Saturday, August 15, 2020

Decades in Black and White- Karuppum Veluppum by Dee Cee Kizhakkemuri

 This is a selection of Dee Cee's newspaper column Karuppum Veluppum published in different newspapers for many decades. It is supposedly the first of its kind in Malayalam. In these Dee Cee presents his humorous and critical comments for news headlines. 

Anyone interested in history will have a great time going through this collection. I loved the picture presented by the author about several major political personalities of past. The present depiction of old leaders as political giants gets a major blow when we go through these. It is interesting to watch them through the lens of contemporaries of the time, without the baggage of greatness thrusted by their followers. Nehru, Patel, Mannam, Pattom, EMS and several leaders are dissected mercilessly in these columns.

The columns started at 1949 and continued till 1990s. Initial comments were direct, crude, rude and blatantly personal in nature. But by the end of 1950s, the tone turned more satirical. Instead of commenting on direct news headlines, author started trying to use unrelated headlines to make striking associations about then current events. These, I feel were more interesting and effective. 

But I was not able to find references to many major events of those times, about which I was eager to read about. Historical events like the first Communist Government elected by ballot, Vimochana Samaram, Land reformation, rise and fall of Naxalism, wars with China and Pakistan, rise of Indira Gandhi, golden temple fiasco are totally ignored or are given just a fleeting mention. Most of the comments are about cheap political statements and infightings within political parties of the time. Unfortunately most of them are totally irrelevant when seen in a contemporary perspective. This was a major let down.

If you are interested in a humorous dose of history, this book is available for free in DC books website.