Eby J. Jose – A real social activist
A real social activist could never remain blind against the breach of values in the society. Eby J. Jose, a 44 year old social activist, has conveyed this message through his life. Eby has dedicated the past 25 years of his life to serve the nation. Let it be the misuse of national flag, or honouring film – sports persons with the Pathma puraskar – the supreme award of nation-, or politicians rejected by the people becoming rulers of the nation by the ultimate option of reaching Parliament through Rajyasabha – whatever be the case, Eby could never deceive his conscience. He is always ready to react – without fearing the after effects – against what he thinks is wrong. Eby raises his voice, where everyone else remains numb out of fear and irresponsibility.
Eby J. Jose, a resident of Kottayam district, is on a constant struggle against all those who disrespect the national flag or other symbols of nationality. Eby could not bear to see the national flag being misused or insulted. For the last 18 years, Eby’s focus was in regaining the lost glory and importance of our national flag. Eby works to aware the people about the status and value of the national flag, the need to protect it, to respect it and to guard the national morrals. According to Eby’s view, those who do not fulfill their fundamental duties, ordained by the constitution- do not have the right to speak or fight for their rights. For all the rights and privileges we enjoy, being a citizen, we should carryout out responsibilities at least.
It was quiet accidental that Eby Jose came to be concerned about disrespecting the national flag. In 1996, while he was on a trip with minister A.C. Shanmughadas, a scene caught his attention. The driver was removing the flag from ministers car. Why is he doing that? Eby got puzzled. The minister explained to him that, the “FLAG CODE” strictly restricts the use of national flag before sunrise and after sunset. The incident became the spark in Eby’s life. Eby learned more about the national flag.An extreme sense of respect and responsibility towards the nations flag grew in his mind.
In days of national importance, like independence day, Republic day etc, the tricolur flag takes a supreme position. But the lamentable fact is that, the careless & disrespectful use of national flag is at its peak during these days itself .As a result, the laws and rules to be followed while using the national flag is thrown to trash.
Eby became more vigilant in protecting the status of national flag. He noticed the use of national flag along with institutional flags, in the late night meetings of Lions Club, Indian Medical Association etc. The inattentive use of national flag, flags with slogans inscribed on it , plastic made flags etc. was brought to public attention by the constant protest of Eby Jose. With unquestionable proofs & evidences, Eby gave a complaint to the High Court. The then Chief Justice A.R. Lakshman accepted the complaint as a Ritt Harjee (OP No. 17745 and 17747 of 1999). In 1999 Justice K.S. Radhakrishnans bunch declared the verdict in favour of Eby. That year, On August 11th, the Court reminded everyone, the value of national flag and appreciated Eby’s for his commitment towards the nation.
Eby strongly reacted when the national flag was disdepicted in the poster of the Tamil Movie Annyan. As a result, the distributors were forced to redesign the posters. He expressed his disagreement against the renowned formula one car- racer -Naraine Karithikeyan- for misusing the national flag. Following this, Naraine removed the engraved national flag from his helmet. He succeeded in retrieving many, from disrespecting and mistreating the national flag.
National flag used in the advertisement of ‘Esilor’ – lens company, was withdrawn following Eby’s complaint. Eby also critisized Moserbear and Spice mobile company for using the national flag in their advertisement. As a result, both the companies removed the national flag, after making an apology. He complained to Cricket Control Board & Sports Ministry, for exhibiting the name ‘India’ with less importance than a private company name on the team jersey.
Thousands of complaints have been registered under Eby’s leadership against the illegal use of national flag. Tennis player- Sania Mirza, Cricket Player- Sachin Tendulkar, Film Stars- Mandra Bedi, Swetha Menon, Matha Nirmala Devi….. The list of eminent people victimized to Eby’s protect goes on. He also filed a complaint against paster K.V. Abraham, for insulting the national anthem.
Another incident which caught national attention was the one regarding former CIN official and Cabinet Minister Shashi Tharur. Shashi Tharur’s novel ‘Mahabharatha Katha’ was published with the national flag depicted wrongly on the cover page. DC books – distributors of the book- neglected Eby’s opposition. Eby seeked judicial assistance and at the end they had to reprint the book with a new cover. Then again the same happened with another book ‘Naam Changala Potticha Katha’, published by DC books. Just as Eby reacted, they withdrew from the attempt.
Eby protested against former Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Adwani, and former Cabinet Minister Shashi Tharur for using national flag in their website designed for election campaigning purposes. Organizations as well as individuals were critisized by Eby for wrongly exhibiting and using national flag. Kerala Lokayuktha, Limka Book of records, Silkmark, M.P. Rajeev Chandhrasekhar, MLA Baby M. Pallissery,… the list goes on. As per Eby’s complaint minister K Premachandran, had to make a pubic apology for flagging off a motor ralley with the national flag in an event. Eby also complained about Minister C. Divakaran for misusing the national flag. He brought the attention of authorities towards the disrespectful use of national flag by M.P. VijayaMalya, and Dubai Mobile company Etisalat.
Malayalam Movie Twenty20 produced by actor Dileep, under the banner of Malayalam movie actors association ‘AMMA’, picturized the freedom struggle and our nations father Mahatma Gandhi in a wrong manner. Eby strongly protested against this, as a result of which, the sensor board removed the particular scenes. But later, when moserbear released the CD’s of the movie, scenes omitted by the sensor board was included in it. Eby reacted harshly. Following this, Dileep and Moserbear officials apologized and retrieved the CD’s.
Eby complained about about Idea mobile company for wrongly depicting Gandhiji in their TV advertisement. He also criticized Nokia Mobile Company and Shashi Tharur for disrespectfully using the national anthem. Eby critisized Shashi Tharur for once insulting ‘Vandhe Matharam’, and then later, using the same for his election compaigning . The incident caught national attention.
In cinemas and serials, the usual practice is not to directly picturize any existing parties or use their flags or symbols. But this restriction is not applied to the use of national flag. Eby is working to take legal actions against these. Eby has even started an initiative under the title “Mission Flag” in his website www.ebyjjose.com designed to wipe out the misuse of national flag.
‘Mission flag’ program is organized exclusively for school students. The aim of the project is to make an awareness among the students, about the value of our national flag. It is estimated to cover about 10,000 schools in 5 years. The mission flag programme has already started its operation. Along with this, Eby has given shape to ‘‘Respect National Flag’’ campaign with the same aim. As part of the campaigning, programmes are being organized throughout the nation.
In connection with these programmes,Eby has proposed certain suggestions to the central government. His suggestions include; just as republic day and independence day observe a ‘national flag day’ also, include portions regarding national flag, its value etc. in the curriculum, include questions about the national flag, national anthem, national symbols etc. in PSC exams, ensure mandatory use of national anthem in all government functions and every educational institutions, provide a description about the national flag and national anthem in the preface portion of every textbooks.
Eby’s strong protest against Pathmasree laureate Mohanlal, for appearing in the advertisment of a liquor brand created strong controversies. He explained that, the action is against the prevailing prohibition act of 1950, which restricts advertisements of liquor brands. And also Mohanlal being a highly influential person, could thereby convey wrong message to the young generation .After Ebys long fought struggle, the government disagreed to renew the registration of the brand. Government ordered to remove all the publicity posters placed by the company. The incident was reported by internatinoal television channels BBC, CNN etc. Eby daringly expressed his disagreement in providing the status of Leftenant colonel, to actor Mohanlal just because of appearing in a military, based film. Pointing out these facts, Eby gave a complaint to the president of India and the case is under investigation.
When Mohanlal commented in favour of Sanjay Dutt, the bollywood actor who was sentenced by the judiciary, Eby asked the government to take strict action. He also asked to exclude Mohanlal, being an accused in a criminal case – from the government owned advertisements.
Eby never hesitated to react against acts which damage the social values which he keeps close to his heart. The advertisement of a liquor brand was added in the posters of ‘Sivaji’ a Rajnikanth film. Eby complained to Johny Sagarika, the distributors of the brand in Kerala. Following this, they were forced to release new posters.
Eby’s contributions to social welfare started from an early age itself. Aids awareness programme, Campaign against drug consumption and Pan-masala usage,… he has also organised protests both in Kerala and Delhi against cinema – ticket rate hikes, rubber value decline etc.
Eby expressed his disagreement in awarding ‘Pathampurskar to film & sports stars. His concept got national level attention. Eby’s explanation is that: Pathamsree, Pathmabhooshan and Pathmavibhooshan awards are set up by the government to honour those who have given noble contributions to the country. The film-and sports persons do not fit into this category by any means. Because, they are being paid for whatever services they are doing. So Eby’s question is, how can we consider their work as ‘contributions’ to the nation? How many of them pay their taxes accurately? The common people doesn’t even know, the actual extent of their assets and wealth. They are just being in their profession and are being very well paid. Then why would we give them, the privileges and status of the pathma puraskar – the Supreme hnour of our nation? Not just that, we have other stream of awards to honour the acting talents, both in national and state level. In sports zone, Arjuna Award, Khelrathna award etc. are being provided. Eby has submitted a direct complaint to the precident to bring his attention to these facts and asking him to take necessary action.
What happens when politicians rejected by the people become ministers by the last resort of reaching the Parliament through Rajyasabha? According to Eby, that is the biggest failure of democracy. Eby has started his works to aware the people about this. He says that, now democracy is redefined as the rule ‘on’ the people instead of rule for the people, Eby has proposed many practical suggestions during election time, which turned out to be highly effective. He brought the governments attention to the breach of laws, knowingly or unknowingly coming from various political parties during the election period.
Another disagreement of Eby was about MLA’s standing for parliament election. Eby explains: when an MLA wins in the parliament election, he has to resign his post in the legislative assembly and a sub-election should be held to elect the next MLA. So in such cases, the person or his party has to take the whole expenditure of the sub election to meet the losses of government. Or otherwise instead of conducting a sub-election, the opponent candidate next to the resigning MLA should be appointed as the new MLA. Also, if an MLA fails in the parliament election, he should be considered not eligible to continue in the MLA post.
When channel shows are conducted during election period, party members should not be allowed to participate along with the election candidates. Eby suggests that, this will help to reduce the arguments and misunderstandings between people and the violence that might follow it.
He has pointed out the inappropriacy in receiving more than one nomination letters to the legislature. Also, Eby complained about pasting election posters on buses, autorikshaws etc. Eby has proposed effective and practical suggestions to avoid the confusions that arise when candidates with the same name, stand in the election. Eby’s suggestion is to provide the photos of candidate along with their name and symbol. To make the idea more effective, the list of candidates with their photos and symbols should be published infront of the poling booth. This will help the voters to vote for the desired candidate without confusion.
He complained about Aravind Kejriwal, Anna Hasare and Baba Ramdev for using the natinoal flag in strikes organized by their party. Following Eby’s complaint on the use of Ashokachakra by Arawind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadhmi Party, the Central Election Commission took action. The party was permitted to register only after a desposition saying that they won’t ever use the national symbol for party activities.
Eby gave a complaint to the Reserve Bank of India, pointing out that it is totally uncivilized to scrible on currency notes and gifting garlands made of currency notes. After this, RBI released a circular inviting the attention of people towards this fact. Eby criticized Ramesh Chennithala & Karunanidhi for acting against the clean note policy. Eby has suggested the Reserve Bank and government to receive original identity datas instead of their photocopy,for banking procedures and other interactions, to avoid confusions and misuses. He has also asked to prevent the misuse of red boards on vehicles other than govt. vehicles. Other suggestions given by Eby include: proper action against police officials using the police vehicle without being in their uniforms, securities wearing police or military uniform etc.
Eby has also suggested to re-establish the milestones and direction boards throughout the length of roads with re-determined details. The Kerala government has approved Eby’s proposition for starting the national homeguarded system in Kerala. Home guards are trained to serve the people in times of natural calamities, earth quakes etc. Their service is now available in most of the states in India. As per Eby’s suggestion the govt. has decided to appoint about 3000 homeguards in Kerala.
Eby has also submitted a memorandum regarding students concession in fuses. The topic is under govt. consideration. Eby has demanded for allowing free pass to students below 10th standard, and half charge to elder students. Another suggestion put forward by Eby is to collect the money – needed for providing compensation to the victims of alcoholic tragedies – from the responsible officials and accused persons instead of taking it from government property.
School of rights and duties is another initiative taken by Eby for promoting a social change. The motive of the project is to make an awareness among the citizens about thier rights and responsibilities. The curriculum of the school, is being prepared. Eby assures that the service will be made free and is purely for national benefit.
Eby had an intimate relationship with K.R. Narayanan, the former precident of India. After his death, Eby wrote the book “K.R. Narayanan – Bharathathinte Sooryathejass” as a tribute and remmiscense. He is now in the finishing works of English and Hindi translations of the book. Also, Eby is currently, the general secretary of K.R. Narayanan foundation. He is working on a documentary on K.R. Narayanan’s life, based on this book – The documentary works of – “Athijeevanathinte kaalpadukal” is progressing.
Eby was totally shaken when the found that, the father of nation and his sruggle for independence was picturized in a wrong manner and was being insulted in the Malayalam movie twenty20. The incident sparked an urge to enlighten the coming generations about the sacrifices and miseries endured by our national leaders. He is planning to release animation movies on the life of Subhash Chandra Bose, Bhagath Singh, Chandrasekhar Asadh etc. the great warriors of Indian freedom struggle.
Eby started his press career after his education. He worked in certain magazines also. Currently Eby is working as the editor of Pala Times and Gulf life magazine. He initiated many organizations and cooperated with many other. Catholic Youth Council of India, Rajiv Gandhi Peace Foundation, Cherian J. Kappen foudation, Anti-Narcotic Movement of India, Human Rights International etc….. He was never alone in his struggles and protests.
When the film workers gave shape to their association AMMA, Eby shaped a counter organization ‘AMMAYI’ to speak for the likes and interest of audience – the common people. Eby is also the current chairman of Mahatma Gandhi National Foundation.
Eby J. Jose was selected as the “Most responsible citizen” by Zee news, from among a list of 23 nationally chosen nominees. The award was given in connection with a national integration programme. The criteria for selection was his services in awaring the citizens, about their fundamental duties and responsibilities.
Eby J. Jose Moolayilthottathil hails from Kaveekkunnu (Pala, Kottayam). He is the eldest son of Baby Joseph (Airforce retd.) and Ammini Baby. His wife Sindhu, works in Local Self Governing department. children – Liya Maria, Diya Ann, Evana Elza Kochouseph and Catherine Rebecca.