You must have been watching the developments at Aranmula, one of our most important temple villages, where an international airport project is announced. The region threatened by the project is an apex heritage spot in and around the famous Parthasarathy temple. It is also an ecologically fragile region of wetlands that feed the holy river Pampa, also providing life giving water. The world famous Aranmula Vallam Kali, boat race, with associated tangible and intangible heritages like snake boat building, arts and crafts, is held here as a people’s initiative through generations past. It is also home to the master craftsmen who make the traditional metal mirrors called Aranmula Kannadi , to take a case from the many.
There are innumerable temples, sacred groves, hill shrines dotting the entire area around the Parthasarathy Temple here which has been ear marked for the airport. This massive project is having the potential to displace the native people with their invaluable cultural heritage as also neutralize the holy town. The larger Pathanamthitta region is facing, as most of Kerala, urbanization of a high degree and the capital rich are increasingly in command taking over all sectors. An alien, ecologically damaging sub-culture model is taking over.
It is in this backdrop that a people’s movement resisting the airport and aimed at conserving the culture, traditions and the natural wealth in this pocket of rich heritages has to be viewed.
The private airport project being bull dozed against the people’s wishes and throwing to the winds the laws of the land is to take vast areas in and around the temple. What is to displace the native population and change the region.
The wetlands are being filled through a notification, to bypass laws showing the temple area as industrial area. With the evil forces deeply entrenched in the government the only course for the people is to defeat their agendas by any means. Should the very seats of core Malayali identity be left to unscrupulous agencies with various vested interests to have their way is the challenge that the people of Kerala are facing.
For the people of Aranmula and nearby areas it is a firm no and the struggle against the destructive forces is on for the last several years. The stealthy move started a decade back and is continuing using new tools. But the state and central governments recently have taken conspiratorial stands with regard to the project and they are going ahead with the plan. Obviously the stands are to harden and the time is ripe for a consolidation of the patriotic forces. A movement consolidating all the sectors of patriotic forces has come together, cutting across political, community, differences, and this is unknown in the history of Kerala.
Through this appeal we are requesting those likeminded, those sensible enough to honor priceless heritage, who value ecological health, to come and join the us. In whatever way they can, they may campaign at their own places, high light the issues in the media, lobby against the project and also support the core activities by a donation. The Paithruka Grama Karma Samithy spear heading the protests, lead by eminent persons, and representative of the people of the region, is also aiming at alternative heritage conservation and promotion plans.
We look forward for the active participation of all the kind hearted in this movement that the heritage is protected. A living heritage is integral to a holistic culture and the ecosystem that supports it. Damaging it shall in time destroy the whole, there is no dearth of cases that prove that in the ecologically threatened world. So please rush with the support, in a few days time open agitation is to begin.
With Prayers to Lord .
Patron, Aranmula Paithruka Grama Karma Samithi .