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Attack, reverses, exits: Kerala saw it all in 2010

Last updated on: December 21, 2010 11:06 IST

Attack, reverses, exits: Kerala saw it all in 2010

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The 'Taliban-like' attack on a college teacher by radicals who chopped off his hand sent shock waves across Kerala during the year which also saw the drubbing of the ruling Left Democratic Front in the local body polls.

The attack on middle-aged T J Joseph, allegedly masterminded by Popular Front of India activists over a controversial question paper set by him, came as a grim reminder of the presence of fundamentalist trends in the state.

Before he could recover from his physical and mental wounds, Joseph suffered another blow as the management of the Catholic-church run Newman College at Thodupuzha dismissed him from service accusing him of committing a grievous error by hurting the sentiments of Muslims by setting a question containing derogatory remarks against Prophet Mohammad.

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Image: Professor T J Joseph in hospital after the brutal attack
Photographs: Rediff archives
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Political 'dress rehearsal' that went wrong

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The outcome of the multi-tier civic polls came as a rude jolt to the ruling LDF as the combine lost a majority of the rural and urban local self-government bodies to rival Congress-led United Democratic Front.

Seen as a 'dress-rehearsal' for the assembly polls due in May 2011, the civic polls confirmed the political trend reflected by the Lok Sabha elections in 2009, when the LDF conceded 16 of the 20 Parliament seats to UDF.

Tussle in the Communist Party of India-Marxist and the coalition, loss of minority support and alienation of middle-class were the key factors for the LDF defeat but the party refused to accept that the poor showing was a vote against the performance of the V S Achuthanandan government.


Image: Kerala Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan
Photographs: Rediff archives
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An irreversible loss

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Kerala lost one of its outstanding personalities in the passing away of K M Mathew, doyen of Indian media and chief editor of Malayala Manorama.

Though he spent most of his time in Kottayam, he had played vital role in bringing new technology and professionalism to the media scene in the country.

Kerala, however, set a model for the entire nation in women empowerment by reserving 50 per of seats for women in civic bodies. As a result, half the panchayats and urban civic bodies are now headed by women, giving them a vital role in grass-root level decentralised development.

 


Image: K M Mathew

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An eventful year for Shashi Tharoor

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Lok Sabha member and former United Nations diplomat Shashi Tharoor continued to be in the news. His controversial role as 'mentor' of Kochi Indian Premier League team ultimately led to his resignation as minister of state for external affairs.

His wedding with Sunanda Pushkar at his ancestral home in Palakkad, however, turned out to be a colourful event reported widely by media.


Image: Shashi Tharoor with Sunanda Pushkar and former Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh during their wedding reception
Photographs: Jay Mandal/On Assignment
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End of the road for Madani?

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Four years after his acquittal in Coimbatore blasts case, Peoples Democratic Party leader Abdul Nasser Madani was arrested in Bengaluru blasts case, dashing his hopes of grabbing a space in mainstream politics.

Madani's arrest was preceded by a week-long drama and suspense with the Bengaluru police descending on his camp in Kollam district with a warrant.

 


Image: Abdul Nasser Madani
Photographs: Rediff archives
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