Illustration : Madhanan
The birth of Mathrubhumi happened at a juncture when the ripples of the freedom struggle began to reverberate all over India.
Newspapers in Kerala at that time were against the national movement. KP Kesava Menon, then secretary of KPCC, decided to launch a newspaper after every press in Malabar abstained from printing his report on police violence at the Ottapalam conference.
For the past 100 years, the newspaper has become a beacon of hope for all margins of society by fighting social issues, crime and injustice. In the process, Mathrubhumi became the voice of the freedom struggle and a platform for accentuating public issues.
Mathrubhumi's efforts over the need for state's own university during the 1930s gave birth to Kerala University.
Kozhikode Medical College came into being as a result of a campaign launched by Mathrubhumi under the leadership of KP Kesava Menon.
The plan to launch an airport in Kozhikode goes way back to 1940s. In the following decades, Mathrubhumi has regularly published news and features requesting the same for Malabar. When the project came to a stalemate, an action committee led by KP Kesava Menon launched a massive public campaign to bring the airport to Kozhikode. Eventually, the Karipur airport opened its doors to the public in 1988.
Mathrubhumi's news reports and massive public campaigns drew international attention to the people's fight against the Coca-Cola plant at Palakkad's Plachimada in the early 2000s. By standing beside the protestors, Mathrubhumi backed away from advertisements worth crores of rupees. Vandana Shiva, Medha Patkar, VS Achuthanandan, Sukumar Azhikode, former Mathrubhumi Managing Director MP Veerendra Kumar and others declared solidarity. As the strike intensified, the company was banned.
Mathrubhumi's reports on the health problems created by Endosulfan in Kasaragod shocked the public conscience.
Mathrubhumi was at the forefront of providing comfort to the people who suffered in disasters like the Latur earthquake in September 1993, the Gujarat earthquake in January 2001, the Tsunami disaster in December 2004, the Chennai flood in 2015, Kerala flood in 2018 and the Puthumala landslide in 2019.