Welcome to A. K. Balan

There are a few places like Chinnakkanal near Munnar where the newspapers did not have much reach. There the squatters on government land welcome Mr. Balan. (File Photo)

Kerala’s Electricity Minister A. K. Balan has finally admitted that: the LDF is not going to be returned to power in Kerala.

Well, he said it in a different way. The newspapers were unseen enemy of the people. If people continued to read newspapers, the LDF government would not be able to come back to power despite it carrying out programmes for the welfare of the people. (Mathrubhoomi, September 12, 2010).

He claimed that the Kerala government had surpassed even China in respect of developmental activities. But only if the people stopped reading newspapers could the government return to power.

Of course, Balan is not Thomas Jefferson to say: “Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter “(Thomas Jefferson, 1787).

Nor is he a democrat like Nehru who said: “I would rather have a completely free Press with all the dangers involved in the wrong use of that freedom than a suppressed or regulated Press.” (Speech at the Newspaper Editor’s Conference. 3/12/1950).

He is a communist who had for long wished that the dictatorship of the proletariat, as practiced in China, could be established in India.  But India embraced democracy.  As a consequence, he could not wish away the Press or keep them under control as in China.

So, defeat of the LDF has become a certainty in Kerala with the newspapers flourishing and free to write anything about the contributions of the government to the masses. It has been encouraging lotteries and encroachment of land as a means to become rich quick and toddy shops and bars for a kick.  The newspapers portray them as the opium of the masses. The people do not see that their real enemies are the media and not liquor barons and lottery distributors. They had turned the people against the government at Kinalur, Attappady, Kannur, Kochi and several other places where the government had planned developmental projects.

The media even fail to see the advances made by Kerala over China. While the Chinese could not take up construction of the Vizhinjam International Transshipment Terminal owing to conspiracy by the Central government, the State government itself has now decided  to take up the construction of the road to the proposed project site. The work has been inaugurated though it is yet to start. The Chinese could not even win the contract for building the terminal while the State government is now busy awarding the contracts for building the roads to the State’s own PWD contractors.