Adv. K. Raju, Hon’ble Minister for Forest and Wild Life,

Adv. V. Rajendra Babu, Mayor,

Shri N.K. Premachandran, Member of Parliament,

Shri M. Noushad, Member of Legislative Assembly,

Shri Abdul Nazar IAS, District Collector,

Shri Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Noted Film Director,

Shri K. Raveendranathan Nair, Noted Industrialist,

Smt. Vijaya Francis, Deputy Mayor,

Priya Madhyama Suhruthukkale,

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

Ellavarkkum Ente Namaskaram.

I am delighted to be here in response to your invitation to honour Shri K. Raveendranathan Nair, whom the people of Kollam consider as their dearest Ravi Muthalaali.

Let me begin by appreciating the Municipal Corporation of Kollam for organizing this function, with the aim ofhonoring Shri Raveendranathan Nair, whose work in education, films, industry and above all, patronage of art and culture have benefited Kerala and this city in the last few decades.

As we all know, Kollam is famous in history as a significant centre of trade and commerce. At the same time, it also enjoys a place in the cultural history of Kerala, because of its tradition in printing, since Kollam had one of the earliest printing presses in India. I am informed that it was this Press which performed the first printing in an Indian language.

Added to all these, Kollam is also well known for the taste of the cashew kernels as well as the employment generated by the cashew industry, which was once upon a time, Kerala's most important food industry. I understand that as a successful industrialist, Shri Raveendranathan Nair has played a significant role in the growth of the cashew sector in Kerala.

There was a time when the concept of social responsibility in business was limited to conducting a business profitably. Doing business well itself was seen by classical economists as a social duty, since every business invigorated the economy and thus helped society by generating employment and income.

But, this concept has changed all over the world and today, corporate social responsibility is mandatory in many nations including India. In fact, now we even hear of University social responsibility, which requires educational institutions to engage in social development.

However, many industrialists in India had thought of sharing their profits with society, even before the western world floated the idea of corporate social responsibility. Their goal was to ensure human development in society, in tune with Swami Vivekananda'sideal of 'Be and Make', that is, develop as men and help others to develop, or to stand on their feet. This thinking also reflected their awareness of a democratic responsibility to the nation and society.

I am happy to say that Shri Raveendranathan Nair was one who was guided by this democratic responsibility, right from his youth. And, he had performed this responsibility even without anyone prompting him.  What makes his contribution great is not in being one of the most affluent and influential Keralites, but in the way he utilized his wealth for the welfare of the people around him and for the development of Kerala's educational and cultural profile. 

The educational and cultural uplift of Kollam being always dear to his heart, he has donated school buildings and other infrastructure to various institutions in and around Kollam.

When the reading public of Kollam longed for a library and research institution, he was ready to establish a Public library and stock it with around one lakh titles. This   act of goodwill was lauded by the Prime Minister Shri Morarji Desai, who exhorted people all over the world to emulate this model. To realize the dream of a library, he used the entire profit earned from his commercial film, Achaani, also to earn the name, Achaani Ravi and later, 'General Pictures Ravi'.

By far, the greatest and the most notable of his contributions was in cinema, especially the encouragement he gave to parallel cinema. He differed from other film producers with his strong belief that cinema was the art of the Director and not of the financier. And the result of that faith in the Director was the rise of Malayalam cinema to the global hall of fame.

Shri Ravi's commitment was not to art cinema, but to good cinema. If such cinema thrives in Malayalam even now, it is due to the strong foundations he laid for it through his association with great film makers like G. Aravindan and Shri Adoor Gopalakrishnan.

The international acclaim received by Malayalam cinema owes greatly to the directorial craftsmanship of Shri Adoor Gopalakrishnan, and the commitment of Shri Ravi, the producer. The nation has honoured the director with the Dadasaheb Phalke Awardand the State has conferred on Shri Ravi, its highest award, the J.C. Daniel Awardin 2008.

A keen aesthetic sense has been the hallmark in each of his contributions, right from his films to the Sopanam cultural hub, which he built recently in the model of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Bhopal, for art exhibitions and art discussions. I feel that the real beauty of his contributions is in the silent touch of humanism and a broader vision which are visible in all his actions.

The social contributions of Shri Raveendranathan Nair are reminiscent of an observation of Mata Amritanandamayi.  She had said that the ‘world should know that a life of dedication is possible, that a life inspired by love and service is possible. The beauty and charm of selfless service would never die away from the face of this earth'.

The good deeds, artistic creations and the social uplift realized through Shri Ravi's efforts are here to stay beyond our times to inspire future generations to do good for society.

On behalf of everyone here, the people of Kollam and entire Kerala, I wish Shri Raveendranathan Nair, good health and happiness.

Let me conclude with a word to the people of Kollam.

കൊല്ലം നഗരത്തിനും കേരളത്തിനും ശ്രീ രവി ഒരു മാതൃകയാണ്.

[Shri Ravi is a model to Kerala and Kollam]

അദ്ദേഹത്തിന്റെ സദ് പ്രവൃത്തികള്‍ യുവതലമുറയ്ക്ക് പ്രചോദനം ആകട്ടെ.

[May his good deeds inspire the younger generation]

ശ്രീ രവിക്ക് ഞാന്‍ എല്ലാ നന്മയും നേരുന്നു.

 [I wish Shri Ravi all the best]



                                                                 लोका: समस्ता: सुखिनो भवन्तु ।
                                                                      वलरे नन्नि 
                                                                      जय हिन्द ।