Shri K. Jayakumar, Director, Institute of Management and

Chairman of Jury,

Shri Rajeev Devraj, Editor, News18 Kerala,

Dear Award winners,

Priya Madhyama Suhruthukkale,

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

Ellavarkkum Ente Namaskaram.

It gives me great joy to address you after presenting

the Malayalee of the Year Awardsinstituted by News 18- Kerala.

My heartiest congratulations to Women in Cinema Collective, Shri Manu S. Pillai, Shri Deepen Sivaraman,
Shri Lijo Jose Pellissery, Shri V. Noushadand Shri Jinson Johnsonon being selected for this prestigious award. I have no doubt that their contributions represent the ethos of Kerala and its uniquely progressive mind.

Let me also compliment News 18-Kerala for organizing this function to recognize theserelatively young and eminent citizens from various fields, including literature, Arts, Entertainment, Innovation and Sports. They are not mere news-makers, but gifted professionals who have added sparkle to Kerala’s glory before the World.  I see this both as a celebration of youth power and as a pointer to the future of our State.

Though a relatively new channel in Kerala, News 18-Kerala, which is part of Network18, was quick to establish itself as one of the leading television channels through a unique social outlook and a development oriented approach.  This channel has been noted for highlighting environmental as well as other issues, which   have strong implications for the State. 

One of the factors that made Kerala stand out in the national scene, has been the high educational level of our women. This has resulted in Kerala resonating with the boldest feminine voices, that strive to establish parity and acceptance in a male dominated society. As we honour the Women in Cinema Collectivewith an award today, we are honouring the courage of a group of women who highlighted the need for a positive attitudinal shift in our public sphere, especially, the cinema industry. Their focus on combating sexual harassment and inequalities within the industry has emboldened many women in Indian cinema to rise and speak up. I feel that the pioneering role of the Women in Cinema Collectivein igniting this spark of courage, should be nationally recognized.  

The greatness of a nation is measured in terms of the respect and security it accords to its women. The work of Women in Cinema Collective is therefore, a reminder to society about the exalted status given to women in our tradition. The Vedas saw woman as an equal companion to man; the Upanishads saw man and woman as two halves of divine unity, complementing each other.  Elsewhere, it is stated :

यत्र नार्यस्तु पूज्यन्ते रमन्ते तत्र देवताः ।
यत्रैतास्तु न पूज्यन्ते सर्वास्तत्राफलाः क्रियाः


[It means, the divine are extremely happy where women are respected; where they are not, all actions (projects) are fruitless].

            Today's award for literature has been conferred on a young man, whose writings are marked by a mature fascination for history.  Shri Manu S. Pillai'swritings are an interesting dialogue with the past, an active engagement with the minds of his subjects, be it the rulers of Travancore or the Sultans of Deccan. He has made history pleasantly readable by re-interpreting archival records and by re-orienting the narratives of the past to well-known historical figures or locations. The harmonious blend of historical analysis and literary beauty in his writings point to a bright future for this young man, who has already earned global fame as a writer.

Shri Lijo Jose Pellisseryand Shri Deepen Sivaraman, the two young men honoured today, for their achievements in cinema and theatre, represent Kerala's future on the celluloid and on the stage. Shri Pellissery's unconventional style of film making and his use of the non-linear style of narrative display his knowledge about the global trends in cinema.  He has proved that he could be at his directorial best with established actors as well as with newcomers. The many honors which have come his way, make us optimistic about the stature of Malayalam cinema on the national and global screen in the years to come.

The recognition received by Shri Deepen Sivaramanas  Theatre director, Scenographer and academic, shows us the relevance of theater as a very effective means of social communication in today's world. He has literally breathed oxygen into the art of drama by establishing a theatre company and by taking his work to stages across the nation and even abroad. On each stage, he was placing a slice of Kerala’s theater culture, shaped and nurtured by several master dramatists through decades.

Like Cinema and theatre, Sports, especially athletics, has enhanced Kerala's prestige at the national and international levels.

Therefore, it is befitting that an upcoming athlete has been chosen as the Malayali of the Year, in sports.
Shri Jinson Johnson, who is the youngest of today's awardees, is a promising middle-distance runner and setter of a national record, who specializes in the 800 and 1500 meters events.  He has a long way to go and I hope that this award would fuel his surge ahead in sports.

The award presented to Shri V. Noushad for business and innovation shows how novel ideas could help a business grow as the largest of its kind in Asia and at the same time, touch the lives of thousands of families. I am glad that the VKC Group, set up by Shri Noushad, has expanded to Sri Lanka and Bangladesh and provides direct employment to more than 7000 people across Asia.

This model of business growth and human welfare, deserves to be highlighted. The Gandhian observation that the man who goes into business to do well, stays in it to do good, suits the work of Shri Noushad.

All the awards we have presented point to the progressive outlook of Kerala and the Malayali in today's world, and in various professions.  As we all know, there is not a single nation, which is not enlivered by the presence of a Malayali.  As the people of a land which had played hosts to various cultures from far and wide, we Keralites are noted for our progressive outlook and readiness to adapt to any culture of the world. Like sugar in the milk, we add to the sweetness of the lands we inhabit.

There could be many other areas where the hard work of lesser known young Keralites benefits society.  Identifying and rewarding those youngsters who make a difference in society would certainly be an inspiration for our youth.  I hope media houses like News 18 Kerala would expand their search to such people also in the coming years. It would certainly be the fulfilment of a social obligation above the usual informational role of a mass medium.

I congratulate all the award winners, wish them greater success in life and request them to be the brand ambassadors of a new Kerala that surges ahead on the path of progress and development. I also compliment the Jury for the judicious election of the awardees.

Let me conclude by complimenting News 18 Kerala for presenting these remarkable success stories to the world and by reminding about a responsibility expected of news channels, by the people of Kerala.

ദൃശ്യമാദ്ധ്യമപ്രവർത്തനം ഒരുജോലിയല്ല, സാമൂഹിക ദൗത്യമാണ്.

[Visual Journalism is not a job, but a social mission]

കേരളത്തിന്റെ വികസനം ഓരോ ചാനലിന്റെയും ലക്ഷ്യമാകണം

[Kerala's development should be the aim of each Channel]

കേരളത്തിനൊപ്പം വളരാന്‍ ന്യൂസ് 18 ചാനലിന് എന്റെ ആശംസകള്‍

[My best wishes to News 18 to grow with Kerala]


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