Kerala: The AKG library situated in Thalookkara in Malappuram’s Thiroor, set up on 1980’s was allegedly set ablaze by RSS workers in 2016. More than 6,000 valuable books were turned into ashes.
The ages old building was set up again with the help of the people of Thalookkara, under the guidance of CPI (M), and now the books were segregated and neatly arranged on several grey shelves occupying a large room, having a shining tiled floor and the colourful balloons that hang over the book shelves are testimonies of it being a brand new building. The new library was inaugurated by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday.
CM Pinarayi Vijayan after the inauguration acknowledged everyone’s hard struggle to rebuild what was being destroyed by RSS. He said, “You have collected double the amount of books that were destroyed. That is proof that your efforts have paid off. A library is the lamp of any land and I salute everyone who has worked towards bringing it back to life.”
Adding to it he criticized RSS as being against knowledge and said, “Everybody knows it is the RSS who attacked this library and it shows that they are against words and knowledge. Such attacks on libraries were rare in our state, but these forces are doing so extensively in our places. The are out to destroy every person, every ideology that is different than them. Take the case of Govind Pansare, Narendra Dhabolkar, Kalburgi and now Gauri Lankesh. They were the people who fought against the big forces and they were silenced because they were bold enough to present their opinions fearlessly,”
The secretary of the library KT Musthafa says that, “when the attack was done in library it had consisted more than 6000 books, most of them rare collections and now the library has as many as 13,000 books. Adding to it he tells to TNM that “We decided to rebuild the library just two days after it was attacked. The idea was floated under the guidance of CPI (M) and the people embraced it. A committee was formed to spread the word and collect books from people. A Facebook group was also started, through which the word spread to other states and even abroad. In April 2016, in just over a month, we had managed to collect nearly 5000 books.”
The books came not only from kerala but also from various universities by writers & activists across the nation too. The facebook group also gave 60% of books while 20% came through couriers from across the country and abroad; the remaining came as donations from organisations across the state. To meet the construction expenses, the committee arranged crowd-funding campaign.
Musthafa satisfyingly said, “its a proud miment that we have managed to collect thrice the number of books that were destroyed by fascist forces. They are against words and knowledge. Our initiative proves that knowledge will rise as a phoenix from the ashes.” He also said that “the local people and daily wage labourers from Thalookkara helped reconstruct the library and worked for months together without taking money”.
Source : The News Minute