Eminent Malayalam poet, Balachandran Chullikkad, courted controversy when he declared on Monday that he didn’t want his poems taught in schools and colleges.
"Don’t teach my poems in schools or colleges. My poems should be excluded from all curriculum. Don't allow research on my poems and also don’t misuse my poems for academic purposes." he said in a press conference in Kochi.
He prefaced his statements saying that it was a request to the people of the state and also to the authorities.
The poet, known for his work that represents the turbulent youth of the 1980s in the state, said he had his reasons for such a request.
“Students are given high marks and are awarded degrees without anyone considering errors in spelling or grammar or ideas. Those who don’t have the required knowledge and ability to teach Malayalam language are appointed as teachers on the basis of donations, religion, caste, political influence and nepotism,” he lashed out.
Balachandran’s poems, on love and life, have influenced an entire generation. His strongly worded works have changed the thought processes of scores of young Malayalis.
He is commonly called Chullikkad and, later in his life, even went on to play numerous roles in the Malayalam film industry and on the small screen.
His most recent poem, which was very well received, was published in the Malayalam weekly Mathrubhumi, which challenged the growing fanaticism the country is seeing.
Balachandran’s latest stand has not really surprised anyone. He is known to take unique stands and is also one of the few Malayalam writers to have refused awards.