M. N. Vijayan

M.N. Vijayan (also known as Vijayan Mash) (8 June 1930 – 3 October2007) was an Indian writer, orator and academic.

Early life

Prof. M.N.Vijayan was born in Lokamaleshwaram, Kerala, India. He was educated in Pathinettarayalam L.P. School, Kodungallur Boys High School, Ernakulam Maharajas College, and Ernakulam Law College. He was awarded a Master of Arts in Malayalam Language and Literature from Madras University.

Academic career

He joined Madras New College as a teacher in 1952. He worked as a lecturer in University college, Trivandrum for brief period before joining Brennen College, Thalassery, in 1960 as a Malayalam Lecturer. He retired in 1985.

Political and journalism career

Vijayan worked as the editor of the cultural weekly "Desabhimani" owned by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M)) on the request of its leaders. He was a long-term President of Purogamana Kala Sahitya Sangham (Progressive Association for Art and Letters) and Adhinivesha Prathirodha Samithi (Council for Resisting Imperialist Globalisation), a leftist think-tank based in Kerala which collaborated occasionally with the CPI(M). He was removed from the editor post at Deshabhimani when leaders of the provincial Communist Party felt he was not supportive to the party line. He opposed the policy of some state level leaders and other leftist intellectuals to accept foreign funding of political work. [ [http://www.hindu.com/2003/12/26/stories/2003122605170400.htm The Hindu : Mixed response to Kerala Social Forum ] ] He was also for a time the editor of the controversial periodical "Padom", notably criticising a Kerala state government program called People's Campaign for Decentralised Planning and its propagator Thomas Isaac. [ [http://www.hindu.com/2004/02/16/stories/2004021604030400.htm The Hindu : Padhom is the winner in CPI(M) row ] ] Vijayan and Prof.Sudheesh's articles in "Padom" against the "people’s plan", a programme aimed at decentralisation of power, became a controversial issue. Later a Kerala court ruled that the allegations of foreign funding of the KSSP had been proven by Sudheesh and Vijayan. [http://www.mathrubhumi.com/php/showNews.php?news_category_id=3&Farc=] Vijayan and Sudheesh had started "Padom" in 2000, after resigning from the CPI(M). Vijayan's resignation was considered to be the first manifestation of the bitter ideological war to take place within th CPI(M) in later years. [http://www.epw.org.in/epw/uploads/articles/1900.pdf] This resignation was in disagreement with M. A. Baby, then cultural in-charge of the CPI(M). The cultural programme Manaveeyam of CPI(M)-led LDF government of Kerala was criticised for the extravagance of the programmes and the elitist audience whose sensibilities were ostensibly catered to in these programmes, and also for the fact that the "people’s art and culture" gave way to bourgeois concepts under the influence of neoliberalism. Vijayan also led an ideological debate against social democratic deviations. [ [http://www.cpiml.in/070419.htm Visit our Guest Book ] ] When the leader of Kerala Shastra Sahitya Parishad (a pro-CPI(M) Science forum) M.P.Parameswaran went ahead with his “theory of the fourth world” campaign, it was alleged that a theory that had been opposed by the late ideologue of the party, E. M. S. Namboodiripad, was now being resurrected after his death. Noted CPI(M) intellectual P. Govinda Pillai's controversial critical remarks against A. K. Gopalan, Namboodiripad and others were also resisted by Vijayan and his followers on ideological grounds. Though, initially, CPI(M) leadership was forced to expel Parameswaran [ [http://www.hindu.com/2004/02/16/stories/2004021602610700.htm The Hindu : CPI(M) expels M.P. Parameswaran ] ] and depromote Pillai from the state committee because of the high reputation that Vijayan enjoyed among the party supporters, writers and the literate, later the Social Democrats group got control over the CPI(M) organization. [ [http://www.telegraphindia.com/1050822/asp/nation/story_5140834.asp The Telegraph - Calcutta : Nation ] ] [ [http://www.telegraphindia.com/1060420/asp/opinion/story_6115414.asp The Telegraph - Calcutta : Opinion ] ] There were similar attacks against other left-leaning intellectuals like Dr. B. Ekbal (leading to Ekbal's expulsion from CPI(M)) who were trying to re-examine the direction of left-wing politics in Kerala.

Vijayan did not attend many public meetings during his last years for health reasons, but continued to write weekly columns in "Samakalina Malayalam", an Indian Express group of publications, "Janashakthi" and "Maruvakku". The column was originally published weekly in "Desabhimani" until he parted ways with the paper. He is also the editor of the monthly "Maruvaakku".

Writings

Most of Vijayan's publications are compilations of his speeches. He is considered to be a powerful orator. [ [http://www.hinduonnet.com/lf/2005/01/21/stories/2005012100200200.htm The Hindu : Life Kochi : Capturing a quest into essence of reality ] ] [http://www.malayalamvarikha.com] [http://www.keralamonitor.com/mnvijayan.htm] [ [http://www.chintha.com/keralam/malayalam/language-alphabets.html Our alphabets for our language | chintha ] ] He used psychology, Marxism and social science as tools to analyse life and literature. Some prominent writers, including M. Krishnan Nair, Thinakkal Padmanabhan and V. C. Sreejan, have said that Vijayan's writings are difficult to understand, as he does not follow conventional grammatical structures. He was a noted pioneer of the use of psychological criticism in Malayalam Literature, and is considered by some to have greatly influenced contemporary Kerala culture with his ideas. [ [http://www.rediff.com/news/2007/oct/08vijayan.htm In M N Vijayan's death, the real teacher has gone ] ]

Vijayan's works were nominated on several occasions for literary awards, but in keeping with a general aversion to institutionalism, he rejected any state-sponsored awards that he won. [ [http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/holnus/000200710031846.htm The Hindu News Update Service ] ]

List of published works

* "Bhayavum Abhayavum" (The Fear And Refuge)
* "Pradhirodhangal" (Resistances)
* "Chithayile Velicham" (Light In The Pyre)
* "M.N.Vijayante Prabhashanangal" (M.N.Vijayan's Speeches)
* "Varnangalude Sangeetham" (The Music Of Colors)
* "Kavithayum Manashastravum" (Poetry And Psychology)
* "Sheersasanam" (Standing Upside Down)
* "Kazhchappadu" (Perspective)
* "Vaakkum Manassum" (The Speech and The Thought)
* "Puthiya Varthamanangal" (Latest News)
* "Noothana Lokangal" (New Worlds)
* "Fascisathinte Manashasthram" (The Psychology Of The Fascism)
* "Marubhumikal Pookkumbol" (When The Deserts Bloom)
* "Samskaravum Swathanthriavum" (The Culture And The Freedom)
* "Adhikaram- Anuragam- Athmarahasyangal" (Power- Passion- Private Matters)
* "Fascism- Prathyaya Shasthram-Prayogam- Pradhirodham" (Fascism- The Philosophy -Practice- Protest)

Intellectual mentor and counselor

Though not a qualified medical practitioner, Vijayan worked for many years as a pro bono counsellor, using Freudian techniques. [ [http://www.newindpress.com/sunday/sundayitems.asp?id=SEB20071011090709&eTitle=Books+%26+Literature&rLink=0 newindpress on sunday - News Items ] ] Many writers, intellectuals, journalists and political activists have described him as an intellectual mentor. The November 2007 issue of "Samayam Masika" was devoted to articles by a variety of public figures about Vijayan and his influence, both on them personally and upon others, including M. T. Vasudevan Nair (writer, film director, Jnanpeeth Award winner), N.Prabhakaran (writer, academic), Mohanan Cherukadu (writer), Appukkuttan Vallikkunnu (journalist), P. Surendran (writer), Dr. Abdul Azeez (Doctor), Kunhappa Pattanoor (poet), Umesh Babu K.C. (Poet and political activist), A. V. Pavitran (writer), Anil Kumar A. V. (journalist, political activist), Dr. Vatsalan Vatuseeri (writer), Dr. Prabhakaran Pazhassi (writer, Professor), Thaha Madayi (journalist), Choorayi Chandran (Political activist, Educationalist), N. Shasidharan (writer). ["Samayam Masika" Nov. 2007, Issue: 62]

Study Center

A study group was established in M.N.Vijayan' name, by Adhinivesha Prathirodha Samiti.Fact|date=November 2007

Family

The son of Pathiyasheril Narayana Menon and Moolayil Kochammu Amma, Vijayan is married to Sharada, and has a son, V.S. Anil Kumar, also a writer and lecturer), and two daughters, Dr. Sujatha Balachandran and Sunitha Rajagopal.

Death

Vijayan died of cardiac arrest on October 3 2007. [ [http://www.hindu.com/2007/10/04/stories/2007100453020400.htm The Hindu : Kerala News : M.N. Vijayan passes away ] ] [ [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBeLZFw2cJg YouTube - MN. VIJAYAN EXPIRED - Last Moments of M.N. Vijayan ] ] He was speaking at a televised press conference at Thrissur to explain the defamation case filed by KSSP President Pappootty over an article that appeared in the Paadham magazine. Caught on film, his last words were "The problem that KSSP had was with the language used by Padham. Firstly....", and subsequently collapsed. Kerala Kaumudi left the space of its main headline blank showing respect to him and commented "The death which doesn't have any title." Janashakthi weekly left its whole editorial page blank to show respect to him. His body was cremated with State honours in Kodungallur, Kerala. [ [http://www.hindu.com/2007/10/05/stories/2007100553100500.htm The Hindu 5th Oct, 2007] ]

References


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