Vol. XLI No. 47 November 19, 2017

“Let us Read Chirasmarane and Visit Kayyur” Unique Jatha to Kayyur

RECENTLY a unique jatha of youth to Kayyur was organised by the DYFI led by  Muneer Katipalla, DYFI state president, under the slogans “Struggles of the past inspire to take on new challenges” and “Read Chirasmarane and Visit Kayyur”. This was a unique experiment in Karnataka, perhaps even first of its kind in the country. “Chirasmarane” a Kannada novel considered a classic, depicts the historic peasant revolt at Kayyur in the 1940s in the then Malabar (now Kasaragod) district where peasants rose against local landlords. Four young communist peasant leaders were hanged on charges of conspiring to murder the police. “Chirasmarane” is translated to Malayalam and many other languages.  DYFI started a social media campaign on the above slogans. Organisers had a target of about 30 volunteers in mind to visit Kayyur on November 11.

Within few days much before the deadline, the target was reached. Ultimately about 60 young people read “Chirasmarane” and visited Kayyur.  In fact the demand for the book exceeded the supply. Many had to read photocopied and scanned copies. Many of the youth who were in the jatha were aware of “Chirasmarane” and Kayyur Revolt earlier only vaguely, if at all.  They were no Left sympathisers either.  Jatha included students, teachers, writers, journalists, lawyers. They were welcomed by the DYFI and CPI(M) local leaders on arrival at Kayyur. They were taken around the historic sites of the Kayyur Struggle, vividly described in the novel. They visited houses of four martyrs and met their families. Many in the team were so inspired by the whole experience that many poems and songs were composed.

Reading a classic about a historic struggle, imbibing the spirit of that struggle, visiting the historic place associated with the struggle and to use the experience to face new challenges of our times – is indeed a new unique experiment. It lends itself as a new method to – organise such a campaign on social media, draw youth to reading classics, to know historic peoples struggles, and think about confronting challenges of our times.