A college magazine published by a pro-CPI(M) students’ union of a government college at nearby Thalassery has courted controversy for allegedly containing objectionable contents with sexual overtones and insulting the national flag and anthem.
The magazine contains a caricature allegedly depicting a man and a woman in a compromising position in a theatre when the national anthem is being played. The drawing of the national flag is also seen in the background.
The magazine, ‘Pellet’, was brought out by the Students’ Federation of India (SFI) activists as part of the 125 year celebrations of Brennen College, the alma mater of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the students’ wing of the BJP, was quick to demand action against those responsible for the publication of the magazine.
However, when contacted, college principal Murlidas told PTI that there was nothing wrong with the magazine, adding that certain drawings in it could cause a misunderstanding, “if viewed from a narrow-minded perspective”.
“There is nothing wrong with the magazine. If viewed from a narrow-minded perspective, it could cause a misunderstanding. We are trying to convince the students about it,” he said.
Meanwhile, the SFI maintained that it was not their aim to show disrespect to the national anthem or the national flag, adding that they only wanted to point out the “extreme nationalism” of the Sangh Parivar which “forced” the people to stand up when the national anthem was played in cinema halls.
However, the staff council of the college, which met here, decided to remove two pages from the magazine which contained the controversial matter.
The controversy comes on the heels of SFI workers setting the chair of the principal of Maharajas College in Kochi ablaze and preparing a symbolic graveyard as a farewell gift for the Victoria College principal at Palakkad, who retired last year.
The BJP demanded an apology from the SFI for “insulting the national anthem” and said the magazine should be withdrawn immediately.
BJP general secretary K Surendran told reporters that not only the Left students’ outfit, but the college staff council as well as the principal were responsible for the incident.