Social Scientist. v 6, no. 62 (Sept 1977) p. 64.


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Science for Social Change:

The Kerala Sastra Sahithya Parishad

THE Kerala Sastra Sahitya Parishad (Society for Scientific Literature) is an organization of active, committed voluntary workers who believe that science should neither be confined to the laboratories nor should it be exclusively the concern of highly trained specialists. About fifteen years after its inception, theparishad has now assumed the proportions of a mass movement, the only one of its kind in India and perhaps the whole of Asia, engaged in the task of ^taking science to the people."

To science which was born with the sharpened stone implements of the ancients and grew into an all-powerful, all-embiacing entity as a part of man's struggle to control nature, there came a time when it was gradually removed from the life of the common man, became the handmaid of the privileged class, and lost its role as a potential force for social transformation.

The Sastra Sahithya Parishad seeks to bring science back to the everyday life of the common man who is its creator and rightful beneficiary. It strives to inculcate a genuine scientific outlook among the people, believing that to be the only beginning of real progress and change in society. Hence the parishad's slogan '^Science for Social Revolution."

In 1957, a small group of eminent popular science writers of Kerala set up an organization called Sastra Sahithya Samithi (Science Literature Committee). Their objective was to promote popular science literature in Malayalam. A trimonthly Adhunika Sastram (Modern Science) was launched. Neither the organization nor the journal lived long enough to fulfil the declared objective. In 1962, the Sastra Sahithya Samithi was resurrected under the name of Kerala Sastra Sahithya Parishad which functioned till 1966 as a forum of popular science writers and intellectuals.

In 1967, came a radical reorganization. The new constitution envisaged the Sastra Sahithya Parishad as a mass movement. Membership was thrown open to each and every person who believed in the role of science in moulding the lives of people. Since 1967 the parishad has



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