Vizhinjam…Finally!

Messing up the day’s Hindu, scrambling to find a news item which could possibly rewrite the development history of the state, Mr Prasad and me were surprised and thoroughly disappointed. There wasn’t even a mention of the Vizhinjam tender clinched by the LANCO group yesterday. Ten minutes later when Malayala Manorama deliberately kept the news out of the broadsheet’s main pages, I wasn’t surprised, everybody knows where their ink comes from and flows to. Mathrubhumi carried the news in the middle page, three column.

vizhinjam1.jpg

One news item which was picked up by Forbes, Reuters and Wall Street Journal, which sent the LANCO stock up 10% in the bourses yesterday, found no mention in “India’s National Newspaper” and Kerala’s own Manorama which claims to have 7 billion readers as of today.

For Manorama online readers, Vizhinjam Port will be India’s deepest Port, India’s largest container transhipment Hub, the biggest infrastructure project in Kerala (pegged at 2 billion dollars) and work begins in 10 months time.

Official Press Release from LANCO is here

Excerpts: Vizhinjam, with a 15 metre natural draught and proximity to international sea routes, is best suited for the development of a world class, all weather deep-water port.The Vizhinjam port, situated about 16 km south off Thiruvananthapuram and at 10 nautical miles from international sea routes connecting Europe, Persian Gulf and Far East, when developed would attract a fair share of the container transshipment traffic meant for India, currently handled by international ports at Colombo, Malaysia, Al-Salalah (Oman) and Singapore.

To continue my rant, the same media which celebrated the “Smart City” deal((the inking of the deal was broadcast live) which looks puny in comparison to Vizhinjam or the upcoming Technocity, the same media which filled pages with the Vallarpadam Hub deal which is one fourth the size of Vizhinjam – chose to ignore one of the major developments in the state’s history.

If the question is Why should the media coverage be so important? The answer is, it raises the stakes for the people involved. It puts pressure on the administration to deliver when people are aware of it. Imagine the impact on the LDF government if the “Smart City” project goes cold. That is media’s job and in case of Vizhinjam they are doing a very bad job.

Vizhinjam is the result of the creative activism of a lot of people, a dream shared by millions of people, with powerful lobbies inside and outside the country working against it. The stakes are high, it is important to wake up and keep watch – closely.

Did I create fear from a happy news?

Cool!

P.S: Chk out the WALL in Talkies page, will keep updating

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30 Responses to Vizhinjam…Finally!

  1. mathew May 15, 2008 at 9:41 am #

    well said Brahma..I was myself peeved at the pathetic response from local media..it is really sad when I have to read about something that happened in my city in reuters or wall street..Infact I would have even missed out this news itself but for Ajay’s blog…

    Maybe atleast through blogs we are getting some info on this…and its ridiculous when you think that why such a happy news is not shared properly and all those goonda activities happening in the state gets prime coverage!!

  2. jiby May 15, 2008 at 12:14 pm #

    i don’t understand bvn…there is something bigger in the media’s blacking out of this big news.

    manorama is consistently anti-left…i think they would have blacked out the news to not give the govt any credit and does this have to do with vallarpadam too? as for the hindu…wud the TN lobby be behind the blacking out of the news? and as for a quality read like mathrubhumi i read somewhere that there is a change happening in its upper tiers…wud that be the reason for their demotion of this news?

    i have believed that the media in kerala has more freedom to do their work than any other place – such under-reporting is pitiable. thank you for highlighting this news!

  3. Vivek May 15, 2008 at 11:57 pm #

    I totally agree! Boycott these biased press & get news from other online sites like Yahoo, blogs etc. Seems Manorama & Deepika are pushing for Vallarpadom port & Smart City. That may be why they avoid news on Technocity & Vizhinjam port!

  4. Karthik May 16, 2008 at 12:05 am #

    Brahma,
    This is great news! But I find the omission in Hindu to be surprising.

    Lets hope the work completes as per the schedule. The investment climate seems to be getting better in Kerala. Let this be the first major step towards better ones.

  5. BVN May 16, 2008 at 2:31 am #

    Mathew, right! all the malayalam newspapers are writing cover to cover on how many girls Manoj Madhavan raped, how he met them and things. are they so dumb to miss this?

    Vivek, the bias is so evident. I remember the day “Smart City” went thru…malayalamanorama had a full front page news saying “Smart Kerala”. Any idea whats happening to “Smart City” – thats the funniest part.

    Karthik,

    Its tough to get land in Kerala, the Hindu’s omission continues for a second day. they have covered Aamir calling his dog Sharukh :)

  6. BVN May 16, 2008 at 2:47 am #

    Jiby,
    I’m surprised and not sure if we should start calling Hindu “India’s Tamil National Newspaper Since 1878″, even today there is no mention.

    About why they are doing it, as we have no info, lets speculate taking a page out of IV Sasi’s Balram vs Tharadas

    These media barons are sitting on a lot of surplus cash, they invest in Wayanad in land banks through this guy Tharasdas in the Gulf. Tharadas works his connections over there and creates a story that this Gulf company will create an IT park giving 90000 jobs in Wayanad (total IT workforce in all IT parks in Kochi combined is 6000 now!). Politicians and ministers in the nexus starts talks and sign a deal which is near to non-viable.
    The resulting Euphoria pushes up land prices in Wayanad from 60,000 to 3 lakhs in two years time. If these people have invested a total of 500 crores in land, they make a clean profit after all other costs of about 2,000 crores.

    Nobody follows up on the project or some small bodyshop is created. Everybody exits once the land bank is sold to property developers.

    The media barons, politicians, Tharadas and the Gulf Company makes huge money.

    In the mean time any news about IT parks etc in other places will be completely ignored by the media barons because the Corporate real estate developers will have limited funds and they want to invest in the most happening place! the hoopla around Wayanad will drive atleast a major chunk of them there and the land banks sell like hot cakes.

    Otherwise, what is happening to “Smart City” – the insider jokes are scary!, what is happening to Vallarpadam?

    I’m just speculating – you know what to replace what with :)

  7. Payyan May 16, 2008 at 6:33 am #

    Forbes, reuters and WSJ have reported not on the significance of the project as such, but for the significance it holds for Lanco Infratech Ltd and their consortium. They have merely mirrored the information given to them by the consortium.

    Having said that, I am bewildered by the total media blackout of this story in Kerala. I expected at least the ‘party channel’ to take this up. But saw nothing of the sort. There is still a lot of money to be made for our politicians and real estate barons in this project. Even if they dont have a head start in the gold rush, I cant quite understand why they would turn away when an opportunity comes to them.

    I think it is a waste of time trying to discuss the ulterior motives of mainstream malayalam media moghuls. HINDU was a shocker though. But then if the local media does not care, why should the ‘National Newspaper’? ;)

  8. BVN May 16, 2008 at 8:03 am #

    Payyan,

    you’re right, that was corporate news feed. But still, when was the last time a worth while corporate news feed originated from Kerala.

    think the papers understand that big ticket ports are not the answer to the millions living in abject poverty. Nor is the new four lane NH project in Kerala. It takes real editorial courage to see through these development projects :)

    kudos to them for covering Gopumon’s slapgate and Manoj Madhavan’s blue film business – that is editorial discretion :)

  9. jijuanair May 16, 2008 at 12:25 pm #

    Hi all,
    I have been following this project for a longtime.yes me too eagerly checked the papers for any news regarding the port.It just left me infuriated to find that there was no news.I pitied the
    so called newspapers.The paper which says it has the maximum circulation in Kerala(The news reads like a novel with no matter and lot of movie like imagination which makes a person commit suicide-i believe the reporters arethe same ppl who write novel in their weekly magazine) did not even acknowledge the news.That it self says a lot about the commitment of the so called newspaper to the society.But a national paper like Hindu missing this news is unpardonable.Vizhinjam is te only second place in the whole universe which is by nature a mother ort.Once this port comes to effect TRIVANDRUM will be the hub of business in Kerala with its IT and cosmopolitan population and educational institutions coupled with VSSC .Please politician make this port a realty and prove to us that you guys are not stupid.We trivandrum guys atleast deserve that much for bearing your strikes and lectures all day.

  10. Seifudeen May 16, 2008 at 1:13 pm #

    I dont understand what is the responsibilitties of Kerala Media. They are interested to highlight where there is rape. This community should wake-up from simply money making. They have to learn atleast a few things about our economy and its sustainity.

  11. kuttan May 17, 2008 at 9:57 am #

    Malayala manorama is disgusting in that they spread more of lies than truth. They are against development of Trivandrum as can be seen from their ommission of development news around Trivandrum.

    It is a pity that this newspaper calling itself popular daily has gone down to dogs and whims of regional bias.

    Irrespective of any political party in power, development of any region should be welcome by people and media. Malayala manorama has failed pathetically in covering development news of Kerala state capital whereas projects that never come up in other regions of Kerala are unduely projected. Shame on MM.

  12. binu May 17, 2008 at 10:01 am #

    I doubt whether the Malayala Manorama lobby is trying to sabotage vizhinjam project as it is clear they want only Vallarpadom port at any cost in their backyard.

  13. Kutti May 17, 2008 at 10:30 pm #

    Manorama (though founded by an illustrious son of Kerala) is now almost a thrid rate gosip paper. So also Indian Express.Both of them have vested financial interests in Kochi. Its sad that The Hindu which is a first rate paper is slowly giving more coverage to unimportant things in Kochi. This is the reason, news about Vizhinjam does not make to front page.

  14. Alex May 22, 2008 at 8:38 am #

    Disheartening.

    Try pointing this ‘omission’ to The Hindu.

    There is no point in talking about Malayala Manorama. It has ceased to be a NEWS paper long time back.

  15. BVN May 23, 2008 at 4:08 am #

    jiju, “We trivandrum guys atleast deserve that much for bearing your strikes and lectures all day.” – thats a really good one :)

    Seifudeen, they are awake :)

    Kuttan, adding to that, MM has 2nd highest no of readers in the Capital city

    Binu, think so, yes

    Kutti, yeah, mainstream media has failed

  16. BVN May 23, 2008 at 4:09 am #

    Alex, letter to Editor mail id bounces for the Hindu :)…there inbox is full, somebody needs to clear up the junk

  17. scorpiogenius May 24, 2008 at 1:09 pm #

    Its better not to whim about MM and its pimpworks. That paper is not even worthy enough to wipe the s**t off your ass…

    Its gladdening to hear the news about Vizhinjam. The consortia seems solid enough to carry out the job and this will be a new era in the development of the city and the state.

    Lets not fret over the media coverage matters. The hard truth is that print and visual media coverage is a great back up for any project but since it has appeared in Int’l and other prominent national business channels, it would do Vizhinjam a world of good. Its sad to see Trivandrum always receiving the stick from local dailies, but it seems as if we have to live with it at least for a while.

    But how long can Manorama or their asslickers cover up a jewel? The economy of the city is beginning to flourish, IT giants like Satyam & Oracle have announced their interest in the capital and major infra upliftments are well on way. Vizhinjam port will be the crown! So when the whole world starts noticing, MM will surely have to open at least one eye…

    Afterall its BUSINESS!

  18. Midhun June 3, 2008 at 3:06 am #

    We can confidently look for Trivandrum development news in Kerala Kaumudi.

  19. Thyagaraiababu October 28, 2008 at 11:56 pm #

    In the name of developments State got license to destroy Agricultural fields? How can we meet the needs for vegitables, Coconuts, Paddy etc!
    The solution is depending our neighbouring State.

  20. Ashish August 2, 2009 at 2:49 am #

    First of all ,why in the first place trivandrum is the capital of kerala?trivandrum is different in culture compared to other parts of kerala.moreover ,regional bias is very high in trivandrum.I and most of the keralites support kochi or thrissur made capital region.why?because ,go to orkut trivandrum community alone -you can see the regional chavunists who are much more interested in vandalizing cochin related articles in the net ,especially wikipedia(rajith mohan).trivandrum is atleast 20 years behind most of the kerala(except kasaragode/tulunad region and palakkad tamil region).Kochi city is what most of the central travancoreans(wealthy) prefers now.Trivandrum is now a centre of hindu intolerance and it has many things common with tamilnadu as well.heck ,I know many a friends of mine who despises marital alliance options from trivandrum due to the fear of tamil “pollution”.got it?

  21. Jiju August 11, 2009 at 11:29 pm #

    Hi dear Ashish,

    i have to DISAGREE with you.I am a guy born in Thrissur,bought up in Bangalore and working in Trivandrum.Am a software engineer for the past two years in Trivandrum.I never faced any problems here as you mentioned.I have been to Cochin a number of times.Yes i agree that Cochin is a beautiful city.But your image of idea is absolutly wrong.A capital city has its own limitations.Why is the Mumbai much more developed than Delhi.egarding the rich people count that you said when we have so many politicians settled in Trivandrum do you think Trivandrum is having lesser millionaires.Please look at the BMW’s,Porshe Cayeene and Volkswagon the young techies are driving here.Lets please keep these kind of regional bias out of this forum and consider Kerala has a whole.Please we are considered a educationaly forward state.Lets behave that way and keep away biases and regionalism between us.R
    Many Thanks,
    Jiju A Nair

  22. BVN August 12, 2009 at 12:40 am #

    Ashish,

    See I love Kochi as a whole almost as much I love Trivandrum, its a beautiful city. But to become a capital city, you also need some historical significance, or in Trivandrum language ‘Tharavaditham’ or in the central travancorean language ‘genusinte konam’.

    In the first place, Trivandrum is the capital because of several historical reasons.

    In 1750s when Travancore under Marthanda Varma arose as one of the strongest states in South India, the then Kochi king was playing second fiddle to the Portugese and Dutch occupiers in Kochi. The dream of a Dutch conquest of Kerala was shattered when Marthadavarma’s Travancore conquered all areas starting from Attingal Estate to about Kayamkulam and Purakkad. And in one of the most decisive battles in Kerala’s history, Travancore and Kochi forces met eye to eye in the Battle of Ambalapuzha. The Kochi forces were routed and several of their nobility brought to Trivandrum as prisoners. After the humiliating defeat, the Kochi became a samantha rajyam or rougly a secondary state to Travancore – and remained so for the next 200 years. If you come to Trivandrum or read history, you can see pictures of the Kochi king and all the army keeping their swords at Marthandavarma’s feet and becoming secondary citizens.

    So the capital question I guess is answered. Secondary places and dont get capital cities, especially those ones who played second fiddle to every invader you could possibly think of. Arch betrayers.

    btw, why do you take Thrissur along? Thrissur and Tvm are the cultural hotspots of Kerala from the past 200-300 years. Trivandrum took a big leap forward from the time of Swathi Thirunal, and then during the time of progressive science, literature and cultural movements. Culture – Kochi? can you name atleast 1 important festival based off kochi? like the Pongala in Trivandrum, or the Aarattu in Trivandrum, or the Beemapalli Uruusu in Trivandrum? or like the multiple international film festivals or the world reknown Surya festival. Does Kochi have a zoo? a planetarium? a science and tech museum? Does Kochi have a University? (dont hide behind the tiny CUSAT). Trivandrum had all this before EMS created Keralam.

    Yes Trivandrum is 20-50 years behind Kochi in terms of pollution and urban ugliness. May be Kochi can be Kerala’s waste basket.

    Trivandrum has no Hindu intolerance, neither have Christians taken over the city as they have done in the case of Kochi. We have a fine balance, and we peacefully co-exist in a city which has wide roads and no-toxic wastes :)

    Tamil pollution? Yeah dude, but that’s because major parts of Tamilnadu were ruled by Travancore. And Tamil is a classical culture, even malayalam came from Tamil – do you know that (how would you know). But thats not the case with Kochi. Kochi had the Dutch invading, the Portugese invading, the Jews, the missionaries, the mysore army of Tippu Sultan and then hundreds of syphilis infested sailors from every race in the world have dragged their ass through Kochi. So Kochi must have a pure race to start with :) Chumma :)

  23. Ajay August 12, 2009 at 7:01 am #

    Ashish – I think Brahma has spelt it out very clearly for you, buddy, but here are are few more points in case you have still not been floored.

    If you have any doubts as to why Trivandrum is the capital of the State, you don’t need to look back into the pages of history. Even today, it is the only city in Kerala with a public transport system (no I don’t mean the dinky private buses and meter-less auto raiders that you are used to, complete drinking water coverage, sewerage and solid waste management. I suggest that “Central Travancore” better start finding a way to dump its $h#& and catch up to the 50 year urban development gap to the capital city before it voices any criticisms.

    The usage “Central Travancore” itself is testament to where the center lies. Padmanabhapuram Palace still has all those swords surrendered by the worthies of your ancestory when thrashed by Marthanda Varma at Ambalapuzha. Perhaps he must have been put off by the excess of mosquitoes and latex in the regions and inhabitants north of Kayamkulam, deeming it better to leave the lands in the hands of the vanquished rather than take on an unnecessary headache.

    And what “hindu intolerance” are we talking about? I can guess that your surname would plant you firmly among the flock of the faithful. I am an atheist and damn proud of it, and as secular as it gets. But the way the KCBC and their frocked ilk have deemed themselves rightful rulers of everything between Pathanamthitta and Irinjalakuda makes one disgusted to the core and creates stark reminders of how the Vatican ruined Europe in the middle ages. Trivandrum has proven the least susceptible to such BS, as proven in the last General Elections. Its religious make-up and culture encourage tolerance as evidenced by the mix of religious festivals celebrated with great enthusiasm every year.

    Trivandrum has embraced modern art and culture, be it movies, performing arts, literature or fine arts. Which is why the best in the arts world are lured by it and the cultural centers of Germany, France, Japan and Russia have set up shop there. I am sure someone from the B-Belt who’s literary diet is centered around a certain newspaper printed on latex-rich print wouldn’t understand that, would you?

    Lmao, please do ask you friends to take their marital searches elsewhere. I am sure associating with people without a certain minimum latex content in the blood may be injurious to their health. Even so, it is surprising to note the number of “Central Travancoreans” who seem to be moving house to the capital city, and complaining in private – no doubt – that there are too many coconut trees around and no beloved rubber trees in sight.

    Brahma, nice to see that you have finally taken the kid gloves off, mate! Like I have been forced to say on numerous occasions, enough is enough!

  24. Arun Mohan August 18, 2009 at 9:50 am #

    Dear BVN,

    I personally donot know you and seeing this site for the first time. But, after reading your reply to Anish, I strongly felt, there is a need from my part to make some comments to your reply, to make it historically correct. I personally have no intention to rectify your or anyone’s bias, which is your right to think under Indian Law. But atleast this reply to help other neutral guys not be carried away by the false propaganda raised by a few Trivandrum based regionalists.

    Friend, I first introduce myself. I am Arun Mohan, having direct relations with Travancore Royal Family. My Grandmother is Sister of Prince GV Raja and my great grand father was materal uncle of Sri Mulam Thirunal. Also our family was the Provincial Lord (Naduvazhi) of Muvathupuzha Province of Travancore until its abolition by Swati Thirunal. So in all sense, I can talk on behalf of the Travancore Royal Family.

    Till now, our family never acknowledged at our forces has attacked Cochin State forces or defeated Cochin Raja. We are extremely proud that our army has defeated Dutch and we are the only dynasty to defeat a European Power. But we can’t say our forces ever attacked Cochin State or made it sign any treaty that makes Cochin state a subordinate state. If you wish, I can arrange you an access to Kowidar’s Central Palace Achieves that records details of Ambalapuzha War.

    Ambalapuzha war was fought by Travancore’s 1st Battalion Nair forces to annex hostile Chempakassery Thampurans. Infact our army never wished to annex even Ambalapuzha, as it was ruled was a Namboothiri Royal family and any attack over Namboothiris would be considered as brahmahatiya sin. But as Chempakaserry Thampurans protected Kayamkulam Raja who was a state prisoner after its annexation, we have no option other than attack and take over Ambalapuzha.

    Chempakassery Rajas have Samabhatham relations with Thuravoor Nair Lords as well as Goshree Thampuran, both vassals of Cochin Raja who were part Cochin State then.

    The army of Thuravoor Nairs and Goshree joined with Chempakassery Rajas in that attack, which resulted in defeat.

    You can’t call this army of Thuravoor Thampurans as Cochin state forces, because prior to many decades before, Cochin’s Military was disbanded, when Cochin Rajas signed a treaty with Samoothiri after he attacked Kochi. Since Kochi was primarily a business / trading state, its military ambitions were less and thus it required dutch and Portuguese protection to effectively counter Malabar treats. When Dutch was routed by Travancore, naturally Cochin Rajas were protected by Travancore Military. Its not because of any subordination treaty signed by cochin with Travancore, but simply because its duty of any brother to protect another brother. Cochin and Travancore royal families hail from same Chera Kulashekara Dynasty and hence both the royal families traditionally are maternal relatives.

    Friend, if any local nair lords has attacked another powerful force, you can’t call it as state attack. If so then will you call Velu Thampi Dalawa’s attack on British army, as a Travancore state attack on East India Company? No…. It was an army of irregulars who attacked British. Likewise it was an irregular force from Cochin State that was defeated at Ambalapuzha, which no one can call as a defeat of Cochin State.

    Friend, Marthanda Varma had a clear Annexation policy. If Cochin State was defeated by Travancore, do you think, will Marthanda Varma spare Cochin from annexation? Our Family clearly maintained prior to annexation, that any defeated state shall be part of Travancore Kingdom. If Cochin state was defeated by Marthanda Varma, there won’t be a kingdom called Kochi.

    Travancore clearly maintained that Kochi Royal Family are maternal uncles of Travancore royal family. We owe our origin to that royal family. Hence traditionally our royal family is subordinate to Kochi Royal house. Even today, no Kochi thampuran will bow before Travancore Maharaja, because he/she is relatively superior and we have to bow down before them as per our traditions and customs. So your arguments stand no validity.

    I find many people in these blogs from Trivandrum are more patriotic about Trivandrum, than what Trivandrum itself. Our family founded this city and each and every inch /bit of this city belongs to our family diety- Sree Padmanabha. Yet we never said our city or kingdom was superior to any of our neighbours, nor we said our state is inferior to any. As far as Kochi is concerned, our family and kingdom strongly maintained that Kochi was our business partner, right from inception of Travancore Kingdom. While Kollam remained as our business city, we strongly took various measures to see Kochi as major place were both Travancore and Kochi kingdoms makes strong returns on investment.

    Friend, pls have a look on history, that not an inch of Cochin State was annexed into Travancore. During reign of Dharma Raja, Kochi was under threat of Tipu’s Invasion and any invasion on Cochin would severly affect Travancore. It was for this reason North Paravur of Cochin Kingdom was ceded to Travancore, to establish a Military station. However, before building such a station, Tipu attacked Kochi and moved the Mysore army to Kottayam side. However North Paravur continued later as Travancore province.

    Regarding Capital city issue, yes our Royal family insisted that Trivandrum must remain as the state capital of newly formed state- Thiru-kochi state. This was because of 2 reasons. First to silence critics in Travancore who were against merging Travancore with Cochin, due to many personal reasons. Secondly any attempts of make Thrissur as capital, would defy the vow which our family has made to Sri Padmanabha, that our state shall rule on behalf of him and he shall reside in the capital city. Since its impossible to move Sri Padmanabha to Thrissur, we can’t keep our vow that we shall rule the state on behalf on him, in his city. Hence we were particular that Capital shall be on Trivandrum. It was later, our family decided to renounce our state in favour to India Union. So you claims that it was because Trivandrum was the only developed city that time, to make capital stands no validity.

    Yes Trivandrum was a developed city that the time of independence. But we never felt, Kochi was inferior in any regard. Because, Kochi was an equally developed state. Perhaps it had more revenue than Travancore. And this revenue was used to many large scale investments like construction of India’s first Man-Made island Willington island which was regarded as an engineering marvel that time or funding of Idukki dam as world’s largest Arch dam or creating Kerala’s first electrified city at Thrissur or establishing South India’s largest port, more bigger than British Chennai Port.

    Friend, why should I take a parital stand on Trivandrum on hiding facts about Cochin? Do you know, which was the first Public Allopathic Hospital in Kerala? Its not Trivandrum General Hospital, but Kochi General Hospital. The only difference was TVM Hospital was the first General hospital to be established by a Native state prince, whereas Kochi Hospital was established by British Government with support of Kochi Diwan Shankunni Warrier.

    I am proud that we are founders of the Trivandrum city, which donot qualify us to disrespect any other city.

    Forget about past, today I don’t think there is much regional bias….. I am from Trivandrum, yet residing in Kochi for a long time. I have intensively travelled across Kerala, yet rarely I see people saying Kozhikodians, Kochinites etc……. But on net, I find there is breeding sects who are more patriotic towards Travancore than Travancore itself………. In short, I strongly feel this may affect the unity and integration of Kerala state. Because Travancore Royal Family traditionally upholds an unified view point, which was strongly opposed in Trivandrum that time. Perhaps when Congress and Kochi Royal Family had meeting on November 1st 1946 passing resolution in Thrissur for formation of United States of Kerala, Travancore had a rare phenomenon of holding a public march to Kowidar on January 13th 1947, asking Maharaja to resist any act of merger. I feel, this attitude is still preserved among Trivandrumites. Atleast the new generation must stop this attitude, because in times of modernity, there is no cultural or economic barriers that stand in unity of Kerala.

    I feel both Trivandrum and Kochi are equal in all ways…. There are some advantages which Trivandrum has that Kochi doesn’t and vice versa. Thus these advantages has to be maximum leveraged like what Travancore has done with Kochi prior to 1949 and vice versa, rather than fighting on net………….

    Hope I have made abundantly clear that there is no need to feel that Trivandrum is superior than Cochin or Vice versa in any level

    With Regards
    Arun

  25. BVN August 19, 2009 at 5:48 pm #

    Dear Prince Arun,

    Currently I’m in a place called Santa Cruz in Guatemala where I have to pay a lot for bandwidth plus i dont understand their spanish keyboard, so I’m really sorry I cannot give you a detailed reply.

    But surely I would like you to think through your comment that ‘false propaganda raised by a few Trivandrum based regionalists.’

    Whats our propaganda dude. You can scan through this entire blog and see if their is anything derogatory about Kochi in the entire blog.

    I work out of Kochi and love the place as much as I like Trivandrum. Given a chance, I might even live there for very long. So its not really a question of propaganda against Kochi.

    But if someone says Trivandrum has a ‘polluted’ population, I guess I’ll reply to that any given day. And thats what you see in the comment. Maybe you agree to what he commented. Up to you.

    I laughed a bit seeing your seriously 17th century logic on why Trivandrum was made the capital. Dude why dont you mention the ‘american model’ and Cp’s proposal from the ‘Royal’ Trvancore records.

    That would hurt huh!

    I’ll surely give a detailed reply to you as soon as I get to civilization.

    plus in the meantime, i would really like to have access to the Kawdiar palace archives, if you could arrange that. Because I need to know how SPIN works in the ‘Royal’ family.

    And you cud in the meantime look up Prof.Sreedhara menons books on kerala history, which are considered by non ‘royals’ of Kerala as the most accurate interpretation of our history.

    And to remind you, the King is dead, not in 1991, but in 1957. So please dont be a ‘Royal’ jerk saying things like ‘WE’ dont consider. Who is ‘WE’.

    Thanks for the comment btw, do come by more often.

    P.S. ‘first Public Allopathic Hospital in Kerala’ – that was super funny dude. Yeah sure then Kochi should have been made the capital. Its like Allopathic Hospital man! Wow!

    P.P.S. So you are from ‘Muvathupuzha’ – is it the rubber jungle of Muvathupuzha. Which if yes is so so Trivandrum dude.

  26. Arun Mohan August 19, 2009 at 11:02 pm #

    Dear BVN

    I didn’t try to insult you or your blog….. But your reply to Anish should be been more milder, because the way which you replied, to any ordinary man would understand its nothing short that Regionalism attitude. Because every city has its advantages and disadvantages….. Bombay might be the largest, but its the most polluted city. So you can’t have all in one city. Trivandrum, at the time of its foundation, was marked to be a prefect Royal Capital, sans any kind of pollution or other industrial activities to ensure its clean environment. So it has that advantage and another disadvantage of not being industrialized.

    But the way you replied, makes me felt that you like someother commentors in the forum, has clear bias against Kochi, which is clearly seen in many forums. And I was only replying on the historical accuracy.

    Friend, you can intrepret history in anyway. For example, even today Britishers consider defeat of Velu Thampi Dalawa in Battle of Kundara as defeat of Travancore State, which is never considered true if one looks history from Viewpoint of Travancore. In viewpoint of Britishers, Velu Thampi was the Prime Minster of the state and commander of Army and proclaimed War in name of Padmanabha. But as per our records, only Maharaja was empowered to declare war and HH Maharaja Bala Rama Varma never declared war against British. Moreover officially Travancore Army didn’t attack British.

    So you can see one single piece of history can be intrepreted in different ways. The Indian historians considered rebellion at Attingal as first organized revolt against British East India Company in India, whereas including Sreedharan Pilla, all Kerala historians consider it as an attempt to dethrone Rani of Attingal who was enjoying the British support by the Nair Lords.

    Till this date Government of Kerala and erstwhile Government of Travancore, considers Travancore State Manual, as the official historical work that records Travancore history. You can never find any single page, that mentions defeat of Cochin Raja in Battle of Ambalapuzha in that book, because we clearly know Cochin State didn’t have a regular organized Army that time, to attack Travancore, other than a few Palace/Royal Guards.

    And regarding capital issue, Travancore Royal Family always insisted Trivandrum as capital, even when our family was staying in Padmanabhapuram Palace. Because of our traditional vow of ruling the state from the Sree Padmanabha’s seat of power. You can check a book called “The Royal Correspondences” issued by Government of Kerala- Dept of Achieves that records all Correspondences between Royal Family of Travancore. In one letter, you find the Maharaja of Travancore strongly opposing Cochin Raja’s proposal of having Thrissur as new capital of the state- Thiru-Kochi, citing 4 reasons. The first reason stands out the one explained to you. Other reasons include infrastructure and other matters.

    And I have no qualms about your personal comments abt me, as each one has their own attitude and culture, which cannot be rectified by any other person. All I have to say I am sorry, if my comments has hurt you in anyway. But i strongly felt, the words used by you against Anish was more harsh than what Anish expressed, though I clearly feel both of ur replies carries a degree of regional bias. But your reply had more spice of it than Anish……. And I replied to quell the myth of Cochin defeat, because I have seen this arguement in many forums. So felt, to explain to you………

    And whether you feel King was dead in 1957 or not, you don’t require to call me as Prince, as i never uses my Royal name in any public forum. So call me just Arun as its my pet name

    With regards
    Arun

  27. Ajay August 19, 2009 at 11:28 pm #

    Well, Arun, I was expecting you here in short measure. I guess Ashish or whoever he is ran to you with his tail between his legs? Otherwise, I am surprised that you would be spending your valuable “royal” time monitoring comments on a post made in 2008!

    While your claims of connection to the Travancore Royal family is taken with an extra large pinch of salt, let me remind you that Trivandrum is not the Royal Family, even when its historical role is undeniable. Trivandrum today is the people of Trivandrum, those of us who didn’t migrate anyways.

    Unfortunately for you, a lot of us chose to believe recorded history over your version of it. Recorded history, on display at both Padmanabhapuram and Mattanchery Palaces clearly records the history of relations between Travancore and Cochin. It’s pretty clear who was boss, Arun. And it is easy to claim that Cochin renounced all military ambitions in favor of trade. That is so much BS. No trading power can afford to do so. The truth is that they were thrashed by pretty much everyone around – the Zamorins, the Dutch, the Portuguese, Hyder Ali et al – and thus become a protectorate of whoever happened to be around perforce and not by choice.

    And when we are talking about two States, let’s confine our discussion about what they were able to achieve on their own. What the British did in Cochin was for their benefit and due to their capabilities. The Cochin royals were reduced to mere spectators at this time, as attested to by historical records.

    And as BVN said, the choice of capital was clear and it is laughable to say that there was any real choice at all. Thrissur?! What are we talking about here?

    The range of facilities and amenities that Trivandrum offered were unmatched then as they are now. I suppose without an airport, prospective capitals like Cochin and Thrissur would have brought in visiting dignitaries on the backwaters or by bullock cart? And that’s just for starters, as you know very well. Or perhaps, you could argue that the Travancore Royal Family missed the very obvious, right outside their gates?

    And Arun, your claims of loyalty to Travancore are very stale, whatever your equally thin claims to ancestry are. In all your previous discussions about Vizhinjam on the Trivandrum bloggers group, your bias was very evident. If you are reduced to arguing that a maritime history is a necessary condition to develop a port when all your other claims were shot into the sea, one can understand the sort of lengths you will go to argue in favour of Cochin.

    If anyone was to believe you, Travancore was not, is not and never will be comparable to your current home town. Well, that belief is the root of all your frustrations, isn’t it? That is why folks like you jump up and start arguing to the death whenever someone mentions something about Trivandrum’s leadership in any sector, even when Cochin is not even in the frame. That is the case here, I don’t see even a mention of Cochin here, do you? Then why the history lesson? Or is that part of your supposed work at IIM Ahmedabad? Initially, the likes of you wanted to establish that Cochin was the IT hub of Kerala. Unfortunately, that didn’t stand a chance in the face of cold statistics. Claiming that Cochin is the biggest, best, longest, hottest and whatever other superlatives come to mind won’t get you far, buddy. Don’t waste our time, I suggest you direct your sermonising to your friends in the B&R belt or perhaps to any errant members of the Royal Family who may have wandered thence.

    I am sure BVN will have a reply for you soon as soon as he makes it back to civilisation but let me ask you not to unload more of your version of history here. Inevitably, it paints the picture that you want and has little, if any, connection with what really happened and what is happening.

    If at all you do want to carry on to one of your characteristically endless tirades, do it after you accept what you are and what you stand for. There is nothing to be afraid of in doing that. Please don’t claim to be representing something that you clearly have no affinity for. It sounds a bit hollow, to be frank.

    Cheers!

  28. Arun Mohan August 21, 2009 at 9:04 am #

    Dear Ajay

    I too was expecting you here, because for your paramount importance of undermining the state’s importance on comparison with Trivandrum. Yes, its true I came here because of you, on seeing a post in your blog about BVN. When I came here, I found a grave historical inaccuracy which forced me rectify. You have every choice to believe truth or false, which is your belief and in your context. As we live in a land where there is always 2 VERSIONS on any reason, you can choose any version you wish so, that suits to your propaganda, the same way Hitler choose the celebrated Jew Migration and German Fatherland concept.

    I told about my ancestry, not to take any ride on it. I am a person who rarely uses my Royal name in public, because I donot believe in such erstwhile prides. But here I was forced to tell you, to certify my credentials for talking on behalf of the Royal Family and on behalf of Kowidar Palace, as myself is a member of Travancore Palace Trust, that monitors all the Palace properties of Travancore.

    Neither in any single Palace record nor in any page of Travancore State Manuel, that records the Official history of Travancore, has any single citation of official attack on Cochin State and defeat of Kochi Maharajah. Neither Kochi Maharaja was a signatory to the Treaty of Mannar, which forced Chempakkassery Thampurans and Confederation of deposed Rajas to accept the sovereignty of Travancore Royal house (Venad Illathu Swaroopam) as true Vanchinad rulers and Emperor of Thriuvittamkotta. I don’t know, in what way you claim a Raja who was neither a signatory of war treaty nor whose army has attacked Travancore state forces, claims to be defeated.

    That’s what I say, you are free to believe any reason you wish so, just like Britishers still considering 1857 Incident as mere Sepoy Munity, whereas East India Company believing as Great Rebellion and Indians considering as First War of Independence or Pak Muslims considering it as Final Assault on Islamic Empire of India. So anyway one can interpret History as they like. By the way Travancore State Manual is still considered by Government of Kerala as final and official recorded history of Travancore and I would suggest you to kindly buy a copy of it and read it if you have time.

    In my knowledge the Bhadra Val of Kochi Royal family is still preserved as part of Royal Crown Jewels in Hill Palace, so which don’t know which sword of Kochi Royal Family is displayed in Padmanabhapuram Palace which you claim as sword of Defeat.

    Regarding the military positions of Cochin, its known to all Kochi rajas are one of the most weakest rulers in India. They donot have any proper Military or any military hierarchy or atleast a proper Army Headquaters. Barring an Army Division in Mattencherry and Thirpunithara, there donot have any other army divisions in a major state. And throughout the history, cochin state was raided by all, including Zamorins, all European powers and even by Cholas and Pandiyans. It’s a clear history that any state focusing on any sector more vigoursly than other will be dominated by another, just like how Gulf states of present. I would call, Kochi was more like Gulf states of today that time, to be dominated by the other states. So its perfectly possible to have an strong economy and trade without military back up, even today.

    As per the Cherman Traditions, the state of Kochi and its King was to be protected by Zamorin, as Zamorin was a Nair Royal Family and has the right to protect it. But when Zamorins were on verge of annexation policy and its position as Rakshapurshan of Kerala, irked Kochi Raja, because thro’ that title, Zamorins has undermined traditional position and privilege of Kochi Raja. So he has seeked support of Portuguese and later Dutch to protect it from an major attack from Malabar.

    And all these measures helped Kochi to remain as a Kingdom, till 1957, rather than mere state in British India unlike Malabar. So I find they could retain their position cleverly, what ever flaws they had and became 6th Richest Princely state in India, that has more than 563 princely states, which is really a major achievement.

    Britishers and travancoreans did many things in Kochi, which was all for their direct benefits. But indirectly all these investments benefited Kochi Kingdom. Its just like when America invested Billions in Gulf, it helped Gulf States to become one of the most richest nations in the world. America is not doing any charity in gulf, but the benefits are equal to both people.

    For example, more than 70% of Travancore’s Industrial Investments are done either in Kochi Kingdom or in places near to Kochi state like Aluva etc. It earned Travancore a very huge revenue, but Kochi too was reaping similar benefits. When dozens on industries opened in Travancore Aluva, it was Kochi people who were working in these plants and many service industries were opened in Kochi Aluva. When Travancore-British-Cochin funded Kochi port was opened, it benefitted the entire Travancore and Kochi in trade as well as to the Britishers. So it make no sense that these investments has no use for Kochi. Kochi till mid of 20th century was like Dubai for entire Kerala, with heavy migration from entire south India as well as from Gujarat and North India. Yes I have no reason to fight with you, in your statement that Kochi Royal family was mere spectators. They were mere spectators, enjoying luxuries of Hill Palace. But the Diwans of Kochi played a very big role for its development, despite of British presence here. I am not a royal spokesman for Royal Family of Kochi, to defend them, but I find no fault in defending Kochi, which was a favourite investment hub for Travancore Royal family even today.

    We have no reason to backtrack our city, where we live, but we felt that our city has many problems on investments to be made, which forced us to invest more in Kochi state, than in our own city or state. Our family till now hasn’t revised our policy of not investing in any major industrial activity in Trivandrum other than Knowledge based industries like EDUCATION, HEALTHCARE and SERVICE Sector, due to many historical and cultural reasons. And I rarely feel Trivandrum can score better in any other sector that is not directly linked to Knowledge due to its environmental factors, which is deep rooted there and its not easy to do anything other than that.

    Yes Trivandrum is not a city of royals alone. Its for Commoners too. But please don’t say all people in Trivandrum are permanent citizens of Trivandrum. Travancore Royal family donot subscribe to that viewpoint of discriminating people of Trivandrum as permanent citizens or migratory citizens. Because including the Royal family, all have migrated to that city at several time periods. When we established the city, there was only one resident in that place. Its none other than Sree Padmanabha. The Ramanar Palace records clearly records only 128 families resided in the entire 8 villages of Ettu Vettil Provinces, which makes the current city. Its 100% sure that neither you nor any such direct descents of these 128 familes lives in Trivandrum city to claim native residency of the city. So there is no need to talk abt the concept of Permanent citizens or migratory citizens. Those who live in the city are citizens, irrespective from where they hail.

    Friend, I know you have a great deal of knowledge, but many are eclipsed with your bias. A capital city is decided not basis of airport or anyother infrastructure. If so, Travancore Royal family won’t choose newly established city of Trivandrum as capital of a powerful kingdom like Travancore in 18th century, when we have all excellent well developed facilities existing at Kollam and Kollam was traditional capital of Venad Royal house. We won’t think of making Trivandrum as capital, when we lived in Padmanbhapuram Palace, which was 50 Kms from Trivandrum. We had only one reason of making Trivandrum as capital, we are mere servants of Sree Padmananbha and he is the Emperor of the State. Where the Emperor resides, it’s the capital of that state. You may laugh at it or mock at this logic, but for any member of Royal family, Sree Padmanabha is an emotional issue. Perhaps, you might think, why our royal family donot make any interferences in Kerala politics or atleast be part of any political parties, when all the Indian Royal families has representatives from their family in Indian Parilament or atleast in local municipal bodies. Even many Kochi Thampurans and Poojnar royals has representation in Muncipal bodies and state parties, but no one can find any single member from Travancore royal house in these. Its simply because, we all declare our loyalty and faith ONLY IN SREE PADMANABHA and can’t affirm our loyalty and commitment even to Indian Constitution. Perhaps Travancore Royals might be the only royal family in India, that never casted its vote till this date, as we can’t take any measure that declares our loyalty to any other than Sree Padmanbha swamy. So we had clear cut reason for insisting that capital of Kerala must be in Trivandrum, the abode of Sree Padmanabha.

    And for your kind Information, if Delhi was made capital of India because of British built Infrastructure or Chennai as capital of Tamil Nadu or even newly developed British Bangalore as capital of Karnataka rather than Royal Mysore, naturally the preference of new capital would fall on British Cochin, as Kochi housed a vast range of British built facilities to administer than Trivandrum. Perhaps in 1949, when discussions on Capital of newly formed state of ThiruKochi were table, Trivandrum didn’t have full fledged Airport to welcome dignitarties from Delhi rather than Flying Club Grounds (where the modern TVM Airport is built now). Whereas Kochi had the most developed airport that time, built was Royal Navy in Willington Island, a Naval Base, port, 2 levels of Administrative Buildings one built by British and another built by Kochi rajas, presence of powerful trade and economy, presence of 120 year old Cochin Raja’s court which was also the regional office of Privy council of British India for Kochi-Travancore region, regional office of Madras University at Maharajas college and availability of large grounds in the new Willington island that can be used for administrative purposes.

    But it was because of Travancore’s strong insistence for making Trivandrum as capital, made so.

    There was a strong pressure from Indian National Congress to make Thrissur as capital, because it was place where the Akiya Kerala Declaration was passed for formation of United States of Kerala. Congress headoffice in Kochi-Travancore region that time was Thrissur and most of its leaders were to from thrissur with active support of congress units in places near to thrissur like shornur or Ottapalam etc. For Cochin raja’s point of view, Thiruvanchikulam near Thrissur was ancient capital of Chera Empire, before it was partitioned to make 3 major kingdoms. So by making Thrissur as capital, it marks the return of Ancient Kerala Empire provided British Malabar join in the Federation.

    But Travancore Royal Family’s strong opposition to this proposal and even threaten to pull out of the negotiations of United States of Kerala forced the deal to sign with Administrative headquarters at Trivandrum and Judicial Headquarters at Kochi

    Friend, its well know among the bloggers who is the frog in the well, who have constructed a virtual wall around himself and want all in that, irrespective of what happens outside that well. Though we are the constructors of that well, we have a broad sight and vision to think beyond the well and to think about over all prosperity of the land where the well is situated. We for the past 300 years have done many things to beautify the well, BUT NOT AT EXPENSE OF THE LAND AROUND IT. Whereas the frog does not know that and he still believes the world is that well. What can anyone do? It’s the frog’s fate

    In every discussion I have told you on things which you couldn’t counter till now. Till this date, you couldn’t prove any single port in this world in a place that has no single maritime history in any of its past. And you couldn’t see the classic example of Salalah ICT’s fate on comparision with Dubai ICT despite of its vast claims. And today you still dream for some prospective developers to come, for a project that no maritime history to back support. If Vizhnjam was a gold or diamond mine, LANCO would wait even for 100 years to get its rights, because no business company would leave and walk away from a gold mine. Forget about Lanco, our company Aspinwall would bring the much needed investors for this project, if we feel it can make such a returns, because more than 30 acres in vicinity of the proposed port belongs to the Palace and many of us. Just by selling it, we can gain Billions, still we fund for Vallarpadom? You can check it with your own eyes. Travancore Royal family can’t act on behalf of patriotism. Rather we act on matter of fact. We are not guided by adventurism, but with intellect. So we strongly feel safety on our investments in Cochin, whether its traditional or current.

    Who said, I jumped in frames where kochi was not even mentioned. Even you while praising the goodness of Trivandrum Auto drivers, unnessecary poked at Kochi, when you have worst at Chennai or best in Kozhikode. So most of your mails and many other mails of similar bloggers in Trivandrum, while celebrating success of Trivandrum or mourning of failure of the city, pokes Kochi for which my harsh replies will surely come……. I have every good reason to celebrate success of any city, but not at expense or insult of other city. Even in any of my mails to your arguments, I never poked at Trivandrum,, though I know more abt my home city.

    Well, I can say, we require more dolphins of high seas that have a broad vision to see all in equal zest, than frogs of wells in this modern age for development and prosperity. The world surely knows the fate of well frogs, rather than sea frog, irrespective of the fact, how good is the well is…….

    With regards
    Arun

  29. Ajay August 25, 2009 at 12:17 pm #

    Arun,

    I would love to slug it out with you point by point, but most of us seem to be less royally endowed with idle time than you.

    I don’t know why you have to shield yourself with nebulous claims to a royal connection whenever faced with facts with facts. And if you have had a temporary lapse of short-term memory, it is you who has had to resort to very dicey arguments like “Trivandrum doesn’t have a maritime history” when faced with the facts in favor of Vizhinjam.

    And talking about your pet Vallarpadam project, your medium-term memory could perhaps be jogged a bit to recollect the fact that the project was unsuccessfully bid out three times and the fourth bid only had a single bidder – DP World. Given the hype that you and your ilk have built about it, one would be surprised to note that the likes of APM or Evergreen were not jostling each other for it. Only DPW, which has a near-monopoly to protect in India, turned up.

    And it is nice of you to admit that the development of your beloved Cochin was due in main to Travancore and the Brits, and in no measure to the locals themselves. If it hadn’t been for the minor detail of that flood in the 14th Century, the fishing nets would still have been the highlight of the place. And since it is an estuarine port with a chronic sedimentation problem, we will see how long it will remain competitive against true deepwater ports. Incidentally, perhaps you would have noticed that it is the only major port to take a significant reduction in volumes when everybody else is stretched to the limit.

    As for your righteous indignation against folks from Trivandrum for maligning Cochin, let me bring your notice to the plethora of bloggers from the burgs of Ernakulam who have set up shop exclusively to throw mud at their own capital city. I won’t publicise such scum by mentioning them here, but I am sure you are well acquainted with them. One of them recently spent a night in the slammer because his venom got too much for even the authorities to ignore. Show me even a single blog of a Trivandrumite which is exclusively set up to spit tirades at Cochin or any other city. If you think that is what I am doing, you must have lost your marbles, buddy. Try doing a Google search on my blog and see if I even mention your city, except in passing. Whatever you may think of it, no one in his right senses would want to bother drawing comparisons to it. Since you claim to have some vestige of Travancore blood flowing in your veins, instead of an overdose of latex, why don’t you take up the sword against those gentlemen from Cochin who are habitual mud-slingers rather than drag your royalness through back-posts on BVN’s blog or mine.

    In case you have a reply which does not reek of your evident bias for Cochin, let’s hear it. If you want to persist with obtuse references to your own private interpretation of history, please spare us. Trust me, we are not interested in hearing your droll take. Instead perhaps you could explain why you are so keen to take one side only?

    Cheers,
    Ajay

  30. kannan June 18, 2010 at 5:40 am #

    hi everyone dis is the first time i’m in tvmtalkies..i saw every comments….
    here i wanna ask a question our trivandrum is developing?ABSOLUTELY NOT
    bcoz in our kerala only kochi is developing all politician need kochi only….
    they don’t want Tvm to develope…Vizhinjam and TVM airport is the best Example for this….Technopark is the first IT Park in india….but see the position of technopark ,no major projects are coming to TVM.and for metro Railway compare to kochi ,Population in TVM is high,then why the government is not proposssing for a matro rail project in Trivandrum?????
    KERALA MEANS NOT ONLY KOCHI KEEP IN MIND
    TO ALL POLITICIANS IN KERALA DONT SELECT KOCHI AS OUR CAPITAL

    AJAY sir i read ur comments SUPERB…….

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