Public Warned Against “Crusaders”

Government have been carefully watching the trend of public opinion, both in support of and in opposition to the Education Bill now before the Legislative Assembly. Government are reassured by the large volume of support for the measure and are also taking note of the objections to certain clauses in the Bill genuinely left by individual sections ;or interests concerned. The Legislature, which is the sovereign body, empowered to give form and finality to the measure will doubtless consider all aspects of the Bill.

At the same time, Government cannot help taking notice of certain unhealthy trends in the present organised opposition to the measure. Among the documents that have come to the possession of Government proving beyond doubt that such unhealthy trends are at work is a circular letter issued by an organisation in Trichur, addressed to the religious heads and senior ecclesiastical dignitaries of a major community in Kerala. The circular letter says that the main object of the plan adopted by the organisation is “to save our country and its culture from the influence of Communistic regime”. The circular further points out that “issues as the ‘Education Bill’ will be taken very seriously and timely informations will be given to the people at large so that Mass-Sensation can be easily created………….. If, at least, all our parish priests are co-operating with this move, we can form here in Kerala, some 2,000 small units of youths, well-informed and active against Communists. I expect a good deal of support from non-Christian circles also”. The circular promptly proceeds to add: “We will approach you for a ‘Two Rupees monthly donation’ to meet the expense of this crusade”.

Government wish to point out that, while they have no objection to any form of legitimate expression of opinion or peaceful demonstration against any measure initiated by them, attempts, such as the one cited above, to organise a crusade (as mentioned in the circular letter) particularly with the intention of whipping up “Mass-Sensation” among the youths, are fraught with danger to peaceful and orderly life in the State and might even cause repercussions which the promoters of the crusade may not themselves be in a position to control. Government wish to warn the people against being led astray by such attempts to exploit their emotions, religious or cultural, and fall a victim to the designs of those who seek sectarian or other benefits by whipping up agitation against a measure primarily intended to ensure protection for teachers and better organisation of education in the State.

(Press release issued on 18th July 1957)