IOS Calicut Chapter Seminar on C H Muhammad Koya and the Empowerment of Kerala Muslims

December 7, 2019 at Calicut, Kerala

Calicut: IOS Centre for Gender Studies under the Calicut chapter of the Institute of Objective Studies organised a seminar on Late C H Muhammed Koya on December 7, 2019. The late Koya Sahib was leader of Indian Union Muslim League and minister heading many departments in Kerala from 1967 to 1983 when he met with untimely death in Hyderabad. He is well-known in Kerala by his initials CH.

Five scholars presented papers highlighting various aspects of the illustrious Muslim leader who helped the community to empower itself through his rhetorical and administrative skills. He was instrumental in establishing colleges and school in Muslim areas.

Mr. C Abdul Hameed who presented a paper “CH as a Writer’’ argued that in spite of his busy life CH was able to write on many topics of interest to the community and the people at large.  CH had a powerful style and was fully aware of nature of his readers. At the same time, he was humorous and, sometimes sarcastic, when dealing with sensitive political issues. He was also careful to convey a positive message in his popular newspaper columns.

“Travelogues of CH” was a topic of paper presented by A P Kunhamu. He argued that CH was one of the early travel writers in the language. He was a minute observer of people of the places he visited. The writing often stands at par with some of the great writings in Malayalam. One feature of his writing was his curiosity to find out Keralite ancestors who had sailed across high seas to distant foreign lands. He has written seven travel books, the best among them being one dealing with his Haj pilgrimage.

T P M Basheer, who dealt with the personal qualities of the leader, said CH was a people’s leader.  Born in a lower middle-class family, he became a political leader, journalist and writer through hard work. He became the editor of Chandrika Daily at an early age. He was one of the youngest speakers of Kerala Legislative Assembly and was minister for many years. He set the record as first Muslim League Chief Minister in independent India. He took special interest in advancing Muslim education.

Navas Poonoor, senior journalist and editor of The Suprabhatam Daily, who narrated his life with CH, argued that the contribution of CH to the transformation of Muslim community is remarkable. When his name was suggested as minister in the CPM- led government in 1967 he insisted on becoming Minister for Education. As an administrator he never stayed in the ivory tower of power, but took life in his stride.

“CH as Administrator” was the topic of Prof. Salahuddin P M. He said that CH had will power and skill to get things done from bureaucracy controlled by upper caste civil servants in the state, especially in late sixties and seventies. He always found time to get to the details of a problem and had complete control over official files.

Prof. P Koya presided over the well- attended seminar. Br. A A Vahab welcomed the audience.  

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