. He also noted that the land dealings associated with the Thunchath Ezhuthachan Malayalam University are a scam. The land deal had been in the news for a while. The government had been trying to get land to build a permanent campus for the university.
“They got Rs 1.5 crore profit per acre. So how much would they have received for 15 acres? Can they build a campus there?” MLA Mammutty asked on Thursday. He also alleged that the benefit goes to the family members of those who participated in the deal. The land deal faced severe flak because a National Green Tribunal (NGT) expert committee declared it Coastal Regulation Zone 3 (CRZ-3) land, due to which no construction can happen here.
LDF MLA V Abdurahiman
Earlier this year, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan had also intervened in the matter and had written a letter to the Higher Education Secretary and Vice-Chancellor of Malayalam University in this regard.
Abdurahiman's comments, while condemnable, isn't surprising. While Kerala likes to call itself progressive, it has been known to be insensitive to the needs and rights of our minorities. Discrimination has been disseminated overtly and covertly in movies, songs, character portrayals, and dialogues. Comedy shows and television programmes have used the colour of their fellow artistes to make jokes. While such a trend exists in the mainstream medium without any consequences, then such comments are never surprising, but nonetheless condemnable.