“Thaliyathiri reign is the first and foremost form of democracy. I think you cannot see such a healthy ruling pattern anywhere else in the world.”, remarked the octogenarian writer Akkitham at the onset of another electoral celebration that sweeps the whole scenario.
[It was a subtle instance in my life to scribble out what my two Gurus were chatting with.]
Tapping on the shoulders of Mr.P.Balakrishnan, Retd. Deputy Editor of Mathrubhumi, Akkitham, the towering personality in Malyalam literary world began to chew the cud of the palmy days.
“Kanyakumari to Gokarnam is a depleted phrase and entity now. It is from Kunchikuttan Thampuran’s ‘Aikyakeralam’ that we get details of this ethnic past once we had. Recently Tapasya had conducted a cultural pilgrimage across the State only to re-inculcate this forgotten fact unto the new genre.” (Tapasya is a cultural organisation in which Akkitham has been an actively associated with.
“Earlier there were 64 villages out of which 32 were in Karnataka and the other 32 were in Kerala. 4 Thali s constituted the State in which 8 villages each were line up under these th
ali s reigned by Thaliyathiris. They were being elected through voting at an assembly where the whole people gather at a point to elect their leaders. People were well acquainted of the person who is going to rule them.”, explained Akkitham.
“Voting was absolutely transparent. People used to lift their hand in consent with the person whom they support. Thus it was vigorous and vital. After the declaration of the results no one would try to provoke the other and the victorious and the lost would leave the premise shaking hands each other with their allies. Right to freedom of expression was the crux of the politics then.”
Now, as the present scenario makes everyone an alienated island, the poet laureate cum social reformer never leaves articulating his notion of reproducing Kunhikuttan Thampuran’s ‘Aikyakeralam’ with enough interpretations once again into this callous arena.
“When I shed a drop of tear
For the sake of others, dear,
In my soul there do appear
A thousand social spheres..”
So how can this bard keep aside a philosophy which craves and lives unto the poor and oppressed?
“ I know there are some rumours of me being a communist. I have worked in the Yogakshema Sabha sans an authoritative membership for a l
ong time. That may be the reason behind this.”, observes Akkitham.
“But I have been lured to socialism since my childhood. At the age of 6 as per the Namboodiri custom I too had undergone the Vedic studies. When learning Rigveda, we were used to repeat the word ‘samaanam’ (equality) several times. This fancied my mind and I was fortunate once to have a ‘peep’ to its Malayalam translation by Vallathol. And I particularly noted the various interpretations of socialism in it. I was trained in Rigveda up to my 12th year and it made me all the more craving towards socialism.”
“At that time our social arena was dangerously perilous with so many bad customs like classism, untouchability etc that prevailed all through. Later when went through “Why Socialism” by EMS, ‘Soviet naadu’ by C.Achutha Menon, and Wendel Wilkey “One World” translated and published in Mathrubhumi, I could mould my perception towards life as a whole and never particular. I was leaning towards socialism which I felt was the need of the hour then. This thought guided me towards Karl Marx within whom I saw a
redeemer of the humanity. But I would prefer to say that ‘Sampada sooktham’ of Rig Veda which preaches and interprets ‘samaanam’ is the first ever scribble of Communism in the world.”, asserts the social reformer.
“What attracted me to Communism is its bottom line of equality which I thought could break the barrier of castes which stand upright amidst our society as a hurdle towards communion and prosperity,its byproduct ”, states Akkitham.
I am always a Gandhian
A bard who travels through weird ways of imageries and images that rooted deep in the spiritual texture of a country having a solid heritage Akkitham Achuthan Namboodiri always waded in searching the Ultimate through his multifarious poetic world. Hence it justifies why he loved Karl Marx when there was no surety if Marx had any acquaintance with the Indian philosophical crux ‘vasudaiva kudumbakam’ which calls for a community living that needs no government to rule upon.
‘na rishi kuruthekavya’(one who is not a sage can never be a poet). That is why Akkitham says he cannot separate Love, God and Poetry just like he cannot do the same with Dharma, Satyam and Swathnthryam.
That may be the same reason why he seems to rack his brains on reviving the past while surging with innovative beliefs at a time when Assembly poll-heat surpasses the scorching summer sun.
“Communism, in its sole core, is absolute village imagery. But now, there exists hardly any village in our society. Every village has developed to town and further to city along with its core objective of science. So I think there is no scope left for the ism right now in this soil.”, quips the reformer who gained the vigour from the fire brand revolutionary leader V.T.Bhattathirippadu.
“But Gandhism is different. It is unalterable. It never conceives or recognizes any scientific facts. So I believe in Gandhism which is verity, ultimate. I like to hear you call me a Gandhian”