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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Tuesday, 18 May 2021 3.49 PM IST

The irony of history…..Those who stepped down and rose to power in last 20 years, political truths revealed on first pages of Kerala Kaumudi

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The headline of Kerala Kaumudi newspaper published on May 3rd, 2021 was, “Captain the great,” accompanied by Pinarayi Vijayan’s caricature who safely stands in the people’s palm. The captain has also pocketed, “Red Kerala,” and he smiles indicating a sense of victory. Below the masthead another title namely, ‘Second term marking history’ was given.

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The headline was also accompanied by the seat pattern of fronts, LDF 99, UDF 41, NDA 0. 'UDF destroyed, BJP closes its accounts' are the other headlines could be seen on the first page at an initial glance. Making history when the captain becomes the star of the day securing another consecutive term, Kerala kaumudi’s first page published exactly 20 years ago, on 2001 May 14 has become viral on social media. On that day, instead of Pinarayi, it was A K Anthony whose presence was omnipotent in the newspaper. The lead news was ‘landslide victory for UDF,’ even the seat pattern of the fronts was also the same, UDF 99, LDF 40.

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Many have shared this picture across social media platforms saying the irony of history happened about 20 years ago. But apart from the similarity in the seat patterns, there are many interesting features in both of these first pages. Such interesting facts which could only be unravelled through micro observation are as follows:

Pinarayi Vijayan who is standing on yesterday’s newspaper had a place on the first page published 20 years ago. Near to the photo of EK Nayanar who was coming out of the Raj Bhavan, after submitting his resignation before the governor, in the right corner on the page, a news story of Pinarayi Vijayan was published as a piece of box news. The headline read, ‘Verdict is not against government.’ The news was the reaction of the present chief minister who was the then party secretary of CPM.

Within 20 years Pinarayi rose from the small box to a historical figure, the undisputed captain of CPM, the party’s only mogul whose statements are filled in the newspaper. The left front which got limited to 40 seats back in 2001, now has secured 99 seats. Whereas the right front which bagged a whopping 99 seats and rose to power has now got only 40 seats. In 2001, when front-page news on BJP was, ‘Saffron party fails to open account’ in 2020, it has become, ‘BJP closes its account.’

The front page in 2021 also discusses who all are going to get into the cabinet. Whereas in 2001, another front-page headline was Karunakaran’s words, he said, ‘not interested to become chief minister.’ In the exclusive interview given to V S Rajesh, he also hinted that he doubts whether the party could have secured such a landslide victory had Anthony led Congress. Whereas in 2021, Pinarayi is ascending to power, without any dissenting voices from the party.

In the 2001 newspaper, one can also read ADMK to form government in Tamil Nadu and left front wins big in Bengal. At that time CPM alone secured 143 seats and the left front received a total of 196 seats. But in 2021, CPM has become zero in West Bengal. CPM’s vote share in Bengal is below five per cent now. Even though the left party had fielded young candidates, it had faced yet another humiliating defeat this time.

In 2001, another headline was ADMK to rule Tamil Nadu, whereas, in 2021, it has changed to 'DMK sweeps alone, Tamil Nadu to witness Stalin era'. The DMK led Secular Progressive Alliance has won 158 seats out of the 234 seats in the assembly. DMK which has won 125 seats have the majority to rule the state alone. The national democratic alliance led by ADMK have only managed to get 76 seats.

Another headline in 2001 was the possibility for Congress ministries in Assam and Puducherry. Whereas the newspaper published on May 3, 2021, say that Lotus has blossomed in Puducherry and BJP gets another term in Assam.

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TAGS: KERALA KAUMUDI, NEWSPAPER, 2001, 2021, ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS, KERALA, TAMIL NADU, PUDUCHERRY, ASSAM, ADMAK, DMK, UDF, LDF, PINARAYI VIJAYAN, A K ANTHONY, 1.68 LAKH NEW INFECTIONS COVID CASES IN INDIA HIT RECORD
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