KOZHIKODE: It is not a common sight of students recalling their bond with a teacher whom they consider their window to English literature and the biggest motivator. Not only have those who sat in the class of Dr K.C. Muraleedharan (KCM), other students too had umpteen memories to share about him who hung his boot after 33 years of service at the English department of Payyanur College. Against the rich socio-political and cultural background, an average northern Kerala student is blessed with social orientation but not fluency in the English language.
There, 'Murali Mash', as he is fondly called, came with ideas to help students and they flew to JNU, IIT, EFLU and Hyderabad Universities for higher studies. "As degree students, we fall in love with English through Murali sir whose class transcended the college borders," says Dr Santhosh Manicheri, now Malayalam assistant professor at Brennen College, Thalassery. "He taught how to read critically. Murali sir is an unparalleled motivator." Criticism was his area of interest and postcolonial theories and discussions reverberated in his classrooms of the early 90s.
"Murali sir walked down to his students. Each of them was personally taken care of and ensured their involvement in all activities," says Dr A.C. Sreehari, assistant professor of English at Payyanur College who was also a KCM student.
The out-of-the-box approach of 2015-18 batch literature students to tackle English resulted in the creation of the blog, Englishmadeeasy.net which was overhauled by KCM.
In his honour, students have published a collection of scholarly articles, 'Kerala and the Crisis of Modernity' and also produced a documentary titled, 'Ningal Vicharikunnathu Polalla Kaaryangal' which is the common usage of Murali sir in his class. "I endeavoured to bring about the various aspects of a student onto focus and involve him in the learning process," says Dr K.C. Muraleedharan. He retired as the head of the department on March 28, and scores of his disciples came to the college to bid farewell to their dear teacher....