'No ulterior motive'

Print edition : October 13, 2001

Perhaps the only early indication of the United Democratic Front government's move against the Kerala Council for Historical Research was a message posted at the KCHR website on June 27 by G. Karthikeyan, Minister for Cultural Affairs. It said: "As the new Minister for Cultural Affairs in the State, I have expressed at the outset my views that the policy of the government towards history and culture seldom changes with the change of Ministry. However, I expect the officials involved with cultural institutions to carry out their activities without giving them political shades and narrow-mindedness." Excerpts from the interview he gave R. Krishnakumar over the telephone:

What were the reasons behind the government's decision to dissolve the KCHR?

The matter is now before the High Court and it would not be proper for me to comment on it.

Would it be correct to say that the government took this decision because the Council was constituted by a Marxist-led government?

The decision to dissolve the Council was taken by a democratically elected government after discussions in the State Cabinet. The government is fully convinced that it took the right decision in this regard. It is convinced also that the reasons are genuine and called for the dissolution of the Council. The government had no ulterior motive.

What is your reaction to the allegation that the government succumbed to the campaign by persons working in collaboration with the RSS?

Will anyone believe such an allegation? That a government led by the Indian National Congress would do such a thing? The government will produce all its reasons before the people. There are several reasons, including the way the Council was established. It would have been the first time in the history of the country that such a council was formed the way it was done.

Is 'financial irregularity' one of the reasons for the dissolution?

The government will place all the reasons before the people. I cannot comment on them now.

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