Thiruvananthapuram: In the presence of an august audience comprising stalwarts of national politics as well as luminaries of the cultural and social realms of the State, the 10-year-old Kairali TV moved to its impressive premises, Kairali Towers, in the heart of the capital.
Starting from Defence Minister A.K. Antony, Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan, CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat, channel chairman Mammootty, CPI(M) State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan, Leader of the Opposition Oommen Chandy and BJP leader O. Rajagopal, Ministers, MPs, MLAs, bureaucrats, politicians and social activists swarmed the inaugural venue on Friday evening.
Mr. Antony, who was elated on seeing the array of dignitaries, did not hide his excitement when he said that it was typical of the people of Kerala to celebrate such joyous occasions in spite of the differences of opinion. And it was that spirit of unity and oneness which prompted him to attend the function for inaugurating the towers.
Mr. Achuthanandan in his presidential address lauded the pivotal role played by the channel in popularising television in the rural areas. It should uphold the high values in life and work for social justice and empowerment and well-being of the toiling class.
Mr. Mammootty in his opening address said the chairmans post had given him an opportunity for a close interaction with people belonging to different echelons of life and grow beyond the level of an actor. The channel reflected the dreams, aspirations and ambitions of Keralites. It had its own politics and an all-encompassing approach too. It spoke for Malayalis and also gave what they yearned for. The tower should not be judged as a material gain of the channel, but it was a symbol of the affection and confidence Malayalis had reposed on it for using the name Kairali and Malayalam which they held unto their hearts. It was not mere profit but a quest to uphold social and ethical values which drove the channel during the past one decade, he said.
Mr. Karat, who inaugurated the studio complex, stressed the need for carrying on the discussion for evolving a regulatory mechanism for television channels. As many as 450 channels were there in the country and they had become an integral part of life. Whether it should be a regulatory mechanism of the government or a self-regulatory one had to be discussed, he said.
Mr. Chandy described himself as the greatest beneficiary of the channel. For in its quest to gain credibility, it had always given him his due. A healthy competition was imperative in media and politics for development, he said.
Mr. Vijayan said that Keralites in the State and abroad responded positively to the proposal to start the channel and it had come out of its birth pangs braving the attempts to corner it in the initial stages. The channel should have a firm stance on issues pertaining to the fight against monopolistic tendencies, secularism and communalism, he said.
Managing director John Brittas welcomed the gathering