Kannur: The Kerala Sasthra Sahithya Parishad (KSSP), a major Left-leaning scientific and cultural organization in Kerala, has once again opposed the ambitious SilverLine semi high-speed railway project mooted by the CPM-led Left Democratic Front government in the state.
While the KSSP had earlier expressed apprehensions over the project, it has now prepared a document titled ‘Puthiya Kerathinu chila alochana kurippukal’ (Some thoughts on a new Kerala) which says that Kerala doesn’t need to give importance to SilverLine either as a developmental project or to solve the transportation problems in the state.
However, many people belonging to the middle-class and youth who are enchanted by ‘speed’ are supporting the project, the document says. Incidentally, KSSP prepared the document after its activists conducted a survey in areas affected by SilverLine.
‘Islands of poverty’
The document also points out that there are several ‘islands of poverty’ in Kerala even though the state enjoys the top position in social and developmental indices in India. Moreover, the area under cultivation and crop yield in Kerala has drastically fallen over the last 15 years, the document adds with statistics.
Concern over commercialization
KSSP also says that while the state is proud of the advances it has made in health and education, commercialization of these sectors is a cause of worry. This is because the quality of service has come down and these sectors have become out-of-reach for the poorest of society.
In order to highlight this view, the KSSP points out that a mere 30-40 per cent of students who clear the higher secondary exams (Class 12) in Kerala pursue higher studies. “The state has failed to provide suitable employment opportunities for those who cannot join colleges. Moreover, the government has not put in place any mechanism to train them in suitable skills,” the document explains.
According to KSSP, only middle-class aspirations prevail in Kerala’s education sector now.