MT Vasudevan Nair, the Jnanpith Award-winner and prominent Kerala writer, has come under sustained attack following his criticism of the central government’s demonetisation move.
Incensed by his comments, the Kerala BJP and its supporters have attacked the writer on social media and other platforms.
Last Wednesday, MT, in a speech at the launch of Finance Minister Thomas Isaac’s book Kallappana Vetta—Midhyayum Yadharthyavum (Black money hunt: Myths and Realities), said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi must have a hidden agenda behind demonetisation.
Later, on Thursday BJP state General Secretary AN Radhakrishnan hit out at MT, saying the writer had no right to criticise demonetisation.
"M T Vasudevan Nair is not an economist to criticise demonetisation. If it was A Sethumadhavan or KL Mohana Varma who did that, we can understand, as they have a background in economics,” Radhakrishnan said.
He also hit out at MT, saying that the writer had remained silent after the murder of RMP leader T P Chandrasekharan, over which CPI(M) leaders had faced strong attacks.
Following the BJP leader’s comments, MT’s supporters on Facebook hit back by saying the writer was expressing his opinion.
They also pointed that when Mohanlal supported demonetisation through his blog, the BJP claimed that this was the actor exercising his freedom of expression.
They came down hard on the BJP, asking why MT doesn’t have freedom of expression.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan then came out in support of MT, saying, “MT voiced the collective opinion of the people. So now the attempt is to insult the great writer. There was no impact of demonetisation, other than creating troubles for common people,” the CM said.
With the exchanges online and offline gathering strength, BJP state Chief Kummanam Rajashekharan attempted to douse the fires on Friday by saying that the BJP did not intend to insult the great writer. “He has the freedom to express his opinion. Many persons have expressed their opinion in favour of and against the note ban,” Kummanam said.
However, on social media platforms, the attack against MT by BJP sympathisers has continued. In a viral Facebook post, Advocate Sanku T Das criticised MT for attending the book release function. “MT wrote the introduction for the Malayalam translation of the book The Story of San Michele, which was a book of hope. The same author introducing the book of despair written by Thomas Isaac is contradictory,” wrote Sanku.
He also said that MT should, at least, not have expressed his opinion at that public function.