Monday, September 24, 2007

Biography of K. C. Mammen Mappilai

“Maayaaththa Mudra: K. C. Mammen Mappilayude Pathraadhipajeevitham” by G. Priyadarsanan, is a “journalistic biography” of K. C. Mammen Mappilai (1873-1954), Editor of Malayala Manorama, leading newspaper of Kerala.

Manorama was founded by Kandathil Varghese Mappilai in 1888 at Kottayam in the erstwhile princely state of Travancore. Mammen Mappilai, his nephew, was associated with its working from the outset, although he was only a schoolboy at the time. After graduation he became a teacher but continued his association with the newspaper. On Varghese Mappilai’s death in 1904, he assumed stewardship of the newspaper.

Under Mammen Mappilai, Manorama became a powerful instrument of change. He actively supported the various social reform movements which coalesced to form what is today referred to as the Kerala renaissance. He not only pleaded for economic development but also initiated schemes for the purpose. The Travanacore National and Quilon Bank, of which he was one of the promoters, became the largest private banking institution. As the movement for freedom and democracy shaped up, he became one of its enthusiastic backers.

In 1938, the Dewan of Travancore, C. P. Ramaswami Aiyar, resorted to repression to crush the freedom movement. Malayala Manorama was banned, the Travancore National and Quilon Bank liquidated and Mammen Mappilai jailed. After the country gained independence and Travancore merged in the Indian Union, the newspaper reappeared in 1948.

When the first newspapers in Malayalam appeared, Kerala society was deeply divided on caste and religious lines. Most newspapers began with narrow social bases. Manorama’s growth from a circulation of about 30,000 copies at the time of Mammen Mappilai’s death to 1.5 million today testifies to its remarkable success in cutting across narrow boundaries and reaching out to all sections of the people, irrespective of not only social divisions but also political affiliation. Kerala has a large number of newspapers, but only one other newspaper has been able to make a similar transition. The others, by and large, still remain confined to caste, religious and/or political constituencies.

The newspaper boom in Kerala is attributable to a variety of factors such as near-total literacy, widespread reading habit, high purchasing power and new technology. Manorama has been able to benefit from these factors to a greater extent than the rest because of the traditions set during Mammen Mappilai’s long stewardship. Priyadarsanan’s account of his journalistic life can serve as a useful textbook to a young journalist.

“Maayaaththa Mudra” has been published by the Publication division of the Manorama group. Price: Rs. 85.


Binu said...

U people know the history of the Malayala Manorama?

Malayala Manorama Started in 1890 as a biweekly issue. In 1928 it becomes a daily issue. In 1930s Mammen mappillai stated Kollam Bank and runaway with all the money in the bank. In 1939 K. C. Mammen Mappillai was convicted and imprisoned on trumpeted charges of corruption and fraud and was released on 1947. Then after 1947 with the help of Congress Party he becomes freedom fighter and now they are telling that his imprisonment is for the country. With this money he started the Manorama daily News Paper.

In 1990s they started another private bank in located in NRI places like Tiruvalla, kottayam, Kumbanadu, etc. Again this fraud people did the same and runaway with all money. Now they are telling that they don’t have any association with them. With this money they started Manorama News Channel in 2006.

Is they are guiltless? They are big Frauds.

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