M. N. Vijayan
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M. N. Vijayan, also known as Vijayan Mash, (Sunday, 8 June 1930 – Wednesday, 3 October 2007) was an Indian writer, orator and academic.
Vijayan was born in the Lokamaleshwaram district of Thrissur, Kerala. He attended Pathinettarayalam L.P. School, Kodungallur Boys High School, Ernakulam Maharajas College, and Government Law College, Ernakulam. He was awarded a Master of Arts in Malayalam language and Literature from Madras University.
He joined Madras New College as a teacher in 1952. He worked as a lecturer at University College, Trivandrum for a brief period before joining Brennen College, Thalassery, in 1960 as Malayalam lecturer. He retired in 1985.
Political and journalism career
From 1960 to 1999 M. N. Vijayan stayed at Dharmadam, Thalassery. Vijayan worked as the editor of the cultural weekly Deshabhimani owned by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M)). He was President of Purogamana Kala Sahitya Sangham (Progressive Association for Art and Letters) and Adhinivesha Prathirodha Samithi (Council for Resisting Imperialist Globalisation), a leftist think-tank based in Kerala which collaborated with the CPI(M). He was removed as editor of Deshabhimani when leaders of the provincial Communist Party felt he did not adhere to the party line. He opposed the policy of some state level leaders and other leftist intellectuals to accept foreign funding of political work. He was also for a time the editor of the controversial periodical Padom, notably criticising a Kerala state government program called People’s Campaign for Decentralised Planning (People’s Plan) and its creator Thomas Isaac. Vijayan and Professor Sudheesh‘s articles in Padom against the “people’s plan”, a program aimed at decentralisation of power, became a controversial issue. Later a Kerala court ruled that the allegations of foreign funding of the Kerala Sasthra Sahithya Parishad (KSSP) had been proven by Sudheesh and Vijayan. Vijayan and Sudheesh had started Paatom in 2000, and started to attack on CPI(M)’s social democratic stands and attitude towards World Bank and IMF . He resigned from Purogamana Kala Sahithya Sangham as a result of a disagreement with M. A. Baby, then in charge of the CPI(M).
The cultural programme Manaveeyam of CPI(M)-led LDF government of Kerala was criticised for the extravagance of the programmes and the elitist audience to which the ps catered, and also for the fact that the “people’s art and culture” gave way to bourgeois concepts under the influence of neoliberalism. Vijayan also led an ideological debate against social democratic deviations. When the leader of Kerala Shastra Sahitya Parishad (a pro-CPI(M) Science forum) M. P. Parameswaran went ahead with his “theory of the fourth world” campaign, it was alleged that a theory that had been opposed by the late ideologue of the party, E. M. S. Namboodiripad, was now being resurrected after his death. Vijayan and his followers resisted P. Govinda Pillai‘s controversial critical remarks against A. K. Gopalan, Namboodiripad and others on ideological grounds. Though, initially, CPI(M) leadership was forced to expel Parameswaran and Depromote Pillai from the state committee because of the high reputation that Vijayan enjoyed among the party supporters, writers and the literate, later the Social Democrats group got control over the CPI(M) organisation. There were similar attacks against other left-leaning intellectuals like Dr. B. Ekbal (leading to Ekbal’s expulsion from CPI(M)) who were trying to re-examine the direction of left-wing politics in Kerala.
Vijayan did not attend many public meetings during his last years as a result of his ill health, but continued to write weekly columns in Samakalina Malayalam, an Indian Express group of publications, Janashakthi and Maruvakku. The column was originally published weekly in Deshabhimani until he parted ways with the paper. He was also the editor of the monthly Maruvaakku.
Most of Vijayan’s publications are compilations of his speeches. He is considered to be a powerful orator. He used psychology, Marxism and social science as tools to analyse life and literature. Some prominent writers, including M. Krishnan Nair and Thinakkal Padmanabhan, have said that Vijayan’s writings are difficult to understand, as he does not follow conventional grammatical structures. V. C. Sreejan criticizes Vijayan’s style, arguing that it is densely figurative, hence vague and often meaningless. Vijayan was a pioneer of the use of psychological criticism in Malayalam literature, and influenced contemporary Kerala culture.
Vijayan’s works were nominated on several occasions for literary awards, but in keeping with a general aversion to institutionalism, he rejected any state-sponsored awards that he won.
List of published works
- Bhayavum Abhayavum ഭയവും അഭയവും (The Fear And Refuge)
- Pradhirodhangal പ്രതിരോധങ്ങൾ (Resistances)
- Chithayile Velicham ചിന്തയിലെ വെളിച്ചം (Light in the Pyre)
- M.N. Vijayante Prabhashanangal എം.എൻ. വിജയന്റെ പ്രഭാഷണങ്ങൾ (M.N. Vijayan’s Speeches)
- Varnangalude Sangeetham വർണ്ണങ്ങളുടെ സംഗീതം (The Music of Colours)
- Kavithayum Manashastravum കവിതയും മനശാസ്ത്രവും (Poetry And Psychology)
- Sheersasanam ശീർഷാസനം (Standing Upside Down)
- Kazhchappadu കാഴ്ചപ്പാട് (Perspective)
- Vaakkum Manassum (The Speech and The Thought)
- Puthiya Varthamanangal (Latest News)
- Noothana Lokangal നൂതന ലോകങ്ങൾ (New Worlds)
- Fascisathinte Manashasthram ഫാസിസത്തിന്റെ മനശാസ്ത്രം (The Psychology of the Fascism)
- Marubhumikal Pookkumbol മരുഭൂമികൾ പൂക്കുമ്പോൾ (When The Deserts Blossom)
- Samskaravum Swathanthriavum സംസ്കാരവും സ്വാതന്ത്ര്യവും (The Culture and the Freedom)
- Adhikaram- Anuragam- Athmarahasyangal (Power- Passion- Private Matters)
- Fascism- Prathyaya Shasthram-Prayogam- Pradhirodham (Fascism- The Philosophy -Practice- Protest)
- M N Vijayan- Sampoorna Krithikal (M N Vijayan Collected Works (Editor N. Prabhakaran)
- mn vijayante lokangal:couter discources of mn vijayan(ed.shooba
Intellectual mentor and counselor
Though not a qualified medical practitioner, Vijayan worked for many years as a pro bono counsellor, using Freudian techniques. Many writers, intellectuals, journalists and political activists have described him as an intellectual mentor. The November 2007 issue ofSamayam Masika was devoted to articles by a variety of public figures about Vijayan and his influence, both on them personally and upon others, including M. T. Vasudevan Nair (writer, film director, Jnanpith Award winner), N .Prabhakaran (writer, academic), Mohanan Cherukadu (writer), Appukkuttan Vallikkunnu (journalist), P. Surendran (writer), Dr. Abdul Azeez (Doctor), Kunhappa Pattanoor (poet), Umesh Babu K.C. (Poet and political activist), A. V. Pavitran (writer), Anil Kumar A. V. (journalist, political activist), Dr. Vatsalan Vatuseeri(writer), Dr. Prabhakaran Pazhassi (writer, Professor), Choorayi Chandran (Political activist, Educationalist), N. Shasidharan (writer).
His studies on Vailoppilli, a well known Malayalam poet, and especially the poems “Mampazham” and “Sahyante makan”, using Freudian techniques attained wide acclaim. He was a staunch critic of communal organisations and he used a significant part of his oratory and writings to back Communist Party of India (Marx) in their ideological and material resistance against the invasion of fascist forces with venomous separatist aims in Tellicherry and Kerala. M.N.Vijayan, his wife and his residence at Dharmadam, Thalassey, provided a haven for people who faced psychological problems. With utmost affection Vijayan mash and his wife served them. He is the general editor of Nammute Sahityam Nammute Samooham (Our Society Our Literature), a four volume research book on literature and society of Kerala.
Vijayan became a mentor for many writers, leftist politicians and journalists. He was a critic of NGOs like Kerala Sasthra Sahithya Parishad which polluted the sensibilities of Malayalees. Vijayan died while he was addressing a press conference in Thrissur, explaining how non- governmentally funded organisations like Kerala Sasthra Sahithya Parishad function in Kerala, camouflaging their imperialist agenda by wearing a leftist mask. Parishath and its activities lost credibility when Ernakulam Chief Judicial Magistrate dismissed the defamation case filed against Paatom, a magazine which exposed the fishy trails of such organisations. “You are selling your credibility… It is hijacking democracy …”, Vijayan said about Parishath and its supporters in the last press conference. Thrissur Current Books and Akam Samithi Thalassey published the early works of M.N.Vijayan. Thrissur Current Books published the Complete Works of M.N. Vijayan in ten volumes under different titles, like literature, politics, culture, interviews, speeches, biography, memoirs, etc. The first M.N.Vijayan library was inaugurated at Kannur. Govt. Brennen College Malayalam department has constituted the M.N.Vijayan endowment in 2010 for outstanding students of Malayalam literature.
The son of Pathiyasheril Narayana Menon and Moolayil Kochammu Amma, Vijayan was married to Sharada, and has a son, V.S. Anil Kumar (also a writer and lecturer)worked as the students dean in Kannur university, and two daughters, Dr. Sujatha Balachandran and Sunitha Rajagopal.
Vijayan died during a recorded speech on 3 October 2007.
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