60 panchayats in Malappuram district headed by IUML to do away with ‘sir’ and ‘madam’

The Mathur grama panchayat in Palakkad district was the first to take the decision

In a revolutionary move, 60 grama panchayat presidents belonging to the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) in Malappuram district have decided to say goodbye to salutations such as ‘sir’ and ‘madam’ in the local bodies they head.

The decision taken at a meeting of the Grama Panchayat Presidents League (GPPL) held here on Thursday is likely to have a far-reaching impact with two-thirds of the civic bodies in Malappuram district jumping on to the anti-colonial bandwagon in the centenary year of the 1921 Malabar Rebellion.

The GPPL, a forum of IUML’s panchayat presidents, has surprised those who are currently spearheading a campaign against ‘sir’ and ‘madam’ in the State. “It’s really a surprise. It’s a bold decision indeed,” said Boban Mattumantha, the social worker who started the campaign from Palakkad.

It was Mathur grama panchayat in Palakkad district that took the historic decision to ban ‘sir’ and ‘madam’ on August 31. Avinissery panchayat in Thrissur district, Ambalappuzha North panchayat in Alapuzha district, and Uzhavoor panchayat in Kottayam district soon followed suit. As many as 30 panchayats across the State and several other institutions have joined the movement against ‘sir’ and ‘madam’.

“Ending salutations like ‘sir’ and ‘madam’ will give us much-needed freedom from the colonial hangover. When people address government officials as ‘sir’ and ‘madam’, a feeling is instilled in them that the latter are the boss. This mindset has to go. The government is to serve the people, and not to rule them,” said P.C. Abdurahman and Mohammed Ismail K., president and general secretary respectively of the GPPL. Mr. Abdurahman is president of Pulpatta panchayat and Mr. Ismail heads Pookkottur panchayat.

They said each of the 60 panchayats would soon convene meetings of officials concerned and implement the decision. This is the first time in the State that a political party’s panchayat presidents have taken the decision to scrap ‘sir’ and ‘madam’.

The panchayats that will soon do away with the practice are Vazhikkadavu, Karulai, Kalikavu, Thuvvoor, Edappatta, Thrikkalangode, Urangattiri, Kavanur, Keezhuparamba, Pulpatta, Cheekode, Areekode, Kuzhimanna, Chelembra, Cherukavu, Pallikkal, Ponmala, Vazhakkad, Muthuvallur, Kodur, Anakkayam, Morayur, Pookkottur, Othukkungal, Kuruva, Mankada, Makkaraparamba, Koottilangadi, Puzhakkattiri, Alipparamba, Keezhattur, Vettathur, Angadipuram, Athavanad, Edayur, Irimbiliyam, Marakkara, Kuttippuram, Kalpakanchery, Tirunavaya, Vattamkulam, Ozhur, Mangalam, Kaladi, Perumanna Klari, Ponmundam, Valavannur, Cheriyamundam, Niramarathur, Tenhipalam, Munniyur, Nannambra, Peruvallur, AR Nagar, Edarikode, Parappur, Thennala, Vengara, Kannamangalam, and Oorakam.

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