Evergreen Leaders- C.H. Muhammad Koya (1967-83)

He is like the flowering spring in the memory of the malayalees. He lived as the consciousness of an era. His story became the history of his land. Each and every word of Koya sahib became flaming arrows. He emerged from poverty like a magician. During a time when only those who paid land tax were given the voting rights, he was a student without any money even to pay his tuition fees; yet he jumped into politics. He became a rebel imbibing the spirit of the underprivileged. He was able to conquer the ruling elite starting as a member in the corporation council, this young man from Atholi flew to the heights of becoming the youngest speaker that Kerala assembly has seen.

He was the Home Minister who destroyed the weaponry of communist extremist and reformer of education when he was the Minister of Education. It was during his time three universities- Calicut University,CUSAT,and Kerala Agricultural University came into existence. Secondary education became free. Innumerable institutions and courses were the contribution of C H Muhammad Koya. State institute of Education, students representation in the administration in the Universities, proper place for languages like Arabic,Urdu and Sanskrit in the curriculum and scholarship for Muslim and Nadar students were some of his achievements. Obtaining 12% reservation for Muslims as backward classes started a storm of social change in India. He was a minister with unique achievements of heading almost tall departments. He became deputy chief minister two times. On 12th October 1979 when he took oath as chief minister of Kerala it was a great wonder perhaps like the saying “feeding the dead horse, a Muslim became the chief minister of a chief in India. This attracted the attention of the whole parliament. He became the Member of Parliament two times and editor of Chandrika at the age of 23. At the age of 29 he became the leader of the legislative party. General secretary of the state Muslim League, All India General Secretary, patron of many educational institutions- all these position came to him. At public platforms his words were at times like fireballs and sometimes as cool as the dewdrops. He was a writer who knew the power of language. A great journalist veteran parliamentarian an able administrator, writer, scholar, politician a person who reaped the harvest of his innate talents were the deserving adjectives for this great man. It was said of him that he was a man of literature who lost his way and came to politics. On 28th September 1983 his story comes to an end and along with it an era.


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