Bringing the non-resident Keralites together, the first meeting of the Kerala Loka Sabha (World Kerala Assembly) began in Thiruvananthapuram on Friday. Loka Kerala Sabha (LKS) which scripts a new episode in the history of the state and country, could well be an engine for the future growth of the state, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said inaugurating the first-of-its-kind event.
The assembly of 351 legislators, including 141 parliament members from the state and a representation 177 members drawn from diverse regions within and outside the country who represent vast diaspora of Keralites, makes a pitch for the Non-Resident Keralites (NRK) to ensure participation in Kerala's policy-making process.
While addressing the two-day assembly, which was held at the banquet hall of the state assembly and resembled a legislature in session, Vijayan, the leader of LKS, said: "This is the first event of its kind to be held in the country. This would be held once in two years.”
Announcing a platform to harness the financial and intellectual resources of expatriate Keralites for the development of the State, Pinarayi Vijayan pointed out the alternative resource mobilisation efforts such as the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) which offers an avenue for the diaspora to invest safely in the development of their home State.
“This Sabha could be the vital link… as all through the past several decades, the contribution of the Kerala diaspora through their remittances turned out to be the lifeline for the state,” he added.
Mentioning the issues of returnees, the chief minister called for a comprehensive migration policy at the national level.
“The central and state governments should come together to form a consortium which can implement a proper rehabilitation programme for the returnees.”
"While just thriving on NRK remittances, no one has so far thought of making use of their knowledge, skills and experience for the development of the state. The 'brain drain' can be turned into 'brain gain' if we seek the services of NRK scientists and academicians for an academic revival at our universities," Vijayan added in his inaugural address.
The chief minister also took the opportunity to blast at those making derogatory remarks on communist legendary leader AK Gopalan, saying that the inspiration for LKS came from AKG's views that “Parliament should be a place where people's desires and emotions should get reflected.”
Quoting a proverb “one who is not a nationalist cannot be an internationalist, one who is not an internationalist cannot be a humanist”, the chief minister assured the gathering that all the discussions and debates that would take place in the event would be taken forward to its logical conclusion.
(With inputs from IANS)