In veiled attack, Jnanpith winner M.T. Vasudevan says all governance is now ‘dictatorial’

Nair said governance was no longer a public service as it had become more dictatorial, and the corruption of power has spawned totalitarianism and misuse

M.T. Vasudevan Nair (right, pictured with P.N. Das in 2010) did not name anyone in his speech (photo: Wikimedia Commons)
M.T. Vasudevan Nair (right, pictured with P.N. Das in 2010) did not name anyone in his speech (photo: Wikimedia Commons)
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NH Digital

In what could be construed as an attack on Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, veteran writer M.T. Vasudevan Nair criticised the current state of governance and termed it ‘dictatorial’, while sharing the stage with Vijayan on Thursday.

He stated that governance was no longer a public service as it has become more dictatorial, and the corruption of power has spawned totalitarianism and misuse. The 90-year-old Jnanpith winner, however, did not name anyone in his speech.

The eminent litterateur said the philosophy that acquiring power offers more of an opportunity to serve people was buried long ago. “Politics has become a recognised path to gain power. Power could lead to dominance or even totalitarianism,” he said.

The author of several books such as Naalukettu, The Demon Seed and The Second Turn, Nair pointed out that the decline of moral values in politics was not a new topic of discussion. “And these discussions were often concluded by assuming that eligible people are not winning elections,” he added. He lamented that none of the leaders have a habit of accepting their mistakes. 

However, he praised late Kerala chief minister E.M.S. Namboothiripad's governance. MT, as the writer is known, argued that EMS aimed at establishing a big political movement in the state by winning elections.

MT made the remarks while sharing the stage with Vijayan at the inauguration of the Kerala Literature Festival organised by DC Books at Kozhikode on Thursday. 

When the Communist Party first came to power in Kerala, pointed out Nair, it was considered a huge success. But since then, complacency has taken over. “EMS remains a great leader and revolutionary figure since he led from the front, made people participate in long rallies, and thus inculcated a sense of responsibility in the masses. EMS denounced the age-old system of one leader and many supporters. He never endorsed supporters lionising one leader and heaping praise on them," said the writer.

However, Left Democratic Front convenor and senior CPI(M) leader E.P. Jayarajan said MT seemed to have crticised the Centre as well as Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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