Re: Oomman Chandy's Appeal
- What was written by Dr. MS Alexander is factual.
Mr Oomman Chandy is our own MLA (Puthuppally) for the last 35 years. We respect him not for the party he represents, but his personnel qualities as a selfless and committed leader who has bench marked the qualities required for an ideal mass leader. He was always with each one of us in the constituency (even when he was the CM) to share our sorrows as well as happiness. Please do not consider Oomman Chandy as just another Kerala politician. It is a fact that very ordinary people, including old, destitute, widows, orphans, underprivileged etc who where touched in one way or another by the empathetic actions of Oomman Chandy for the last many years, literally FAST and pray for him irrespective of caste, creed or religion . In one of our famous Churches, for the last 2 years since he became CM, a dedicated Holy Father conducts Holy Qurbana on every Wednesday, attended by mostly ordinary faithful from village background.
In mid 2004, Congress observers came from Delhi, pre-determined to install Vakkom Purushottaman as the CM. But to their utter surprise 55 of 61 Congress MLAs (majority belonging to Vakkom's own religion/caste) has shown their preference to Oomman Chandy over Vakkom, a victory for true secularism. Even till 4:00 AM on that morning, many respected people from different walks of life constantly persuaded him not to withdraw from the scene, knowing his past. Continuing to stay at his modest 2 bed room "Puthuppally House" at Jagathy (TVM) as Chief Minister, he forced Vakkom Purushottaman, Finance Minister (his political opponent in a way) to occupy the most prestigious Chief Minister's Official Banglove "Cliff House". He will be probably the only CM in India to move around in his official "Kerala State 1 Ambassador" without any security cover. At his "Puthuppally House" TVM as well as "Karottu Veettil" in Puthuppally, gates are 24 hrs open without even a watchman for any ordinary man to get in with his/her grievance.
The most important quality I have seen in this man of simplicity is that, he has got no hesitation and go out of way to use his position or name (unlike AK Antony) for any good cause, if it is in the interest of any human being, that too from the downtrodden..
It is unfortunate that our Church leadership has failed to use the rare occasion of one of its children becoming CM to its full potential for its Mission. In a few instances where the local leadership was committed and imaginative, the results were revealing. Probably with the good offices of CM, Hon. President of India accepted the invitation and inaugurated two special projects in respect of "St. Gregoriose Karunya Nilayam, Kottayam" and "St. Gregoriose Hospital, Parumala" making both these institutions known to the world. Parumala function was aborted at the first instance due to bad weather, but it seems the CM made it a point to get the President to Parumala after few weeks again (under normal circumstances we can not imagine the President attending a function related this very small church in Kerala).Recently when Fr. Thomas Kurien of "Karunya" visied UAE to raise funds for its "Light of Life" project to sponsor the treatment for 100 children affected by cancer (needs RS 3 lacs per child), it was not a difficult task for Achan to convince even non christian friends, mainly for the reason that the project was inaugurated by the President himself and its credibility was not doubted. Parumala Hospital is now known as a famous cardio vascular centre of India with a âhuman touchâ.
I am sure, history will remember this man who symbolises true simplicity (probably the first and the last CM from the oldest Christian community) as a leader who has laid the foundation stone for a Modern Kerala during his short tenure and also bench marked the requirements for an ideal Chief Minister making the task very difficult for any of his successors. Historians may remember him next only to probably EM Shankaran Namboothirippad, the first Communist CM of Kerala, who has revolutionised our conservative society with feudal mentality through his famous land reforms. But unlike EMS who was an intellectual giant (University 1st Rank holder and belonging to a Brahmin family), this ordinary man with ordinary background could do extraordinary things only due to Almighty's blessings.
NB: Inspite of all the good jobs, we should not be surprised if Oomman Chandy is not becoming the CM for a second time. The probable reasons are:
1) He is a practicing Christian !!!. There is a silent but very strong communal divide visible now in the Kerala society for the first time, especially against Christians and Muslims. This seems mainly for the arrogant display of materialism using our affluence due to the NRI money accumulated for the last 50 years. KP Yohannan type âday-night mission workâ using the visual media has also alienated our ordinary (otherwise very tolerant and secular) hindu brothers from us.
2) A conspiracy against OC by vested interests, since they are aware that a second tenure for him may transform the whole Kerala at par with Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai and their own existence will be at stake.
Dedicated leaders like Oomman Chandy or for that matter anybody else may have to pay a big price for our un-christian behavior in the society. But again there is a silver lining, probably Keralaâs lose can be Indiaâs gain, since Oomman Chandy can not be stopped by anybody except the Almighty.
George Abraham, Abu Dhabi