Members of the Islamic community must hit the streets with the demand of carving a separate Malabar state out of Kerala centred around Kozhikode or, at least for the time being, an additional secretariat should be set up that the chief minister and top officials of the state must attend three days a week — a prominent Muslim group has demanded according to some Malayalam language news mediums.
In Kochi, Satyadhara (fortnightly magazine) editor Anwar Sadiq Faizi Tanur wants Muslims to take to the streets with the Telangana model agitation for the formation of a Malabar state. In a Facebook post dated 10 February, Faizi alleged that the government was ignoring Malabar. He alleged further that the Pinarayi Vijayan government was nepotistic, which is hurting the interests of the Muslim-dominated region. The post is based on an advertisement released by the Department of Health, Kerala.
The newspaper advertisement of the Kerala government that day to show the excellence of the health sector is notable, according to the Muslim intellectual, for publicising its nepotism and disregard for the Malabar region. Malappuram, with the most number of people, has only 3 representations, Faizi alleged. At the same time, parts south of Ernakulam do not have any sign of a health centre, he wrote.
“This advertisement is the latest example to show that Malabar has been discriminated against by different governments. While tens of thousands are wandering in Malabar without getting seats for +2 (higher secondary education), tens of thousands of seats are lying vacant in the stretch Thiruvananthapuram-Kochi. Private buses in Malabar and KSRTC buses in the south are being monopolised,” the Muslim intellectual alleged. “This discrimination can be seen,” he wrote, “in many such things.”
“Most of the assembly seats are in Malabar,” Faizi wrote. He said, “Most of the development happens on the southern side. This discrimination has been going on since the capital and secretariat was formed by taking even the Malayalam language to a border, replacing it with Tamil.”
“Lamenting here is a fruitless exercise. If it’s to be worthwhile, the people here should take to the streets,” adopting the model of agitation to get Telangana carved out of Andhra Pradesh, Faizi said, “to form the ‘Malabar state’ with Kozhikode as the headquarters.”
“Otherwise,” the Muslim intellectual demanded, “governing centres, including an Additional Secretariat, must be situated in Malabar. He demanded a special package to be implemented in the Muslim-dominated region where the state executive, including the chief minister, must stay for three days a week.
“All religious, cultural and political movements in Malabar must ensure this. At this time when the parties are preparing election manifestos, say it aloud,” the Muslim group head exhorted.